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An investigation of the new generic consumer

Ram Herstein (Business Management Department, Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer, Israel, and)
Sigal Tifferet (Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer, Israel)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 8 May 2007



This research is designed to characterize new generic consumers and assess their willingness to purchase generic brands in non‐generic product categories.


A total of 500 generic consumers participated in the study. Participants were customers of two large private chain stores in central Israel, known for their abundance of generic products.


the paper finds that new generic consumers have a somewhat different profile than that of generic consumers of the 1980s. Furthermore, generic consumers are prepared to purchase generic brands even in categories not defined as generic.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on a market characterized by economic instability, which may contribute to strong readiness to purchase generic brands even in product categories not generic by definition. Future research is needed to study the profile of the new generic consumer from the perspective of cultural differences among countries and not within countries.

Practical implications

The willingness of generic brand marketers and retailers to enter product categories not defined as generic will open new business avenues and a create a relative advantage for them over their competitors, while guaranteeing a larger market segment and an increased volume of sales in the short term.


This research is the only one which has examined generic brand consumers' buying power, on four types of buying behaviors based on the degree of buyer involvement and the degree of differentiation among brands.



Herstein, R. and Tifferet, S. (2007), "An investigation of the new generic consumer", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 133-141.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited