The New York Times ran an article the other day which I thought was interesting. Author Andrew Martin wrote about the growing amount of store branded goods for sale in the grocery stores. In the topsy turvy economy, more consumers are staying away from the expensive trips to Applebee’s and Ruby Tuesday and are focusing more on buying a small amount of groceries to last for longer periods of time. With an increased focus on getting more for less, some major grocery chains are realizing big profits with their store brand goods.
Dollar sales of store brands increased 10 percent during the 52 weeks before Nov. 1, compared with a 3 percent gain for branded products, according to the Nielsen market research company.
Store brands now account for nearly 22 percent of products sold at the grocery, up from 20 percent a year ago, Nielsen found. At Kroger, store brands account for 26 percent of grocery sales.
In this economic climate, the numbers suggest, many shoppers are willing to try the newly developed store brands. They also say it is hard to resist the low prices of store brands for staple goods like milk, sugar and cheese.
I buy some store brands. I buy Wal-Mart cheese and peanuts and they taste just as good as the more expensive name brands. I also buy Shop-Rite organic milk so I can save a dollar or so over the name brand organics. And there’s no difference between store brand canned vegetables and the name brand canned vegetables.
There can be a few hiccups with the store brands, though. We have a Wegman’s nearby and they have an entire area of the store devoted to foods that they make on-site. It’s a nice addition to the standard grocery store layout, but their foods have a tendency to have a similar taste. I’m not sure what that taste is, exactly, but I just refer to it as “this tastes like Wegman’s.” For anyone who went to Monmouth University, you know that one of the many jokes regarding the horrible Aramark food at the dining hall was that it all tasted the same. I find Wegman’s to be a much higher end version of the same phenomenon.
However, I keep buying Wegman’s sandwiches because they taste good. 🙂