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A new study conducted by ACNielsen reports that more than two-thirds of global consumers consider private label products to be a "good alternative" to other brands and an "extremely good value for the money;" while nearly as many believe such products offer quality that's "at least as good as that of the usual big brands."

Consumer perceptions that private label brands are a good alternative to other brands are most prevalent in the highly developed private label regions of Europe (78 percent), the Pacific (78 percent), and North America (77 percent). This compares to 64 percent of Latin Americans and 51 percent of consumers in Asia.

Across the 38 markets, all of the top 10 that rated private label products a good alternative to other brands hail from Europe, led by the Netherlands (91 percent), Portugal (89 percent) and Germany (88 percent).

At the other end of the scale, eight of the bottom 10 markets hail from Asia, with Japanese (35 percent) and Malaysian consumers (36 percent) least likely to agree that private label brands are a good alternative to other brands.

Across the regions, consumers in the Pacific and North America (both at 81 percent) were most likely to rate private label brands an extremely good value for the money. They also agreed on quality, with 72 percent in North America and 70 percent in the Pacific considering private label quality to be "at least as good as the usual big brands." Europe followed closely behind with 73 percent agreeing on value for money and 68 percent on quality. In Latin America, 67 percent of consumers rated private label an extremely good value and 64 percent deemed the quality of such products to be on a par with the big brands. Fifty-nine percent of Asian consumers agreed on the value of private label products; 49 percent agreed on quality.
KC's View:
This is good news for companies that have made a real investment in private label, since it is an area in which they can really differentiate themselves. We think of companies like Costco and its Kirkland brand, or Trader Joe’s, or Stew Leonard’s – all places where we are a regular consumer of own label items, and where the private label products provide a differential advantage.