Serious woman with shopping cart in grocery store. Attractive young woman pushing shopping cart and looking at shelves in supermarket. Shopping concept

Nearly 70% of Gen Z consumers are extremely or very aware of store brands, and 64% always or frequently buy store brands during their grocery store trips, according to a new report from the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA). Based on a survey of 934 consumers, PLMA’s report dives into the shopping behaviors of this digitally-minded, value-driven generation. 

More than 4 in 10 Gen Zers find shopping enjoyable, and they are more likely to shop for groceries in-store (74%) than online (26%). In-store shopping is also their primary source of product information (61%), well above other sources including social media (43%), word of mouth (32%), and conventional advertising (29%).

Compared to the Millennials PLMA surveyed in 2014, Gen Z is much more likely to purchase store brands during their grocery runs, and the majority feel positively about choosing these brands (39% feel extremely positively). More than anything, Gen Zers are looking for brands they can count on, and many have found store brands to be valuable (53%), reliable (52%), and trustworthy (48%). While PLMA’s research suggests Gen Z would also describe store brands as “cheap,” they don’t appear to consider this a negative trait.

Other than price, respondents said experience with the brand (28%) and expected quality (25%) are their primary reasons for choosing store brands. Many also look for brands that align with their personal values and beliefs, an extremely important factor for 30%. When deciding what products to buy, more than four in 10 (42%) Gen Zers say that the store brand image or reputation is extremely important.

Despite their affinity for store brands, Gen Z is not necessarily loyal to one particular brand, especially when they’re looking for the best price:

  • More than half (56%) are highly likely to experiment with store brands in search of the best value.
  • If prices go up for their preferred brand, 47% strongly agree that they’ll seek out alternatives.
  • Only about a third (32%) strongly agree that they’re more brand loyal than other people. 
  • Just 27% say they’re highly likely to forgive brands when they make a mistake.

See the full report for more insights into Gen Z’s grocery shopping habits and attitudes toward store brands.

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