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Old 03-25-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
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Store-brand groceries now on premium shelves

Store-brand groceries now on premium shelves

So are you big on store brand items


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Old 03-25-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kleenex View Post
Store-brand groceries now on premium shelves

So are you big on store brand items
The Wegman's chain in my area has always taken the approach that the Wegman's branded items were as good as if not superior to the national brands. They also gradually remove some of the national brands as the store brands become accepted by the public. It is slowly becoming a company store.

For me I use store brands if they are good or at least good enough for what I am making. I am only truly loyal to a few brands. one that come to mind are Lea & Perrins.

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Old 03-25-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
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Whenever I move, and periodically thereafter, I check out the store brands. If they're bad, don't buy again. Publix used to have the very best canned vegetables, especially their whole green beans, which were those thin ones marketed as "haricots vert" (OK, I think we're all sophisticated enough to know that means "green beans" in French). They were just beautiful. When we'd go to visit my parents after we moved away from there, we'd buy a case of the things. Put them in a skillet with some olive oil or butter and some almonds, and you could fool anyone into thinking you'd imported something fancy. I don't think they make them any more!

This became an issue when we first moved here. Not for us; my husband trusts my shopping instincts entirely. But neighbors were having an argument about whether or not to buy store brands. I simply told them my theory. Try once or twice. If you are not happy with it, don't buy again. Food you buy and do not like is money down the drain. If you can save a bit here and there, then do so.

Long before civilian grocery stores had store brands, military commisaries had what we called "GI Brand". They were sold by various companies to the military and had white labels with black lettering (picture: BEANS, GREEN). We had the more expensive brand labels as well. But, being on a budget, Mom once bought "PEAS, GREEN". Now, remember, all of these are made by the regular manufacturers of canned goods. Mom opened a can of peas for supper, and yelped. They were La Souer baby peas. She freaked, and ran back to the commisary to buy a couple of cases. We felt like we were eating high on the hog.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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I remember when the black and white labels first came out in regular grocery stores. We had a lot of "potato chips, salted" LOL. Then there was this chain called Price Cutter that introduced a yellow and black label.

I'll say that store brands have come a long way since then.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:04 PM   #5
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There are some store brands I buy and some name brands. I tried the store brand saltine crackers. Horrible. You couldn't even spread softened butter on them without them falling apart. So I went back to Sunshine Krispy Saltines. Less expensive than Nabisco and more flavor. Plus they hold up. The only canned veggies I buy are corn and tomatoes. Once in a great while I will buy the baby peas. But all of those are name brand. I do buy the house brand on sugar, flour, milk and a few other dry goods. Over the years I have found the house brand unsatisfactory over and over again. Pieces of stems, parts of the cob in the corn, etc. All other veggies are frozen or fresh.

Years ago here in New England we had a chain called First National Stores. Their house brand was called "Finast." They had a humongous plant over in Somerville for canning. Their veggies were pretty good. But over time, the quality went downhill. At that time frozen veggies cost a lot more than can goods. Raising a family of four kids, you cut corners where you could.

But now I am faced with a new dilemma. Cooking for one I prefer and can afford to buy fresh veggies. It is trying to buy meat in smaller packages and not have to pay with the blood of my first born. So I find myself buying the less expensive packages that I have to break down into servings for one. Six Italian sausages are less costly than four, 12 less than six, and 24 less than 12. Granted I get a lot of meals out of that one package, but it will take me forever to go through all of them. I do have a food sealer, so they don't get freezer frost or burn. It is a matter of sometimes $.50 or more as you go up the scale for the larger packages. That can add up to a significant savings. It is those savings that allow me to afford fresh produce.

Each month I spend $5 - $10 on cereal or other dry good foods for the food bank at the church. I do buy the house brand for that. I get more product for my money. The house brand cereal box is larger than the national brand and less expensive.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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Luckily we have a huge amount of grocery stores in this area, it's really kind of ridiculous, to be honest, within a 20 mile radius we have 119 grocery stores, those are the major chains, then add in independents and ethnic, and that number goes well over 200 (yes I counted one day out of curiosity).

With this fierce competition, if your chain doesn't have good store brands, you are not going to last long.

I worked for a company that took a long time to get it right, they were going for the highest profit margin over quality. One year at our big annual meeting, they were doing taste tests to determine their next items to be offered as store brands. I remember trying 3 "pecan sandies" knockoffs, labeled A, B, and C. A, was great, maybe even better than the original, B was also good, but C was downright horrible and had a chemical aftertaste. When the votes were tallied, C got zero votes. Fast forward a couple of months and we now had store brand pecan cookies. I bought some out of curiosity and wouldn't you know it, they were C. Once again, profit margin won over quality.

When it comes to store brands, I find "ingredients" to be the best bet. Processed foods all have proprietary recipes and store brands don't often hit the mark. Dairy always comes from a commercial dairy and is likely the same as one of the name brand in the case (in our area Maola delivers both their brand and store brand). I don't buy canned vegetables with an exception of beans and tomatoes, and the brand in my store has always been excellent. I've had great luck with store brand frozen veg, and haven't felt the need to buy name brand.

We do have a "premium" store brand, and those are consistently good, but they are more specialty items and don't always have a direct competitor.

Stores make a HUGE markup on store brands compared to name brands, and a smart company will make sure that they sell a lot of their brand, it just makes a lot of business sense, profit wise.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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I buy store brands alot. The only really bad label I have tried is Value Time. Every single product I have tried I have totally disliked.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:25 AM   #8
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Our local supermarket has it's own "Wild Harvest" brand of organics that's really quite good. I buy their frozen veggies, butter, and eggs from time to time. The price isn't much higher than the non-organic equivalents.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #9
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We have a President's Choice brand up here that is quite decent. What I like about this brand is how inventive they are. They are constantly trying new things and somethimes they come up with really good ones. Check out some of their products if you have the time.. http://www.presidentschoice.ca/LCLOnline/products.jsp

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