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Supermarkets stocking copycat packages of established brands, claims Which?

Written on:April 12, 2013
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Tesco outlet in Skipton in North Yorkshire

Tesco is one of the supermarkets alleged to have stocked ‘own-label’ products mimicking established brands

Prominent supermarkets like Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Boots, Tesco, Superdrug, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have been identified by Which? as stocking copycat packaging items. Through a survey, the consumer advocacy group, Which?, alleged that over 150 ‘own-label products’ have imitated the packaging of established brands such as Kellogg’s coco pops, Radox bath gel, Jacob’s cream crackers and McVitie’s digestives

The allegations by Which? over the retail ‘copycat packaging’ row in Britain has bamboozled customers. A fifth of Which? members have voiced that they had inadvertently purchased a ‘supermarket version’ of a favourite brand at least once with 60% of those members expressing that this blooper irritated them.

The own-label products, sold by the supermarkets, tend to be less expensive than the brands, with the own-label items becoming rather popular among the shoppers, who are already battling with heightening food prices and tightened finances. This assessment, regarding the retail copycat packaging row, has been provided by a separate research conducted by Which?

As per Boots, the colours could be synonymous with certain active ingredients and enabled the consumers to locate the correct product. A Which? spokeswoman has remarked that own-brand products can provide good value, with numerous items having topped their surveys. But the retailers should ensure that the customers are under no illusions over what they are purchasing.

The supermarket copycat packaging row has led to a comment from British Brands Group director, John Noble, that their research demonstrates that the consumers are more likely to purchase own-label products if they appear like the brands. John Noble has remarked that brands endure because of their distinctiveness but the retailers are free-riding on brands’ statures, which have been earned the hard way.

The British Brands Group director has critiqued that, presently, in the UK, there is little to prevent a competitor packaging its item to look like a familiar brand, whether the item’s performance is similar or not to the familiar brand. This isn’t a good trend if one desires a marketplace, in which shoppers can implement informed decisions quickly.

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