More South African consumers are choosing no-name brands

Xolile Bhengu

Xolile Bhengu

Milk, poultry, canned fish and household products are the best-selling private-label or no-name-brand goods. But many more no-name-brand basic goods are catching up with branded products.

Experts said yesterday that South Africans were buying more no-name products, because of their competitive pricing and improved quality over the years.

A recent AC Nielsen research study showed that Pick 'n Pay house brands are the most widely recognised in the South African market, with 79percent of the respondents being aware of the brands.

Pick 'n Pay spokeswoman Tamra Veley said: "Consumers are better informed and are open to trying new brands and to changing brands."

National Consumer Forum chairman Thami Bolani said there had been an increase in preference for no-name or house brands.

"People don't eat a brand they eat the product," he said.

"Considering the poverty levels in South Africa, a lot of purchases are informed by price. People in the lower-income market will buy no-name products because they are cheaper," Bolani commented.

He said although branded products were still thought to be superior, they were not necessarily better value for money.

Bolani said the organisation encouraged people to read the list of contents on the product to make an informed decision and always to look for the South Africa Bureau of Standards quality assurance mark.

He added retailers could do more to make private labels available in their stores.

"I don't think that retailers are doing enough to ensure that more of these alternative products are available on the shelves, which is unfortunate as more no-name products would benefit consumers," Bolani said.