Woolworths’ “phantom brand” trick and treating you

If you have been shopping in Woolworths, you may have noticed two things. One, that the “home brand” label is

If you have been shopping in Woolworths, you may have noticed two things. One, that the “home brand” label is no longer available. The second thing that you might notice is that there are a bunch of new brands on the shelves.

It wouldn’t take you long to figure out that these are the home brand products with new packaging. Many experts have called out Woolworths for attempted to “trick” their customers. Gary Mortimer from the Queensland University of Technology told news.com.au “I came across a pack of grated cheese with the ‘Hillview’ brand and saw it was very sharply (well) priced”. Then he added, “And then I looked closer and realised it was from Woolworths.”

Woolworths has also removed it’s logo from other branded products and are calling those products “Gold.” “What Woolworths appear to be doing with this range is what we refer to as phantom brands, that’s brand that aren’t really national brands but supermarket private labels disguised as a brand,” Mr Mortimer stated.

Earlier this year Woolworths announced that it would discontinue the “home brand” range after feedback from customers. Mr Mortimer said, “For some consumers, private labels carry a stigma of being cheap and nasty”. He then added, “So developing a phantom brand, with no connection to a retailer, provides consumers with a product that looks like a national brand but still at a great price.”

It will be a great experiment for Woolworths if the new packaging does well without their logo; or if customers will continue to buy the products because they cost less no matter what the packaging is.

  1. Carol Paterson  

    Total GREED from this company, at least frequent flyer points are back.

  2. Brian Lee  

    This trick requires the maximum publicity to make shoppers aware of what is happening – its sneaky to say the least!

  3. “No connection to a retailer”?
    Come on, if the name “Woolworths” didn’t appear on the packaging somewhere, then the gullible consumers might be excused if they couldn’t work out something about the company’s involvement and who owns the brand.
    But, hang on, maybe the modern consumer is too dumb to work out that if “Woolworths” appears on the packet, then, just maybe, Woolworths has a finger in the pie somewhere and this is the same thing re-branded?
    Nah, that wouldn’t be right!

  4. paul manning  

    All Aldi products are phantom brands…as they say if you cant beat them join them

  5. Guy Flavell  

    What a load of hoo haa about nothing !!! The only thing that matters is that Woolies consistently keeps their prices competitive. As a battling old age pensioner I give a lot of credit to Woolies. Over the past three months I’ve received $120 reduction off my shopping bills under their new rewards system. Gee, this is just so helpful. The other day I had $3 in my purse but was able to buy $13 of essentials. Try doing that at Coles, IGA or Aldi !!!
    Plus, their half-price offers are fabulous and enable you to stock up on important items at terrific savings. And I bet most people happily utilise the 4c per litre petrol discounts too.
    So, why not give Woolies a break and some credit for offering a pretty good service for all

  6. Journalism is dead  

    Not sure about removing own brands, but could you remove your apostrophe from it’s.

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