How Do I Find Out Who Makes My Store Brand Products?

Twinsburg, OH, USA - January 17, 2015:  An assortment of grocery products, most of which carry the Trader Joe's brand name.
PapaBear / Getty Images

In lean, inflationary times like these, consumers often look to save money wherever possible. This is especially true at the grocery store, where no-name or in-store brands like Kirkland Signature, Great Value, Amazon Basics, Trader Joe’s, Cat & Jack and Simple Truth compete with the country’s food manufacturing giants for shelf space.

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Store brands are hotter than ever because, as CNET notes of its own findings, you can expect to save about 40% buying store-brand products as opposed to their brand-name equivalents. According to big data firm IRI, store brand purchases in the U.S. account for 21% of sales within the $1.17 trillion grocery industry.

Per How Stuff Works, “off-label” food items outsell brand name products three-to-one, according to Neilsen research. Speaking to Policy Genius, Jonathan Deutsch, professor of culinary arts and sciences, suggested consumers are enjoying a golden era for private label products.

As CNN Business claims, because retail or grocery stores don’t have to pay markup costs for advertising or distribution like major brands do, private brands can carry profit margins that are 20% to 40% higher than national brands.

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That doesn’t mean shoppers aren’t extremely loyal to certain name brands. A 2021 customer loyalty survey found that 97% of Americans responded that they are loyal to at least one brand.

But retail patrons are becoming as devoted to stores themselves, as well. For example, Kirkland has been synonymous with Costco for years and is one of its major keys to success. From pesto to jeans, maple syrup to gasoline, Kirkland’s range of products is massive — and its consumers are intensely faithful to the brand.

During the pandemic, when larger name brands were less available, customers turned to in-store brands to save money. As Mashed noted in a 2020 article, a survey by AlixPartners found that about 25% of shoppers had tried private-label brands for the first time at the beginning of the pandemic, and at least 30% of said off-label newcomers were panning on sticking with them.  

How Can You Find Out Who Makes Store Brands?

It’s no surprise that store brands are popular and attractive to customers lower on funds. However, it may be worth knowing your local store’s brand products — to see who is making them, how they differ from their brand name counterparts and, most importantly, to see where you may be able to generate huge savings on your grocery bill.

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Most times, a bit of sleuthing will provide the manufacturer information you seek. As The Dollar Stretch notes, if you want to track down who is making your favorite store brands, do a quick Google search, call the company’s 1-800 number listed on the product or e-mail the company. You may find your store manager knows a lot about what’s in stock, too. Ask, and they might provide some answers or clues.

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Or… you can do some deeper digging. As CNN Business reports, product recalls will provide a lot of information relevant to your brand identity search. CNN gives the example of a salad and vegetable recall by Dole last year that also listed private brands for H-E-B, Kroger and Walmart in its product withdraw listing.  

Product recalls can be easily found on the FDA and websites.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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