The value of private label brands to U.S. consumers: An objective and subjective assessment

Peter J. Boyle, E. Scott Lathrop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study investigates the value of private label brands to consumers using two approaches: First, subjective evaluations of the perceived relationships between price and quality for private label (PL) brand and national brand (NB) products based on survey responses; and second, objective measures of price and quality for PLs and NBs widely available in the U.S. Price was generally perceived to be a signal of quality for NBs, but not for PLs, an indication that consumers' knowledge may not have kept pace with quality improvement in PLs. Objective estimation of the quality gap potentially existing between PLs and NBs determined that the "quality premium" of NBs observed in the past has largely disappeared. Consumers, notwithstanding, sought a lower purchase price for PLs. In turn, the higher price they were willing to pay for NBs accorded with estimates of the actual "price premium" associated with NBs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Consumers
  • National brands
  • Price
  • Private label
  • Quality
  • Value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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