Survey: Supermarket shoppers see no signs of economic recovery
NEW YORK A new nationwide study conducted on behalf of the Private Label Manufacturers Association found that more than 8-out-of-10 supermarket shoppers see no improvement in the economy, and 40% actually believe things have gotten worse, suggesting there is no immediate recovery in the offing.
As consumers continue to cope, the study affirms, the appeal of store brand products is stronger than ever as shoppers continue to shop for value.
When asked how they think the economy will impact their supermarket shopping habits, more than two-thirds said they will take advantage of discounts by buying larger sizes or quantities for items they regularly purchase; two-thirds will look for more coupons and promotions on national brands; and about a third plan to change the stores or types of stores where they do their primary grocery shopping, the survey found.
When asked how important economic conditions were in deciding to buy a supermarket store brand, four in ten responded “very important.” A solid majority of consumers — more than 60% — affirmed they plan on buying more private label as they attempt to stretch their food dollars. Some 57% said they buy private label products frequently, a figure that has been increasing — it was under 55% a year ago, PLMA noted.
And some 43% reported they recently have forsaken a familiar national brand for a private label counterpart, a marked increase since the June 2009 when only 35% said they had done so.
The findings are based on a poll of nearly 800 main household grocery shoppers conducted in February 2010 by GfK Custom Research North America for PLMA. The full report, entitled “Recession, Recovery and Store Brands: What Consumers Are Saying Now,” is available for download at http://cli.gs/PLMAGfKRpt.
Survey: Eco-conscious habits can begin with tampon brand purchases
SKILLMAN, N.J. A recent survey commissioned by O.B. tampons found that 10% of women currently use non-applicator tampons as a way to reduce waste. Almost two-thirds of women (64%) have never thought about the environmental waste produced by the tampons they use, the survey, which was released Monday, found.
To help reduce waste, 35% of women would rather switch to a non-applicator tampon than cut the number of beauty products they use in half.
The O.B.-commissioned survey was conducted online by Kelton, comprised of 1,017 adults nationwide between Feb. 18 and Feb. 23.
Vaccines with two strains of influenza may be more effective in children, research team says
ST. LOUIS Vaccines likely would work better in protecting children from flu if they included both strains of influenza B instead of just one, a St. Louis University press report stated last week, citing research conducted through its Center for Vaccine Development.
"Adding a second influenza B virus strain to the seasonal influenza vaccine would take some of the guesswork out of strain selection and help improve the vaccine’s ability to prevent influenza," stated Robert Belshe, lead investigator and director of the center. "Since in five of the last 10 years, the influenza B component in the vaccine has been the incorrect one, this seems like an obvious advance to me."
Every spring, scientists predict which strain of influenza will be circulating in the community the following fall. Historically, they choose two different subtypes of influenza A and one of influenza B.
Research findings in the March issue of Vaccine highlight the importance of adding both lines of influenza B into the vaccine to better protect against the flu, Belshe noted.
The research team examined how well current vaccines protect against influenza B by looking at the immune response of ferrets that were given FluMist, a live attenuated influenza vaccine manufactured by MedImmune.
When ferrets were vaccinated against influenza, the ferrets that were exposed to a strain of influenza B virus that did not match what was in the vaccine didn’t have a strong antibody response. However they had a vigorous antibody response when given a vaccine that contained both strains of influenza B.
This showed that immunizing against one strain of influenza B does not appear to protect against the other strain and that a vaccine containing both influenza B strains is likely to offer greater protection from flu.
"These data highlight the need for vaccination strategies that provide enhanced protection against both lineages of influenza B," Belshe said.
The study was sponsored by MedImmune. Belshe has served as a consultant and as part of the speakers bureau for MedImmune and other study authors are MedImmune employees.