Shoppers cut back on gas and food but stick to brand names

Shoppers trim their food budgets when gas prices rise, but they don't always give up the name-brand foods they like.

Store brands have gained ground among consumers in recent years, a new study shows, but their popularity among thrifty shoppers may be overstated, says Kusum Ailawadi, a professor of marketing at the Tuck School at Dartmouth College and one of the study's authors. "It's not as big as conventional wisdom has it," says Ailawadi, who conducted the study with business-school professors Yu Ma of the University at Alberta in Edmonton, Dinesh Gauri of Syracuse University, and Dhruv Grewal of Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.