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Dec 31, 2007 11:06 AM

I hate private labels.

Went today to Trader Joe's, hoping to get Strauss' organic yogurt.
All I could find was row after row of TJ's branded stuff.
And Costco sells Kirkland branded Bordeaux wine.
And WF is overflowing with their own 365 crap.
Sorry folks, but I'm not going with the flow.
Whenever I buy something, I want to know who made it.
I trust the Strauss', not the corporate buyers that only look after increased profits at the end of the quarter.
Needless to say, I walked out of TJ with no purchase.

Is it just me?

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  1. Ric
    Many times, 'house brand' products are produced by very well known names, but mass purchased at a discount and packaged by the discount store. Make sure to read the labels carefully to see of it's in the fine print. I have often found house brands to be as good, and often better than the more expensive known brand.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Tay

      I agree with Tay -- the house brand of MANY items is usually just as good as the "name" brands in these situations. As, as we've discovered in another recent thread, if you dont like it, TJs will take it back without a ruckus. Also, sometimes if you ask (nicely) , they WILL carry a certain item or brand for you.

      1. re: Cheflambo

        Using Straus as an example, in Northern California (at least), the "cream top" organic milk with the TJ's label is actually Straus. Generally what happens is that the producer contracts for a lower price in exchange for having a guaranteed quantity of sales, but doesn't put their own label on it to protect the pricing of their brand-labeled product (which is why such agreements are usually confidential).

      2. re: Tay

        I totally agree, the h*ll with overpriced top brand names just because. Most of the smaller stores and chains are produced by the same company just with a different lable. Sometimes I have found them to be better. I don't fall for brand labels. It is all marketing nothing more. Not just with food but with anything you buy. Try working in these companies and you would quickly learn how pure, clean and what they really are. I did for two years and I know who they sold to and what happens. Now ... I just buy what I like not what the label is. To me taste is more important to me.

      3. Since you trust them so much, you should know it's "Straus" (only one "s"). And though I can't speak for everyone, I have no problem with private labels generally. It really depends on the label: if I trust the retailer's quality control (as I do Costco and TJ's), then I trust their labels. Although this is not the case with a producer like Straus, for some products I'm glad to know that the producer has a company like Costco looking over its shoulder and imposing external quality standards (and discontinuing the relationship with the producer if standards aren't met, which is a big incentive to keep them on track).

        1. Huh. What makes you think brand names are somehow more trustworthy than TJ's or Costco? Do you really "know" who made a product just because it has a name on it other than that of the store?

          1. It should be what's in the package, not thepackage itself that drives your purchase. There are certain private labels that jfood purchases and others he does not. Whether its rational or not jfood will admit that when he is in a grocer and the Frosted Flakes are sitting right next to the "same" box of the store brand jfood will not grab the store brand. Probably throwing money out the window, but everyone has indiosyncracies.

            Jfood also believes that even the branded products at certain discount stores are not the same as in non Big Box stores. For example a drill purchased in Home Depot will not always have the same quality of parts as the same model sold in a local hardware store. the HD may have plastic parts while the hardware store has metal. So it's not just what you buy butwhere you buy it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jfood

              Occasionally a plant that I service will give a "sample package" at the end of a visit. One of these plants made "store brand" cereals. Prior to that visit I always bought national brands. To my surprise, the store brands were just as good as I was used to. Then I discovered the considerable price difference. Now we purchase the store brand unless there is no equivalent. (Generic Grape Nuts aren't in all stores.)

            2. I guess it depends. I buy White Rose yogurt because it's still made in 8 ounce containers.

              But I wouldn't buy a store brand peanut butter if my hair were on fire.

              5 Replies
              1. re: dolores

                dolores...OMG! May that never, ever happen!
                I used to feel the same way about peanut butter and English mufffins, until I had occasion to try Wegman's (A NE supermarket chain) chunky peanut butter. It was surprisingly good. I'm wondering if Jif supplies it to them.
                As for the English, muffins: I'm sticking with Thomas's

                1. re: Tay

                  Tay I was just about to comment about Wegmans. They are not in my area but I went to school in Rochester, NY where they are based. Their house brand is amazing!!!

                  1. re: HungryRubia

                    The Wegmans here (Fairfax, VA) has been open the past couple of years, and I'm a regular shopper. I regularly use their various house label products and they are all of excellent quality.

                    1. re: dpan

                      I used to live next door to that Wegman's, and I loved when it moved in! I actually found Wegman's store brands to be of a higher quality in some instances than the more expensive name brands.

                2. re: dolores

                  We, a 10 year old expert and myself, LOVE TJ's natural PB.