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Research : Quarter of consumers label well-known grocery brands ‘too expensive’ to buy / Southpaw

Shoppers are shunning some household-name grocery brands because they believe their products are too expensive, according to research from creative communications agency Southpaw.

1,000 UK-based consumers* were asked which brands they buy less frequently now than they did five years ago, or have even stopped buying altogether. Some 14% cited Cadbury’s, followed by Birds Eye and Heinz (both 12%).

Other brands which feature in the top 10 include Coca-Cola, Walkers Crisps, Mr Kipling, Ribena, PG Tips, Kingsmill and Robinsons.

Although a number of these brands are still bought more than once a month by other respondents, a proportion of people are more regularly leaving items on the shelf during their shopping trips and online orders.

Shoppers were also asked to choose from a list of words they felt best described the products they now spend less on than they did half a decade ago. Of those who selected a description, the word most commonly associated with these brands is ‘expensive’.

Other reasons for brands falling out of favour with consumers are that they’re considered ‘outdated’ and even ‘boring’.

Tom Poynter, group managing director at @southpawagency Southpaw, said: “There is a warning sign in the results of our survey for some well-known brands. The theme of the responses is that people believe the products they buy less of are expensive. Even if that isn’t actually the case, there is a key marketing issue at the heart of these findings: the brand isn’t justifying the product cost.

“This is something all marketers need to be aware of. Sustaining the price point is a critical job of any brand and that clearly isn’t happening here. There’s work to be done on refreshing the brands in question, in order to change perceptions and help improve sales performance.”


The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 1,000 general consumers aged 16+ in the UK between March 24 and 30, 2016. The survey was conducted from a random sample of UK adults. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society, according to ESOMAR principles.

About Southpaw

Southpaw is an award-winning integrated communications agency serving international clients such as Honda, SABMiller, Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins, PZ Cussons, Friesland Campina and Gallo Family Vineyards.

Southpaw turns around brands through business consulting, brave strategies and provocative creativity.

Our parent company is the globally recognised and awarded agency network, Hakuhodo Inc, giving us the ability to operate with global scale, delivering best-in-class technology as well as building revenue-generating IP for clients. We put enormous value on the power of relationships, which to us means commitment, clear objectives and a sense of fun, fostering long-term client relationships.

To find out more about these findings and the implication for brands, you can sign up for Southpaw’s exclusive breakfast event here: Is Your Brand Past its Sell-By Date?