I used to be SUCH a brand snob. I wouldn’t even consider buying a store brand. And I’m old enough to remember when “generic” products first started showing up in store – do you? Black and white boxes with plain block lettering?
Today’s “generic” (store) brands are considerably different and often made by the large brand name manufacturers, or at least by the same contract plants they use.
Better Living Brands is one of the in-house lines for Safeway, which is part of Albertsons, which is part of SuperValu. Other house brands at these stores include Signature Farms, Kitchen, Select, and Cafe’ Lucerne Dairy; and Refreshe. At WalMart, you’ll see a lot of products under the “Great Value” label. And Aldi creates their own brands for almost every product in the store, with some shelf/cooler space left for the local brand name products.
There have been an awful lot of grocery mergers and sell-offs lately, it’s hard to tell which brand is where, but all of these are mostly owned by Cerberus Capital, a private equity firm. Some of the grocery brands under management in this umbrella holding include Acme, Lucky, Jewel, Jewel-Osco, Savon, Sessels, Brunos, Buttrey, Smithys, Shaws, bristol Farms, Sav a Lot, Cub Foods, Hornbachers, Shop n Save, Rainbow, Country Market, Food Lion and others. Among other investments, Cereberus have under management are Staples Office Supply, Avon products for women, and many others.
Knowing that most of the store products are manufactured by the largest manufacturers and processors, you can count on their quality, and more and more, you’ll find the store brand products on the shelf right next to the major brand names. The big difference is going to be price, and often you’ll find it to be substantial – 30%, 40%.
Bottom line, I’m no longer a brand snob. I am now a value buyer.
I was motivated to write this piece by purchasing Better Living Brands Manzanilla Green Olives yesterday at my local Jewel Osco, a store I rarely go to even though it is the closest grocery. Prices are just too high compared to other local markets. The olives are a product from Spain and they are perfect. And half price.