The key to remaining relevant to today’s demanding and value savvy shopper is to ensure you stock a range that offers a variety in terms of price points, but also consistency in terms of quality, writes HIM’s Jennifer Pratt.

Own label is a fantastic way to drive depth and variety within your range, while offering your shopper the choice they crave. The role of recognised brands and that of own label is not a mutually exclusive one, rather a relationship that, if well-balanced and complementary, will help drive incremental purchases and bigger baskets.

Those shoppers that buy own label spend 32% more than the average shopper in convenience and most buy four items or more each trip. This is a key statistic, as with more shoppers looking outside of the traditional convenience channel for their ‘convenient’ shop, it is imperative that footfall is maximised to deliver the bigger basket spends.

A credible own-label offer is a key way of driving loyalty: it’s a unique selling point which can be a driver for shoppers to pass another store and visit yours. The opportunity for the symbol group own-label brands is to increase awareness and understanding of the brand and the quality of the product to drive that loyalty and compete against the more established own-label offerings.

Although price is often the primary driver for own label over branded products, shoppers are increasingly making their decisions based on great taste and quality, too; 42% now rate the quality and range of own label in c-stores as “excellent”. Own-label shoppers are more likely to recall seeing signs and messages in store that refer to pricing and promotional messages – 46% notice, as compared with 30% of all shoppers.

Shoppers of own label tend to buy typical top-up items, however there are some categories on this mission where shoppers will always prefer the branded variant. Each category must be assessed on its own merits as to whether a good, better, best range is required, or whether your shoppers will be satisfied with just a choice of two. What can’t be ignored, however, is that without the combination of recognised brands and credible own label, shoppers are likely to take their larger top-up and meal-for-tonight shops elsewhere.