EUROPE — A recent study conducted by packaging solutions company Amcor has unveiled a significant consumer trend sweeping across Europe.

The study, which gathered responses from over 3,000 grocery shoppers in six European countries, shed light on the growing popularity of private labels, primarily driven by the surge in the cost of living.

The research underscored that private-label products have firmly established themselves in European households, with a remarkable 70% of consumers actively incorporating these items into their grocery shopping routines.

As economic pressures mount, the survey revealed that an astonishing 85% of respondents prioritize “price” when selecting private label items, making affordability a paramount consideration.

This affordability-driven shift in purchasing habits appears to be a lasting trend, as 50% of consumers intend to continue favoring private labels due to their high satisfaction with product quality.

The research identified factors such as “better taste,” “local production,” and “cleaner ingredients” as key influencers of quality perceptions.

Surprisingly, over half of European consumers (51%) perceive no significant quality difference between private-label and branded products.

“While the research confirms that the price of private-label items impacts grocery shoppers’ purchasing decisions in the current economic climate, quality is still a crucial factor influencing consumers’ buying journey,” Madalina Mitru, Strategic Marketing and Value Chain Manager at Amcor commented on the findings.

“Taste, quality, and origin are all still important when consumers are making purchasing decisions.”

The research also provided insight into evolving consumer attitudes toward sustainability, particularly those concerning retailers and brands.

It noted that 42% of European consumers believe that retailers are genuinely making strides in “local production” efforts.

One-third of consumers perceive progress in “food waste reduction,” “less excessive packaging,” and “more sustainable packaging.”

However, the research revealed that there is room for improvement, with 35% of grocery shoppers indicating that retailers need to make more efforts to reduce excessive packaging, and 33% expect more sustainable packaging alternatives.

Packaging also plays a pivotal role in consumer choices. Claims such as “recyclable packaging,” “less plastic,” “less packaging,” and “paper packaging” emerged as top factors positively influencing the purchase of private label products.

“We see a growing shift towards eco-conscious grocery shopping for both private-label and branded products,” Mitru noted.

“Consumers increasingly expect their preferred products to demonstrate how they are improving sustainability.”

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.