Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Jan 24, 2009 03:40 PM

Loblaws- Galen Weston Jr.

Anyone else find the current advertising campaign a bit distasteful? It seems to revolve around frightening people abut the economic outlook, which will only make a bad situation worse...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. it is not as distasteful as Scotiabank's "you're richer than you think" (NOT)

    1. I admit I find it disconcerting.

      1. Hey everybody, I'm sure Galen's portfolio is waaay down! He shares your pain.

        2 Replies
        1. re: childofthestorm

          Yes, I heard that he now shops at No Frills (pushing his own cart, even) and buys PC products exclusively. For his own consumption!

          1. re: tjr

            A family worth over 7 billion and he eats PC, nice! I don't find the commercials as distasteful as some might find their mascot for selling Asian products in their flyers.
   Last 2 pages

        2. Distasteful? Why? Don't forget Loblaws is a business. It's no different than an Acura dealer, or clothes retailers advertising sales. All they're doing is underscoring what's in the media and what everyone seems to be talking about lately. Frightening people might be a bit of a stretch. All he's done is show one cart with No Name and the other with brand names - obviously the No Name brands are cheaper. Who doesn't already know that? Incidentally, Galen can advertise No Name products all he wants, but I don't think I'd ever pick one up and buy it. In my mind, it conjures up "cheap" and "inferior quality". But that's just me.

          But I don't find anything wrong with what they're doing. I've also never received a Holt Renfrew (to keep it in the family) e-mail alerting me to 70% off, either in the past!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Raquel

            "All they're doing is underscoring what's in the media and what everyone seems to be talking about lately. Frightening people might be a bit of a stretch."

            It is entirely fearmongering, as is the media. The economic cycle currently is very vulnerable, more than most realise, and business leaders trying to capitalise on it are pretty reprehensible. "the only thing to fear is fear itself" etc.

            1. re: Raquel

              I disagree with a blanket condemnation of No Name products. Some are good, some are not; I generally buy a single can/box/bottle of the product, and try it. I don't find any difference between name brand frozen vegetables and their No Name equivalents, for example, nor do I taste any discernible difference when buying block cheese (cheddar, mozza, etc.) from Kraft or Black Diamond than No Name (artisan cheeses are different, but they're much more expensive as well). On the other hand, No Name ketchup is terrible, as are most of the canned soups. I bought No Name canned corn and a name brand, and did a taste test with my daughters a few years back; they couldn't tell the difference.

              And non-food items like plastic wrap, foil, foam plates/plastic cutlery? Can't see spending the 50% more than the No Name brands cost. However, I draw the line at No Name toilet paper; softness is a virtue!

              1. re: KevinB

                Mrs. Sippi thinks the NN garlic dills are the best store bought pickles she's ever had.


                1. re: Davwud

                  Tried them today. They were, in a word, disgusting. That shows me for trying a No Name product for the first time ever.....checked on the back to see where they're from and saw 'Product of India'. Yuck. No wonder they tasted like that, those poor pickles had to travel so far....

            2. Wow, looks like I lit some fires...

              Squeakycheese: Says you. I don't think it's "fearmongering" at all. It's called good marketing. And taking advantage of current events to sell your products. There's not one good business that's NOT doing it these days from Wal-Mart, to my local smaller independent stores. Or is it that it's ok to do it if you are smaller scale, but because Loblaws is so large, they shouldn't? Honest question to you.

              KevinB: In my opinion, they are horribly marketed and have horrible packaging. Maybe if they at least tried to make the packaging more attractive, I'd give it a shot. But it's good to know that some are "OK". And I guess I have to disagree with you about plastic wrap and foil. Cheap usually gives you cheap. Yes, you'll spend more for brand names, but they are in most cases, better quality. Especially plastic wrap. Can't stand the cheap versions that bunch up as soon as you try to tear...
              But I guess something good that's come out of the Loblaws/Galen commercials - especially in this economy - is that they guarantee the No Name products or your money back. Now, I might just take him up on that one....

              4 Replies
              1. re: Raquel

                I always thought the point of No Name (and all generic, for that matter) products was that there was virtually NO marketing, and NO money spent on packaging, so that the savings could be passed on to the consumer. As has been pointed out many times on CH and elsewhere, many generics are made on exactly the same lines as the branded products, using exactly the same ingredients.

                As for plastic wrap - do you seriously think that Dupont or whoever makes the generic wraps STOPS their production line, changes the formulation, and then produces an extra clingy variety for the generic market? The cost to do that would be enormous, and would negate the savings offered. (Oh, and by the way, I have a roll of Glad Press and Seal gathering dust on my refrigerator top because this premium priced brand was so EXTRA clingy I found it virtually impossible to work with.)

                1. re: KevinB

                  First, being "pointed out many times on CH and elsewhere" does not convince me that these are accurate assertions. Unless of course you have specific information you'd like to share? You'd be surprised what goes on behind the scenes in factories. If you take everything at face value or believe everything you hear, then that's your choice. I choose to be a bit more skeptical that companies take the same exact ingredients, but because they feel sorry for poorer consumers, that they take less profit margin on it. And for your comments on it being the point of NO marketing? What? Every single generic grocery store has tried to put their generic brands in every flyer I've seen. That's a form of marketing, in case you didn't know. And I can't think for the life of me why a grocery store would NOT want to package in anything attractive. Do they actually want these things to sit on their shelves and gather dust?

                  Second, no, I don't believe that Dupont or whoever STOPS their production line to change to a cheaper formula. Do you seriously think that Dupont has ONE production line? Have you not heard of SECONDARY production lines?

                  I'm speaking of MY experience. I've tried the generics in terms of paper/plastics with the hope that they would save me money. MY experience has been that they are virtually impossible to work with as they bunch together before I even get to wrap it around anywhere. Thus, I regret it everytime I try to save a couple pennies. And I've been thrilled with how beautifully my Glad plastic works.

                  Getting back to the original question, I think the No Name products are great as an alternative. I don't know how much this latest ad will convince non-generic buyers like myself to now purchase them, but at least those who need it know it's out there and know that Loblaws, while sometimes having an 'expensive' label on it, can be as economical as, say, a Food Basics.

                2. re: Raquel

                  Haha... It's the cheap line, so it has to look cheap. But that packaging is there on purpose. I'm sure lots of thought went into the design of the no name brand.

                  I really did enjoy it when long ago Loblaws was all screaming yellow and bold black Helvetica. In more recent years they started adding pictures to their products and Garamond italic in red.. and it just seemed weak. I remember very vividly being about 7 years old, and walking through the glowing yellow aisles of a Loblaws Superstore, shelves stacked high with giant yellow boxes. It was a very impressive sight.

                  1. re: mogo

                    You wouldn't happen to be a graphic designer, now would you? You seem to know alot about font type! Helvetica special on TVO recently, you should check it out!

                    Actually, they've done alot of research on it and yellow background with black lettering seemed to stand out the most, so I'm not sure who did it first, Canada, UK, US, but it became the 'go to' design for no name products around the world. And still is in many spots.

                    I'm partial to Target's Archer Farms. I think they are THE BEST grocery store brand anywhere. Second is President's Choice for me.