HEALTH

Nielsen report shows more consumers switching to private label products

BY Michael Johnsen

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. Once considered a lower-price, lower-quality substitute for name brands, private label products, or store brands, are viewed positively by the majority of U.S. consumers, according to a new survey by The Nielsen Company. As many as 72 percent of consumers believe store brands are good alternatives to name brands and 62 percent of consumers report they consider store brands to be as good as name brands, up three points since 2005.

“While private label products continue to follow the success of consumer packaged goods manufacturers’ name brand  introductions, more CPG retailers are making private label a priority with messages on quality as strong as messages on value,” said Todd Hale, senior vice president of Consumer & Shopper Insights for the Nielsen Company.  

According to Nielsen’s survey, price and value are paramount, especially in today’s market. Three out of four consumers believed it is important to get the best price on a product. More than two-thirds 67 percent) of consumers agreed that store brands usually provide “extremely good value” for the money while 35 percent of consumers are willing to pay the same or more for store brands if they like it.

Conversely, only one out of every four consumers believed that name brand products are worth the extra price. “In today’s economy, consumers are looking for ways to save money and for many of them, that means taking a new look at private label products,” Hale said.  “With more retailers offering satisfaction guarantees on private label purchases and even serving up blind taste testing and trial programs, consumers’ exposure to private label products has never been greater.”

Private label products account for more than $81 billion in the United States, up 10.2 percent over the past year, Nielsen reported.

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Google tracks flu trends through requests via search engine

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO Google has found a way to track the spread of the flu by taking note of users who type phrases related to the flu into its search engine and reporting them through a new service called Google Flu Trends.

This may enable local outbreaks to be detected before health officials detect them, tests of the site have shown.

According to The New York Times, searches for flu-related information on Google increased in mid-Atlantic U.S. states increased two weeks before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an increase in the incidence of flu in those states.

 

 

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J&J recalls lots of Infants’ Mylicon Gas Relief Dye Free

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals Company Monday evening voluntarily recalled approximately 12,000 units of Infants’ Mylicon Gas Relief Dye Free (simethicone-antigas) non-staining sold in 1-ounce plastic bottles that were distributed after Oct. 5 because some of the bottles could include metal fragments that were generated during the manufacturing process.

Although the potential for serious medical events is low, the company is implementing this recall to the consumer level as a precaution. If any medical events were to occur, most are expected to be temporary and resolve without medical treatment. Parents who have given the product to their infant and are concerned should contact their health care provider immediately.

The company is taking this action in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration, J&J reported.

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