Consumers 'misled' by brands

Retailers are misleading too many consumers into buying own-brand products by mimicking the packaging of well-known equivalents, according to the consumer campaigners Which?.

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Retailers are 'free-riding on brands' reputations'

Our research shows that consumers are more likely to buy own-label products if they look like brands.

Brands survive by being distinctive and standing out, and retailers are free-riding on brands' reputations.

Currently in the UK there is little to stop a competitor packaging its product to look like a familiar brand, whether or not the product's performance is in any way similar.

That can't be good if we want a market in which shoppers can make informed decisions at speed.

– British Brands Group director John Noble

Survey: Consumers misled by retailers on packaging

Too many consumers are being misled by retailers into buying own-brand products because the packaging mimics well-known equivalents, consumer campaigners have said.

A fifth of Which? members said they had accidentally bought a supermarket version of a favourite brand at least once.

Kellogg's Coco Pops and an own brand version Credit: Which?/PA wire

The consumer group found that more than 150 own-label products that it considered to have "borrowed" elements from the packaging of branded competitors.

These included Kellogg's Coco Pops, McVitie's Digestives, Simple cleanser and wipes, Jacob's Cream Crackers and Radox bath gel.

Jacob's Cream Crackers and an own brand version Credit: Which?/PA wire