Why Customers Aren't Staying Loyal To Their Favorite Food Brands

Brand loyalty has become less of a value that consumers hold dear in recent years. Campaign reports that this trend started when many folks lost their jobs and the supply chain saw unprecedented disruptions, such as those causing expected grocery shortages in 2022. At the time, any alternative options to spending seemed worthwhile and many shoppers jumped ship on their favorite brands in order to easily get the products they needed. While the crippling job market accounted for many individuals searching out cheaper brands, some social aspects drew shoppers back to certain goods.

Brands that took particular stands on cultural and social justice issues received favorable responses from buyers, driving some business back (via Campaign). While certain companies promoted particular ideologies and stances, that tactic might not easily hold consumers over either. According to a report published in Ivey Business Journal, shoppers these days may have a much more fluid, loose approach to shopping than they did in the past, making it more difficult for businesses to hold onto valued customers. While this trend affects shoppers across all markets, the food industry proves especially interesting because one particular feature keeps customers locked in on their favorite brand.

A turn towards private label products

According to Food Dive, companies shouldn't expect consumers to return to the era of shopping exclusively by brand names. Inflation and several other economic issues have caused customers to embrace boutique labels and private label offerings. In the current market, the price of goods continue to rise and shoppers now seem to seek out the best bang for their buck instead of reaching for brand-name staples. Shortening and oil have seen some of the most action in this sector, while small brands that sell eggs, sugar, and milk have also seen increased traffic.

These items have also currently seen a shortage at grocery stores across the world, and new buying habits may emerge as a result of the lack of products. According to Insider, the Ukrainian war triggered a cooking oil shortage that has trickled into the United States, and as such, prices started to fluctuate. On the same note, egg producers also noted a recent shortage, per Watt Poultry. A recent outbreak of avian flu is the reason egg prices are rising, impacting shoppers' buying habits. It now appears that the market is experiencing a sea change in what grocery brands customers reach for, and this shift has the potential to herald in a new way Americans engage with their favorite foods.