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What austerity Brits just won't give up on

09 July 2010

Although British consumers may now be firmly set in the age of austerity, there are still some items where shoppers are simply not willing to scrimp and save

Data from, the grocery shopping and comparison site, has revealed over the past two years, consumers have largely stuck with their favourite brands as opposed to increasing their reliance on cheaper supermarket alternatives.

With respect to comfort foods such as bread, baked beans, fish fingers and hearty soups, shoppers are still saying brands are best. Since 2008, sales of the leading bread brands – such as Hovis, Warburton and Kingsmill – have increased overall by 11%, while own-label products have fallen 21%. Similarly, fishfinger brands like Birds Eye and Young’s have seen sales increase by 7%, while own-label sales have fallen by 10% during this period.

However, there are some items where penny-pinching Brits don’t mind ditching the brands. For example, sales of ASDA’s own label toilet roll increased by 9% over the past two years. Consumers also aren’t too bothered about trading down on items such as tinned tomatoes and even tomato ketchup or deodorant.

Own-label tomato ketchup sales have increased 16% over the past two years, while branded labels sales are 5% down overall. Own-label tinned tomato sales are up 10%, while branded products are down 16%. Even own label deodorant sales have increased 2% over the past 24 months.

Jonny Steel, spokesperson for said: “Consumers have been smart at adapting to the changing economic climate – trading down where they have to but without giving up on their favourite brands. However, it does seem for many shoppers brand is still king, and this is why so many brands have been able to maintain or even grow their market share through these turbulent times. However, there are also noticeable categories where consumers really aren’t afraid to scrimp and save like toilet roll or tinned tomatoes. If it saves them money then they seem willing to try it.”

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