Nearly half of Canadians are no longer brand loyal: Report

95% of grocery shoppers now buy private label brands at least some of the time

Brand loyalty is often taking a back seat to bank balances at the grocery store, with budget-conscious Canadians seeking out cheaper brands in an effort to stretch their shopping dollar.

The new Mintel report, “The Budget Shopper,” says nearly half of Canadians (41%) no longer consider themselves brand loyal, while 48% say they are willing to buy an unfamiliar or generic brand if the price is right.

Nearly all Canadians (95%) now buy private label brands at least some of the time, with nearly one-fifth (19%) doing so every time they shop. More than half of Canadians (55%) now perceive store brands as being on par with national brands in terms of quality.

Canadians are increasingly price-conscious when it comes to groceries, with more than one-third (39%) saying they buy discounted items, 33% comparing prices at multiple retailers, and 24% purchasing the lowest-priced items whenever they shop.

Carol Wong-Li, senior lifestyles and leisure analyst at Mintel, says this consumer behaviour could be a boon for retailers who combine reasonable pricing with creative ways to elevate their private label products – whether through enhanced product ingredients or making their packaging more visually appealing.

Canadians’ pre-shopping behaviour is somewhat at odds with their actions inside the store however. Only 14% of Canadians say they clip coupons, while 13% search online for promo codes and 12% use an app to find coupons.

The report says the data suggests shoppers are acting in response to the shopping environment, meaning they will be “more responsive” to signage indicating sales and discounts.

“Benefits will be had by creatively finding ways to let consumers know that they are getting a fair price,” says the report. “Information about pricing strategies, transparency into production costs of products, or calling attention to the timeline/freshness are just some examples of tactics that should help provide a greater context for the price of particular items.”

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