NEW YORK – More US shoppers are passing on national brands and choosing the retailer’s brand instead, a new study of comparative prices on a wide range of everyday supermarket purchases demonstrates.

During a six-week period shoppers on average could save 33.3 percent off their grocery bill by filling their market baskets with the store-brand versions of 40 essential household items and pantry staples, including hot dogs, according to the study.

Conducted by the Private Label Manufacturers Association, the research tracked pricing for typical grocery items at a conventional supermarket. The study results indicate that consumers who chose the retailer’s brand rather than the national brand could save $42.30 — a savings of 33.3 percent on average on their total market basket.

When buying national brands, the 40-item purchase came to $127.03 on average over six separate trips, while the same purchases for the retailer’s brands cost $84.73. The survey took place over a six-week period in a suburban supermarket located in the northeast.

For each study category, a leading national brand product was compared to a similar store brand product and prices were adjusted to account for all known discounts, coupons and promotions available for each of the six shopping visits in the study.

Among individual food items, the cost savings ranged as high as 46.8 percent on carbonated beverages, 45 percent on ice cream, 43.5 percent on hot dog buns and 40 percent on pasta sauce in the Typical Store Brand vs. National Brand Market Basket Comparison. For hot dogs, the national brand was $3.89 per unit price and $2.49 for the store brand.

Shoppers are now choosing retailers' brands for roughly one of every four products they buy in the supermarket. Annual sales of private-label products grew by more than $18 billion over the most recent five-year period and unit market share for private-label in US supermarkets is now 23.5 percent, according to The Nielsen Company.