Now branded products are almost cheaper than own brand
We all love those Aldi adverts- the ones where the Granny can’t tell the difference between Aldi’s own and branded Gin for breakfast- but there are always occasions where you have to have the brand name and cheaper imitations just won’t do.
For some time now, penny pinchers have been advising us to drop a brand level in order to save money- if you normally have the named brand, try dropping to the supermarket premium range, if you normally have supermarket standard own brand, try dropping to basics range. The idea is that dropping one ‘level’ of brand might not offend your tastebuds too much, but might impress your pocket. So far so good.
However, new research shows that the gap between the price of branded goods and their supermarket equivalents is actually narrowing, and means that buying a tin of Heinz mightn’t be be so guilty a pleasure. Unless you’re going to do something peculiar with those baked beans.
The reason is two fold- proper brand prices are increasing at a lower rate than own brand products and branded products also get more supermarket deals. For example, the latest quarterly basket data shows that, in the UK, the average price of a basket of retailers' own brand went up by 3.3% in the first quarter of 2014, while a basket of national brands only increased by 2.9%. In some cases, the cost of brands is coming down. In Spain, own brand increased in price by 2.9% but proper brands fell in price by 1.9% during the same period.
Similarly, the promotional activity on supermarket own brands is lower than that on brands, meaning you are far more likely to find your favourite branded breakfast cereal on offer, than the supermarket equivalent. While the deals are less likely to make the branded product cheaper than the supermarket option, although it can happen, if the price differential is small, many of us would prefer to pay a little to get the premium taste. And we all love to bag a deal…
However, it is worth noting that the proportion of products bought as part of a promotional deal in the UK, which is traditionally much higher than in other markets, has reduced for the second quarter in a row. This could mean that manufacturers are finding the cost of deals too high to maintain, in which case the cost of branded products will rise again, or it could be that we are all suffering from deal fatigue. Is it time for BOGOFs to,well, bog off, or will you buy anything so long as it’s on special?