Comscore Releases Report, “The Effects of the Recession on Brand Loyalty and 'Buy Down' Behavior: 2011 Update

Only 43 Percent of Shoppers Claim to ‘Buy the Brand They Want Most,’ Down 11 Points Since 2008

RESTON, VA, November 2, 2011 - Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the report The Effects of the Recession on Brand Loyalty and 'Buy Down' Behavior: 2011 Update. The report analyzes how the most recent U.S. recession has impacted consumer purchasing behavior within various product categories, leading to increased 'buy down' behavior among consumers, or purchasing less expensive brands in order to save money. The report also examines the different ways consumers seek out lower prices and outlines strategies for premium brands to combat these conditions in the current aftermath of the recession. To download a complimentary copy of the report, please visit:

“In the aftermath of the recession, and with unemployment remaining stubbornly high, U.S. consumers have been feeling the pressure to spend less and save more, resulting in increased buy down behavior for CPG and other product categories,” said Comscore director Doug Crang. “Our research shows that over the last four years, not only are more consumers switching from their preferred brand when others are on sale, but they are regularly buying less expensive brands in an effort to save money. These economic conditions pose a real threat to premium brand market share, as consumers view cheaper brands, often private label, as a more affordable and necessary option during these hard times.”

The report highlights the results from annual Comscore studies conducted between 2008 and 2011 surveying the shopping habits and preferences of female shoppers in the household. The following twelve product categories were examined within six broader market segments:

Buy Down Study Product Category Groupings
2008 - 2011
Source: Comscore, Inc.
Market Segment Product Category
Health & Beauty Aids Toothpaste
Mouth Rinse
OTC Cough/Cold/Allergy
Apparel Jeans
Food Soup
Pasta Sauce
Fruit Juice
Household Products Laundry Detergent
Facial Tissue
Paper Towels
Housewares Small Appliances

Participants were asked to indicate how they shop for each of the above product categories using one of four closed-ended responses: 1) “I buy the brand I want most,” 2) “I sometimes buy a different brand if it is on sale,” 3) “I buy less expensive brands to save money,” and 4) “I do not buy products in this category”. Below is a summary of the trended results for those choosing “I buy the brand I want most.” The survey shows that as the economic downturn has continued, the percent of shoppers who typically buy the brands they “want most” steadily declined across the categories examined. The 2011 survey results reveal 43 percent of shoppers claiming to buy the brand they want most, down 11 points since 2008.

% of Respondents Choosing “I buy the brand I want most”
2008 - 2011 Survey Results
U.S. Female Shoppers (n=1000)
Source: Comscore, Inc.
Year of Survey % of Respondents
2008 54%
2009 50%
2010 45%
2011 43%

To download a complimentary copy of the full report, The Effects of the Recession on Brand Loyalty and 'Buy Down' Behavior: 2011 Update, please visit:

About Comscore
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit

Stephanie Adamo
Comscore, Inc.
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