Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not Just Whole Foods

I thought about this yesterday when I had to make a run to Kroger for a couple of things. One of the things on the list was drain opener. Standing there in the aisle looking at the selection I was amazed at the price difference between the Kroger house brand and the name brand "Liquid Plumber". The name brand was $3.49 per quart and the Kroger brand $1.88. I compared the ingredients and they were identical. I bought the Kroger brand and it did the job on the bathroom drain just fine. I have chanced on store brands before and been quite satisfied but never really felt the need to buy the store brands. I think I will paying a little closer attention from now on.
The number of people switching to the private-label foods packaged and sold by Kroger Co. at its stores has been increasing. The company runs 2,477 stores in 31 states. Some of its regional chains include Ralph's, Fred Meyer and Food 4 Less.

"We're seeing particularly strong growth in our private selections and value tiers," Kroger Chief Executive David Dillon told investors in a conference call.
In recent years, large supermarket chains have been beefing up the number of items they sell under their own private-label lines. The items typically sell for less than a name brand on the same shelf.

Based on its proprietary shopper-card data, Kroger found that 14% of its customers traded down to its corporate brand items for the quarter Nov. 8. It sells private-label goods in three separate price categories, competing for sales in everyday staples to pricier organic foods.

Grocery stores have been targeting shoppers with more ready-to-eat meals in a bid to capture business from restaurants, which face declining sales in the current economic downturn with more people eat at home.

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