Are you prepared to give up your favourite brands forever? 152



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Aeroplane Jelly, Vegemite, Milo, Keens… There once was a time when a brand meant something. But as one of our supermarkets launches an enormous push of its own-brand products, it seems the only brands we’ll need to know are Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.

The Australian reports today that Coles has announced it it undertaking the biggest overhaul of its private label range since 2007 in an attempt to combat the growing threat of Aldi.

Instead of “Smart Buy” or “Simply Less”, all products will simply be labeled with Coles branding.

At the moment, private labels make up about 20 per cent of all supermarket brands, and that is projected to grow to 35 per cent of all food and grocery sales by 2020-21.

Ruslan Kogan, who produces cheap electronics, says most people like to believe they are loyal to brands but are more likely to act rationally when it comes to actually purchasing them; choosing a cheaper option if it’s available.

“A brand used to matter a lot more than it does today, and the reason for that is we have huge amounts of information at our fingertips. Twenty years ago I would’ve bought a Grundig or a Sony TV because I didn’t know much about TVs, but the brand meant quality product.

“These days you buy a TV, you know the specs of it. I bought a 42-inch, Smart LED TV. You probably even know the hertz. You could read a review of a brand you’ve never heard of from a tech expert and you’d be happy to buy that product.”

“I’ve got friends who work in FMCG, [fast moving consumer goods] and they tell me that the supermarkets are testing which brands matter and which brands don’t, and they’re finding there are very few categories that matter.

“They find if you walk into Coles and this brand of milk isn’t available, you’re happy to have any other brand of milk.”

Mr Kogan said that a visit to Aldi was easy way to see “which brands are very strong and matter”.

“You’ll see Nutella. You’ll see Coca-Cola. You’ll see Milo. A handful of brands. But when you’re buying chilli flakes, you don’t care if it’s MasterFoods or McCormick. Or salt and pepper, or flour, it makes no difference. That’s what the supermarkets have realised.”

While that might be bad for the small guys, he argued it “shows there was nothing they were really adding”.

Are you comfortable with the increase of supermarket-owned brands? Do you choose them over other brands if it means a cheaper product? 



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I will buy homebrand on some items but I don’t want homebrand Vegemite, or curry Powder, I want Keen’s, I also don’t want homebrand Milo. I will just shop elsewhere for those items

  2. I still like brands I know I do check because sometimes the home brand is supplied by the manufacturer anyway

    1 REPLY
    • Even if the home brand is manufactured or processed in the same factory, it often has the inferior produce, (i.e. seconds) while the brand name has the good quality produce

  3. Brand names mean nothing, most products on supermarket shelves come from the same manufacturer with different labeling, you can have two products from the same production line in different packing and people will always go for the more expensive brand name rather than home brand. I t just goes to show that brand names are all in the mind.

    2 REPLY
    • Beg to differ home brands generally have more sugars or salts and are more sloppy in consistency. My husband was buying no added sugar fruit jam home brand until I pointed out the first ingredient wasn’t fruit but another form of sugar unlike the branded one. Baked beans forget it shocking – but hey different tastes for different people.

  4. As much as I can I try to purchase home brand items, although now I can get the Rewards system. If we can save that’s a bonus for us.

  5. I look at where a product comes from. Always used to buy Golden Circle but now check tins as most of it comes from New Zealand. As for the statement about brands of milk, that’s ridiculous because if you need milk and the brand you normally buy isn’t there you buy whatever is closest to tie you over.

    3 REPLY
    • John Doody , you have it around the wrong way, last year the only Australian Dairy products available in China were from New Zealand but I believe the ban on Australian Dairy products has now been lifted or about to be lifted, There are no dairy products imported from China into Australia or New Zealand.

      1 REPLY
      • He is correct, much frozen fruit and veg that comes from NZ is grown in China and packaged in NZ THIS is what caused so much grief last year with toxic poisionings

  6. No, and my local Coles is stocking less and less of brands I usually buy – so it means one goes elsewhere. And Australian owned and manufactured is important to me, less and less I’m finding on the Coles shelves much to my annoyance.

  7. I want to choose what I buy not be forced to buy home brand cos there’s nothing else

  8. I buy very little no name products, but I have noticed there are more and more of these appearing on the shelves. Also have you noticed that a lot of products have risen in price at Coles and Woolworths. Just makes you wonder.

    1 REPLY
    • I agree Ellen – it seems that the price difference between no name brand and a known brand is minimal. I have tried no name brands and dont like any of it. The only thing I buy that is no name brand is salt and pepper…..

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