Store-brand groceries have gone upmarket

Store-brand groceries (also known as private label items) have gone upmarket, reports the Wall Street Journal. Once seen as the blander, cheaper doppelgangers of more recognizable brand-name foods, today’s generation of store-brand products are not only well-priced but also “sexy and exclusive.” Whole Foods, Target, and convenience-store chain Foxtrot (as well as online grocers like Thrive Market) are among the stores with private labels featuring upgraded packaging and gourmet appeal. With the average U.S. consumer now shopping at three or four different stores for groceries, according to one researcher cited in the article, exclusive store-brand products are a way for stores to build customer loyalty. The trend toward higher-end private labels is also being driven by the pandemic, whose supply-chain breakdowns has steered more consumers toward store-brand items. —Patricia I. Escárcega