Defense Commissary Agency to Re-Energize Commissary Value Brand

Commisary Value BRandIn response to growing customer demand for products comparable to the low-cost private label items sold in civilian stores, the Defense Commissary Agency is re-energizing an “old friend” known as Commissary Value Brand.

Starting in December, commissaries worldwide will highlight about 300 Value Brand products in 33 categories such as frozen vegetables, pizza and entrees; pet foods; health and beauty care; cereals; cleaning supplies; soft drinks; coffee; canned fruit, soup and fish; disposable lunch and storage bags; condiments and more.

The average savings for Commissary Value Brand items will be about 25% when compared to the store brand and private label items found in commercial retail stores, said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. In some instances, savings will be as much as 50%.

“We are rolling out a renewed program that will offer consistent, quality, everyday low-cost pricing on name brand products equal to or better than private label items in commercial stores,” said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. “In essence, we are a making a good deal of a commissary benefit even better.”

Now when customers venture into their commissary they will see select items on the shelf identified by an orange “Value” sign. They will also see posters, banners, buttons and danglers that point the way to these extra savings.

The resurgence of the Commissary Value Brand comes as more and more customers are asking their commissaries to have products at prices similar to the private label savings they see off post, said DeCA Sales Director Tracie L. Russ.

“We first began what was then known as the ‘Best Value Item’ program 14 years ago, and now the time is right for a comeback,” Russ said. “Over the years, what we called BVI took on many forms and eventually splintered into many individual savings venues. Today, we have once again gathered the best of the best under one ‘Commissary Value Brand’ sign.”

Russ said this program wouldn’t be possible without the agency’s industry partners – manufacturers, vendors and suppliers – whose representatives worked with her category managers to identify the brands from industry proposals that best met the Commissary Value Brand criteria. Every six months, patrons may see products added or subtracted to DeCA’s Value Brand inventory based on price, sales performance and market changes.

“Those products are subsequently guaranteed to be on our shelves at everyday prices for a minimum of six months that’s consistently equal to or lower than the store brand and private label products downtown,” Russ said.

Commissary patrons looking for Commissary Value Brand items will see new shelf signage and, in some instances, special displays. Shoppers who venture on DeCA’s website, commissaries.com, or stay tuned to the agency’s social media outlets, especially Facebook and Twitter, will also be able to get a heads up on value deals before they hit the store.

In addition to Commissary Value Brand items, shoppers will continue to see biweekly promotions and other special sales that offer targeted discounts.

However, when it comes to comparing prices with commercial store brand or private label products, the Commissary Value Brand will take savings to a consistent, everyday low price, Jeu said. “Some things never go out of style and our Commissary Value Brand program is one of them,” he said. “So we’re dusting it off, giving it a new look and bringing back even more savings for our service members and their families who’ve earned this benefit.”



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.