More consumers are switching to own label products in an effort to save money, according to a Nielsen and British Retail Consortium report.

In the second quarter of 2011, 71% of people changed their shopping habits to try to save on household expenses, the report found. Of those, 65% (up from 58% in the previous quarter), switched to cheaper grocery brands such as own label.

Paul Cheema of Malcolms Stores Costcutter in Coventry said recent own label sales had been "mega". "Sales of chilled own brand products have seen the biggest rises, but there have been increases across the board," he said. "The improvement in the quality of packaging has helped as consumers now see them as a viable alternative to branded products."

Alpesh Patel of Londis in Crouch End, London, said own label ranges such as cereals and snacks had performed excellently lately. "The quality of these products is excellent and customers are noticing this," he said. "Our own label meats have also seen huge increases."

Spar this month launches a new economy own label range to the UK market, following its success in other European countries. The S Budget range, which will hit shelves on August 29, covers 33 lines in fresh, grocery and household goods categories.

According to Spar UK brand director Susan Derbyshire, the range has been introduced to show customers they can find value for money in convenience stores and to drive consumer loyalty. The launch will be supported by a £1m marketing campaign, which includes national and local radio ads, digital, leaflets and a pos package.

The S Budget brand was originally established in Spar Austria.

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