Little is known about the market performance of brands that carry light claims (e.g. low fat, low sugar) in comparison to their regular counterparts. In order to fill this gap, we explore whether light brands perform similarly to regular brands in terms of a) brand performance measures, such as market share and penetration, b) loyalty levels, and c) customer sharing. We analyse three product categories (Cola, Flavoured Carbonated Beverages and Margarine) using UK household panel data provided by Kantar. The results show that when considering standard brand performance measures (i.e. market share, penetration and purchase frequency), regular brands receive higher brand performance measures than light brands. However, when considering repeat purchase loyalty, light brands achieve greater levels of loyalty than their regular counterparts. Finally, light brands share their buyers more with each other than expected, suggesting the existence of market partitions, although these are not isolated as buyers of these brands still buy regular brands.
Journal of Brand Management, 2014, Vol 21, Issue 4, p. 325-341