How times have changed! Store brands/private/generic labels were considered as inferior to brand names just a few years ago. The quality of these product lines has improved and just in time as food prices continue to increase. Let’s look at these labels and other ways retail grocers are helping shoppers address high food prices. And let’s not forget that good food prep/handling can mean less food wasted. Lastly, a peek at how food shopping might play out in a recession.
- Their history and evolution: the hidden makers of some private labels (https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/06/business/costco-kirkland-signature-trader-joes-store-brands/index.html).
- Aldi and Target labels grow the fastest in the 2nd quarter of 2022 (https://www.progressivegrocer.com/which-retailers-private-label-brands-are-growing-fastest). As shoppers seek out private food labels, retailers promote attributes such as fair trade, packaging and taste (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/4-ways-retailers-are-boosting-private-brands/628701/).
- Other data on the performance of private brands (food and other products) (https://www.producebluebook.com/2022/08/01/study-reveals-top-10-private-label-retailers-share-of-spend/).
Grocers with budget food lines…
Here are a few:
- Kroger’s new Smart Way line (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/kroger-budget-grocery-brand-inflation-smart-way/631527/);
- behind Costco’s Kirkland Signature (https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/05/business/costco-kirkland-signature/index.html);
- Walmart’s Great Value towers above them all – bought by almost 72% of U.S. consumers & Marketside – bought by 44% (https://www.winsightgrocerybusiness.com/cpg/private-label-walmart-towers-over-everybody-else).
Keeping food costs down and accessible…
- Giant Food rewards program gives large discounts on store brands through December 31st (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/giant-food-private-brands-promotion-rewards-program-promot/633200/).
- Stop & Shop Deal Lock extends sales on select items (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/stop-shop-new-Deal-Lock-savings-initiative/630681/).
- Walmart Rewards on select items: Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, notes that the process isn’t seamless – you need to scan a QR code & follow additional steps (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/the-friday-checkout-will-walmart-rewards-rack-up-membership-signups/630548/).
- Meijer to provide produce discounts for SNAP shoppers for the next year (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/meijer-produce-discounts-snap-consumers/632941/).
- It’s now easier to find SNAP-eligible items when shopping Walmart online – find them in ‘Featured Shops’ section (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/walmart-snap-shopping-product-filter/631823/).
- BJ’s now accepts SNAP in-store/online (https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/bjs-accepts-digital-snap-ebt/).
- USDA adds more grocers to SNAP online ordering (https://www.fns.usda.gov/news-item/fns-0009.22).
- Target piloting SNAP online in FL, IL, MN, NC, OH and TX (https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/target-enables-digital-snap-benefits/). (Note: It’s important to remember that any fees, subscription costs are not paid by SNAP.)
- Black-owned grocers fill gaps with pop-ups and other models (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/black-owned-grocers-filling-industry-gaps/628708/).
- Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, explains how different grocery shopping strategies can save you money: a grocery bill is cut in half for a 22-minute grocery trip (https://www.supermarketguru.com/the-lempert-report/july-consumer-price-index/); here’s the 3-minute video (https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/food/video/save-eggs-grocery-staples-88288818).
- In the UK a supermarket offers small interest-free loans to food shoppers (https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/uk-supermarket-iceland-offers-loans-help-struggling-shoppers-buy-food-2022-08-17/).
Keeping costs down during food prep/handling food right…
Throwing out food that doesn’t turn out well is money down the drain…here are some helpful resources to avoid that…
- Butterball’s Turkey Talk Line has Spanish-speaking experts; can be reached in numerous ways: phone, email, text, online chat, Facebook, TikTok and more (https://www.butterball.com/about-us/turkey-talk-line) and turkey resources (https://www.butterball.com/online-turkey-talk-line).
- Food/food safety: AskUSDA: call M-F, email or chat online (https://ask.usda.gov/s/contactsupport).
- Baking and other cooking help (https://thetakeout.com/best-hotline-call-help-with-baking-questions-mistakes-1849500442). One last thing…freeze leftovers to keep food safe and enhance the flavor of food (https://www.tastingtable.com/1008759/heres-why-you-need-to-freeze-leftovers-as-soon-as-possible/).
How food shopping might fare in a recession…
- With warnings about a recession looming, we will likely see less purchasing of indulgent food such as candy, snacks, ice cream and more shrinkflation (https://thetakeout.com/foods-hit-hardest-in-a-recession-2022-indulgence-foods-1849586023).