Japanese consumers are increasingly turning to own-label products as food prices rise, a survey has found.

According to a survey by Japanese business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun, branded sales have suffered dramatically after recent price increases prompted consumers to choose cheaper store-brand alternatives.

The survey tracked changes in the prices and sales volumes of the three top brands in 15 food categories, such as bread, milk, cup noodles and soy sauce.

All brand sales were down. Instant cup noodles branded sales volumes fell 52%, 14% and 33% for the three top-selling brands. Sales were up 60% for private-label bread and drastically down for brand names.

Japanese companies are reacting to this trend by increasing marketing and refocusing their product offerings.

"Yes, we have seen brand name sales dip since the raw materials shortage pushed up prices in recent months but we are bullish about maintaining profits through better marketing and the refocusing on low-priced products," said a spokesman for top bread maker Dai Ichya Sei Pan.