Category purchase frequency impacts share of leading brands and private labels

Posted by Oliver Koll on Mar 10, 2018

Shopping frequency for a category increases with higher consumption levels, higher storage needs, perishability or the level of impulse purchasing. It may also be the case that the time between purchases impacts retailers’ assortment decisions and the appeal to manufacturers of adding variety – in both cases less if longer. In a previous post we already showed that assortments of frequently purchased categories are typically bigger. But category purchasing frequency also impacts brand performance:

  • Number one brands in rarely purchased categories command shares that are 1.5 times higher than in frequently purchased categories. Also, in low frequency categories, shoppers are less likely to choose private labels.
  • There are variances by country: Number one brands in Germany tend to have relatively low shares and their sensitivity to category frequency is even higher. In Sweden, number one brands do much better and category frequency impacts the average shares to a lesser extent.

More frequent purchasing increases exposure to alternatives and the “pain of payment” may also induce switching to private labels. Therefore, as category assortments are more crowded, number one brands have to settle for lower shares. Brand managers should consider these differences to set realistic expectations for brand share and growth. Brands must emphasize ‘value’ and ‘needs’ especially in frequently purchased categories.