What to notice on the grocery store shelf

Something I thought was worth mentioning…

Has anyone out there ever seen something like this at your local Loblaws or (in this case) Walmart and thought anything of it?

Walmart Store Shelf

As a smart consumer, you may have thought any of the following things:

  1. Wow, that’s not very nice of Walmart to just put their Great Value brand right beside the Quaker Chewy bars.
  2. It’s not personal, it’s business. Good for Walmart! They are doing what any smart business would do; placing products where people will find them.
  3. Which one should I get!? One’s cheaper, but the cheap one tastes different… doesn’t it? How different are they?

As someone who has works in the food industry, I’ll let you in on a little secret, sometimes… both the cheap and expensive versions are created by the same company! Shocked? Well you shouldn’t be….

Why shouldn’t you be shocked? Firstly, because grocery store based brands, like PC, No-Name, Sensations and Compliments, don’t have their own production plant to produce these products. They have to hire what’s called a co-packer. Someone who will produce the product under their label for them. Who better to do that then the competitor? Sure they might be convincing a couple of people to purchase this other brand, but they continue to do it because it’s a business model that not only makes sense, but works! Some people will only buy the no-name brand (no not the brand called No-Name, but the not-popular version that may or may not be the brand known as No-Name). While some consumers will only buy the more expensive product, thinking that the extra pennies make food more delicious. Now, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it really does! A more expensive product could mean more quality ingredients. But then sometimes, it really doesn’t…. The trick is knowing when this is true and when it isn’t.

How do you do that? You have to become a detective. It requires you taking a look at the product’s packaging and labels. First take a look at the product, do they look the same? Next try the ingredient deck. Are they exactly the same too? If they are then you guessed it! It’s the same product. Another clue is the kosher certification number. If the product is kosher and certified by COR, then it will have a number underneath the symbol. Every food establishment gets a number. If two different products have the same number, then they are made at the same facility! So yes, it takes a bit of time, but with a little hard work it could make your grocery run cheaper than you may have expected. Be smart, don’t let the packaging, commercials and brands tell you what the better products are. Do your homework and find out for yourself!


About Adi

A baker, a food scientist and an overall lover of new food creations

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