By Aimee Chanthadavong

It may seem that “store brands” such as Woolworths Home Brand and Coles Smart Buys are ending up in shopping baskets more than ever before.

A CHOICE study has found that private label purchases are now accounting for more than 22 per cent of all grocery sales.

Christopher Zinn, CHOICE spokesperson, told Retailbiz that store brands can be just as healthy as premium labels and they’re often much cheaper.

"There’s not much of a divide between them and it’s an urban myth that home brand is inferior in nutritional content and we certainly have found evidence that it isn’t,” he said.

“It is also considerably cheaper with customers spending 25 bucks as opposed 65 bucks in home brands so that is the incentive to buy it.”

CHOICE looked at more than 160 food items and compared budget Woolworths Home Brand and Coles Smart Buys against higher end Woolworths Select and Coles brands, Aldi products and other leading labels.

The study found that depending on the product, supermarket private labels can be lower in unhealthy nutrients such as fat, saturated fat, sugars and sodium.

Examples include Aldi and Woolworths Home Brand low-fat mayonnaise which had the lowest sodium levels and Woolworths Home Brand plain water crackers which was the only cracker to score a nutrition "green light" for saturated fat content.

Zinn also suggested that home brands will continue to be more prominent in shopping baskets as supermarkets continue to put greater effort in promoting it.

“We would imagine that having seen the growth of home brand purchases in the UK, it’d be the equivalent here.”