A growing trend in the super market is that brands are grabbing more consumers' attention today, and that doesn't always mean national brands. Store brands and brands tied to local suppliers are increasingly hot.

While brands in the meat case are still less familiar, consumers say they are increasingly willing to pay a premium for branded meat. That's according to "Power of Brands: Assessing the Role of Branding in Meat Selection and Purchase," a quantitative market research study by Chicago-based Midan Marketing and Shugoll Research in Bethesda, Md.

The December 2007, online survey involved 600 consumers in four U.S. cities. Researchers point out that the sample was distributed equally among beef, chicken and pork users.

The study showed that while consumers are aware of different brands in the meat case, few were able to spontaneously recall brands of beef, pork and chicken when asked. Half of respondents could not name at least one pork brand; 46 percent could not name a beef brand. Chicken recall was greater than beef and pork, with 71 percent of respondents able to identify at least one chicken brand.

Results also suggest that shoppers are willing to pay a premium for branded meat. When asked how much more they would pay for their preferred brand of meat on a percentage basis, 84 percent said they are willing to pay 5 percent more, 76 percent are willing to pay 10 percent more and 55 percent are willing to pay 20 percent more.

Of course, what shoppers say they'll do and what they actually do are often very different things when it comes to putting a product in their grocery cart.

For more information about the study, go to www.powerofbrands.com.