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Information Resources Inc. (IRI) reports that supermarkets have been increasing the amount of own-label product on their shelves -- during the fourth quarter of 2001 and the first two quarters of 2002, the number of private label SKUs in stores has risen an average of five percent, while manufacturer-brand items are up an average of just 1.6 percent.

While it seems clear that this increase has been designed to cater to cost-conscious consumers in a tough economy, the sales figures cited by IRI indicate that the strategy isn’t working: “unit sales of Private Label products (as well as manufacturer brands) within supermarkets have declined over the same time period.”
KC's View:
Meaning that at least during this economic slowdown, people aren’t buying differently. They’re just buying less.