Nearly all consumers buy private-label products when grocery shopping, according to a study of 6,600 consumers conducted by Market Force Information, Louisville, Colo. Of the categories studied, dairy products were the most frequently purchased private-label grocery item. Snacks ranked second and cereal and cleaning supplies tied for third.

Most consumers load their carts with private-label dairy products such as milk and cheese on a regular basis, according to the study findings. More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents said they purchase private-label dairy products most or some of the time, 19% said always and 5% said never.

Price appears to be the main motivator. Of the 95% who buy private-label dairy somewhat regularly, 78% said it is because of the price and 48% pointed to the good value. Of the 5% who only buy national brand dairy, taste (50%) and quality (23%) were the main factors. What’s more, brand awareness is fairly high in this category. When asked if their primary grocer carries private-label dairy products, 80% of consumers said yes, followed by 12% who did not know and 8% who said no.

The study also looked at new trials in the dairy category, asking consumers when they last tried a new brand of dairy product. Thirty-five percent said “in the last three months,” 21% said “between three months and a year ago” and 44% said they could not remember the last time. Thirty percent — more than any other category studied — said the new dairy product they tried was private-label, while 61% indicated it was not.

Market Force said that while private-label products continue to be popular, there is still substantial opportunity for grocery brands to increase wallet share.