Saving Money by Buying Private Label Groceries

Supermarket Own Brands

grocery shelfMore and more supermarkets are selling grocery products under their “own brand” names side-by-side with nationally known name brands.

It used to be that supermarkets would offer private label, no-frill, low cost, low quality, bland tasting generic imitations of brand name products, sometimes going so far as copying the products’ packaging colors and designs, as a way to broaden their customer base in order to maximize their revenues. The product selections were usually limited to the basic essentials shoppers would ordinarily buy based on price alone, and the demand was relatively low.

But as the economic continues to get worse, more and more shoppers are buying stores’ own brands as a way to save money on their monthly food bill. Surveys indicate that the purchase of stores’ own brands has been increasing as much as 30% per year since the 1990’s,

As demand grows, supermarkets and grocery chains are paying more attention their store brands to cater to budget conscious, cash strapped consumers. Supermarkets and grocery chains are paying more attention to developing and tailoring their own brands of grocery products to meet the needs of their budget conscious, cash strapped consumers.

Instead of simply imitating name brands as they did in the past, grocers are leaning toward developing products that are equal or better in quality and taste than name brands, with their own attractive and distinctive packaging. They are also broadening the product offerings to include high end gourmet and organic grocery items, and even products for the non-food sections of the store.

Most store brand products can cost 30-50% less than nationally recognized brands. One reason why supermarkets’ own brands are cheaper is because they usually don’t need to spend million of dollars on national advertising to promote the brands. They rely on cheaper local advertising and walk in customers. Own brand products usually have lower manufacturing and distribution costs because most if not all supermarkets contract third parties to make the products for them and don’t have the overhead of a plant and additional employees.

While supermarket brand groceries cost less than more expensive, nationally advertised brands, there are often only slight differences between them. A lot of the own brand grocery items are manufactured at the same plants that make the brand-name counterparts. Some major food manufacturers may have their own plants to make some of their products, but smaller companies rely on independent food manufacturers to produce their products, and these food manufacturers rely on contracting out their services to food companies and supermarkets and grocery stores to stay in business.
Many store brand food items will have the same taste and nutritional value as their name brand counterparts. Basic staples such as sugar, salt, rice, flour, spices, milk, water, apple juice, applesauce, vinegar, coffee creamer,
frozen vegetables, and frozen juices, will probably not vary too much in taste or quality and will save you money when you buy the store brand or generic.

Some items are very much a matter of personal taste such as ice cream, cheese, pasta sauce, salsa, and coffee that may have very unique tastes and flavors that are not easily reproduced in generic substitutes. However, if you are serious about saving money, you’re probably wiser to stop buying or buy less of these foods or look for store brands of your favorite foods and develop a taste for them.

If you’ve never tried supermarket brands, try out different products that are not too expensive such as condiments or canned vegetables. Many stores offer money-back guarantees on their products so if your not happy with a store’s own brand or a particular grocery item, return it and try another product. Store own brands are certainly worth a try if you want to save money on your grocery bill.

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