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Trader Joe's kickstarts a revolution?


Gifted Gourmet
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article from Detroit Free Press

the new wave of store brands, which traditionally evoke images of canned green beans and generic packaging. Supermarkets are sprucing up their private labels, adding upscale brands to boost customer loyalty and their bottom lines.  To appeal to more affluent customers, stores are adding products that promise luxury rather than emphasize value, with names like Publix Premium, Kroger's Naturally Preferred and Target's Archer Farms. Instead of merely matching the quality of a national brand, the new generation of private label foods aims to exceed it.

Is this happening in your city yet?

Have you see the changes in your local grocery stores?

Will it signal the change in the way people shop? :rolleyes:

Or the way in which regular grocery chains offer their store brands?

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I noticed this happening at Publix early this year. The "Greenwise" line, organic, seems to be doing very well, and they repackaged all of thier regular store brand items.

My favorite new item is the Publix brand parchment paper. 30 square feet for $1.40 or so. I've noticed that the store brand sour cream and butter are better than previous, as well.

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I have purchased a number of Kroger's Private Selection items. Of course, part of the higher price is the pretty packaging, put it is still a good value. I have been very happy with the products so far. The pesto smelled wonderfully of chees eand good olive oil. I hope they expand the line.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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I've seen it at Publix in Miami. I have NOT seen it in the NYC area at all, at least not in ShopRite or A&P.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Upscale private label is not that new. There's just more of it around these days.

The first upscale PL brand I recall noticing was "President's Choice," originally developed by Loblaw's in Canada. D'Agostino supermarkets in NYC began offering President's Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies back in 1988, and other President's Choice products followed. A&P also developed its own upscale PL brand (whose name escapes me right now).

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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A&P also developed its own upscale PL brand (whose name escapes me right now).

MASTER CHOICE.

There is nothing like going to that little out of the way specialty market and bringing home fresh food. That's why we created the premium store brand called Master Choice. From farm fresh strawberry preserve jam to fresh 100% Natural Apple Juice. All created from the finest recipes and authentic ingredients. And, remarkably, all at store brand prices.

MASTER CHOICE: Like a specialty market in your supermarket.

website

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I've never found anything upscale about Master Choice products.

The Publix Premium things that I saw seemed to be all natural - I think I read several ingredient labels, but maybe this was just an illusion caused by the design and the presentation. But Master Choice has always been, for me anyway, just a regular private label of A&P and nothing special in any way.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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The wikipedia article on Kroger has a comparison of their three generic brands: FMV, store-name, and Private Selection. They've been carrying the Private Selection stuff for a few years now and most of the stuff seems pretty good. Usually I still have to hit Earthfare, Fresh Market or my neighborhood market to get a few things like Parm-Reg, fresh mozzarella, etc. Doubt you'll see those at any of the Krogers here soon since they can't really put a label on those things, and all of the Krogers here except one are very dated, early 80's style.

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Seems to me that Shaws Supermarkets in New England also started doing this a couple of years ago. (Did TJ's presence have anything at all to do with that? I'm not sure I'd ever heard of them at that time.)

I forget the name of their upscale label but they bottled a delicious & reasonably priced EVOO that to my taste beats WF's house brand.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Premium Private Label has been an important feature of UK Supermarkets for many years now.

Tesco's "Finest" range has been around since 1998, and equivalents, such as Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" range, about the same amount of time.

What makes the UK market interesting is that the one supermarket that ONLY sells private label goods, Marks and Spencer, has been traditionally regarded as the market leader for quality for several decades.

From Interbrand:

Retailers in the United Kingdom have been private label innovators in many respects. Take the supermarket landscape as a case in point. Since the UK consumer buys a significant proportion of his weekly purchases from one store, the competitive focus is at the store level and this is where it has been imperative for retailers to create a persuasive consumer connection. In order to accomplish this objective, retailers have had to elevate themselves above competitive retail outlets by having a comprehensive offer. They would develop their portfolios and provide proprietary products in categories where national brand manufacturers’ offerings did not suffice.
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