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Millennials Are Most Prepared to Trade Down to Private Label

As merchants step up their own-brand offerings, PYMNTS Intelligence research finds that across grocery and retail, millennials prove the most eager to find more affordable alternatives for their favorite products.

By the Numbers

consumers, lower quality goods, price increases, inflationThe PYMNTS Intelligence study last year “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers Cut Back by Trading Down” drew from a survey of more than 2,000 United States consumers to understand how inflation is impacting their shopping habits. The report revealed that 36% of consumers have traded down from their go-to grocery products to cheaper versions of them, and 35% did the same for retail products.

Supplemental research from the report reveals generational differences in trade-down behaviors, with baby boomers and seniors proving the least willing to make these kinds of sacrifices, while millennials are the most. Forty-five percent of millennials reported having switched to lower-quality grocery products, and 42% of consumers in this generation said the same of retail products.

The Data in Context

Noting demand for lower-priced alternatives, retailers have been expanding their private-label selections.

“Our margins in Our Brands continue to do very well and as that business continues to grow, particularly in today’s environment, we talked about the budget-conscious consumer and that continues to connect with them,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen told analysts on the grocery giant’s earnings call Thursday (June 20).

The retailer added in a presentation shared with analysts that it had released hundreds of new private-label products in the Q1 and redesigned multiple brands.

Meanwhile, Target has reportedly been going so far in its private-label efforts as to expand its brands to other retailers.

In April, Walmart launched a new private-label grocery brand with 300 products.

“Today’s customers expect more from the private brands they purchase — they want affordable, quality products to elevate their overall food experience,” Scott Morris, Walmart’s senior vice president for private brands, food and consumables, said in a statement at the time.