Supermarket own-brand products fail to shine in Trusted Brands poll

Despite the much-reported trading down by shoppers to supermarket own-brand offerings, the performance of such products in the annual Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey shows little impact.

This year’s own brands accounted for just 3% of all the votes cast in the UK-related section of the survey across all categories, except for food retailer. The survey is carried out by Reader’s Digest across 16 European countries and had 23,000 responses.

The results could show that while shoppers will trade down to a supermarket own brand, their trust still lies with their preferred brands and will give a confidence boost to those companies maintaining their marketing budgets in the face of the economic downturn.

The leading supermarkets have not benefitted that much in converting growing footfall into trust, according to the survey. Across all Trusted Brand categories, Tesco’s average share has risen slightly and Sainsbury’s has remained static.

The recession and widespread coverage of banking losses and large executive bonuses have surprisingly left the bank/building society category relatively unscathed in the survey.

However, in the mortgage lender category trust levels have fallen and for the first time Halifax has lost its most trusted position and been overtaken by Nationwide, which retains its mutual lender status. The building society sharply increased its popularity with an 18% share.

The bank/building society sector still sees Lloyds TSB in the top position, just ahead of Barclays, with a relatively steady share of the vote at 16 %.

The number of votes cast for most trusted brand was actually up for this sector on last year. One interpretation of the result is that voters reflected on their day-to-day personal experience banks rather than the re-ports of the global financial situation.

See full Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands coverage on page 18

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