This is a study the industry doesn’t need

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This is a study the industry doesn’t need

By Lawrence Aylward - 01/28/2019

So, which bills itself as offering signs for anything you can think of from giant checks to flags to door hangers, recently published a report listing the top grocers with the most trusted store brands. That’s cool. Such articles can only help promote and sell private brands.

But there’s a problem. The headline for the article contains a word, which is also used several times in the article itself, referring to private brands in that cringe-worthy term that every industry person has come to hate: generics.

I’m not sure why decided to do the report, considering it clearly knows little, if anything, about the private brands industry. That tip-off is evident in the headline of the study, “Do You Buy Generic?”

The industry has been running from the term “generic” for several years now. Today’s store brands are not “generic.” They no longer come in white packages with black lettering. The term “generic” is more outdated than the 1980s bands Duran Duran and Whitesnake (yikes!)

In the study, which doesn’t list a date when it was conducted or when the results were released, said it “surveyed more than 500 shoppers to learn which generic brands they trusted the most, who (sic) had the best prices and quality, and which brands they preferred for products from body wash to ice cream.” Several news outlets, from Business Insider to Motley Fool to the Danbury (Conn.) News Times, picked up on the report this month.

The folks at, who probably still use Hotmail accounts for their email, need to do their due diligence on certain industries if they are going to issue such reports. While the study mentions some quality retailers and their store brands — from Costco Wholesale to The Kroger Co. to Trader Joe’s to Publix — it doesn’t cite the painstaking effort and time the retailers applied to make these products their own.

Instead, uses as a term that was used back in the days of big hair (the study does use “store brands” a few times in the report, but too little too late after seeing the word "Generic" in big bold type in the headline). Also, the report ranks Albertsons as No. 10 overall in the study and Safeway as No. 11 overall. Both offer the same store brands because they are owned by the same company — Albertsons Companies!

For what it’s worth, click here for the results of the study.





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