When you go to the grocery store, do you buy the sensibly priced store brand, or the lavish brand name stuff? Science has now proven: We know what you do, you’re stupid, and you will now be exposed to the world.
A new National Bureau of Economic Research paper by REAL ECONOMISTS notes that store brands have less than 20% of the market share in packaged goods in the US—and that if we raised that up to a third, consumers could save more than $40 billion a year. I guess you’re “too good” to save $40 billion a year. You are too fancy? Is that it? Well, this paper uses blind taste tests—comparing “Roundy’s,” the store brand of a midwestern grocery chain, with name brand cookies, yogurt, and ice cream—to take a scientific look at the question: Are store brands tastier? Or no? The answer, my friends, is clear:
Across the three categories, 81% of participants agreed that overall, Mariano’s “Roundy’s” private label is as good as the national brands. Surprisingly, only 44% of participants predicted they would pick the private label over the national brand in the blind taste test. However, 73% of participants preferred the Roundy’s private label immediately after the blind taste test (but before revealing the identities of brands), which is much higher than pure chance and, and more in line with the initial self-reported quality beliefs.
THREE QUARTERS OF PEOPLE PREFERRED THE STORE BRAND IN BLIND TASTE TESTS. Yet the paper shows that several months after the taste tests, consumers WENT RIGHT BACK TO BUYING THE MORE EXPENSIVE NAME BRANDS EVEN THOUGH THEY KNEW THEY LIKED THE STORE BRANDS BETTER.
America, your fanciness is costing you dearly.