Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Can you shift buying decisions for $8 a week?

I heard the results of a survey into home brand product prices versus those of well-known brands the other day. The upshot of it was that if you bought the home brand products, you could end up about $8 a week better off. Big deal!

If you're familiar and pleased by a certain company's product, are you seriously going to opt for the home brand item to save this much money? Ok, if times are tough and you're battling to save anywhere you can, you might have to but, generally speaking, my guess is you won't. It's not because home brand products are demonstrably inferior, it's just that some home brand products are equal to or better than the branded products, but not universally.

A 2007 survey by Aussie consumer organisation, Choice, examined this subject by reviewing the home brand products offered by three of the nation's supermarket chains, Woolworths, Coles and Aldi. The results showed that you would be unable to go to a single store and buy home brand products consistently comparable with the branded products.

The bottom line is that you can buy comparable quality home brand products, but could only consistently do so if you bought selected products from all three of the supermarket groups.

So it's obvious what I'm going to do. I'm your typical, time poor, middle class shopper who likes his favourite brands for their taste and consistency. I can save about $8 a week, essentially by shopping at three different supermarkets armed with my Choice survey which will tell me what products to buy where in order to match the quality of my favourites.

Sorry, it ain't going to happen. I'll shop under one roof and buy the brands I know I like. Quality, maybe even indulgence, for about $8 a week? You bet! And you know what, it would cost me at least $8 a week in fuel to drive to each of the three supermarkets required to buy home brand products to match my taste and quality expectations.

On the other hand, my wife would traverse the world to save a buck and regards me as something of a spendthrift. So there you go...

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