Publix Private Brand Tugs at Heartstrings

Lakeland, Florida base grocer Publix features its award winning Private Brand in the following commercial this fall. The long form commercial weaves Private Brand cameos throughout the engaging commercial that closes with a sentimental tug at the viewer’s heartstrings. This is nice creative that uses their iconic Private Brand to reinforce the retail brand and vice-versa.

A&P Consumer Reports Food Lion Publix Target Walmart

Consumer Reports: Private Brands On Top

Over the last few years I have written post after post that confirmed and reconfirmed that customers are not only choosing to purchase Private Brands but that they are making them their brands of choice. In an affirmation of that premise Consumer Reports released a study on Tuesday, Consumer Reports concludes that many private brands are as good as or better than national brands.

Private brand products can compete with their name-brand counterparts and save shoppers more than a thousand dollars a year on grocery bills, according to a new study from Consumer Reports. In 21 head-to-head taste match-ups, national brands won seven times, the Private Brand came out on top in three instances, and the remainder resulted in ties.

\”The study reaffirms that store brands are worth a try,\” said Tod Marks, senior projects editor for Consumer Reports. \”For a family that spends $100 a week on groceries, the savings could add up to more than $1,500 a year.\”

Consumer Reports\’ price study evaluated five supermarket chains and compared private- and name-brand prices for 30 everyday items at five chains, collecting a total of 283 price quotes.  Consumer Reports found the average savings with Private Brands was 30 percent, but shoppers saved as much as 52 percent on some items.

Private Label stigma
Although the savings are significant, some shoppers are still reluctant to try store-brand products, according to a Consumer Reports nationally-represented survey. The top reasons for those who don\’t buy store brands are: \”I prefer name brands,\” \”The name brand tastes better,\” and \”I don\’t know if store brands are as high in quality.\” Respondents 18 to 39 years old were particularly likely to question the quality of store brands.

Still, 84 percent of Americans purchased store brands in the past year, and 93 percent of store-brand shoppers said they would keep buying as many store brands after the economy recovers. Nationwide, store brands accounted for almost one of four products sold in supermarkets and a record $55.5 billion in sales last year.

Consumer Reports found nutrition similar for most of the tested products, despite the perception among 17 percent of survey respondents who said that \”name-brand foods are more nutritious.\” The most notable differences: Mott\’s applesauce has more sugar than Publix, Ore-Ida fries have more sodium than Jewel, and Kellogg\’s Froot Loops have 3 grams of fiber vs. 1 gram in Stop & Shop Fruit Swirls.

Shoppers are devoted to certain categories as well. Though they\’ll purchase store-brand paper goods and plastics, at least half of respondents rarely or never buy store-brand wine, pet food, soda, or soup. But Consumer Reports trained testers found that when it came to products like soup, the name brand didn\’t always reign:

  • \"\"Chicken soup: Food Lion\’s (36 cents per serving) Lotsa\’ Noodles soup beat out Campbell\’s Chicken Noodle (41 cents per serving) for having a little more intense flavor. Campbell\’s had oily broth, with fatty pieces of chicken.
  • Orange juice: Publix Premium won over Tropicana for having a bit less of a cooked flavor with slightly less bitter taste.
  • Hot dogs: America\’s Choice (A&P, $2.64 per package) beef hot dogs trumped Oscar Mayer ($3.65 per package) for their juicy and flavorful franks.

Name brands did win in seven of the categories, including mayonnaise, mozzarella cheese, and frozen French fries, but the majority of the match-ups found that the store brand and name brand were of similar quality. A tie doesn\’t mean the taste was identical. Two products may be equally fresh and flavorful, with ingredients of similar quality, but taste dissimilar because the recipe or seasonings differ. Some products that tied include:

  • Ketchup: Heinz ($2.76 per bottle) is spicier, while Target\’s Market Pantry ($1.174 per bottle) brand is more tomatoey.
  • Peanut butter: Tasters detected more deeply roasted nuts in Skippy (19 cents per serving), while Albertsons (15 cents per serving) has a hint of molasses flavor.
  • Potato chips: Both Lays (29 cents per serving) and Walmart\’s Great Value (15 cents per serving) have a nice balance of real potato flavor, fat, and saltiness.

Significant Savings
National brands are generally pricier than store brands, not so much because of what\’s in the package but because of the cost of developing the product and turning it into a household name.

There\’s no reason store brands shouldn\’t hold their own, since some companies manufacture both, including Sara Lee, Reynolds, 4C, McCormick, Feit, Manischewitz, Joy Cone, Stonewall Kitchen, and Royal Oak. Plus, most grocers offer a money-back guarantee if their products can\’t meet the consumer\’s expectations. (National brands stand behind their products too, of course).

Despite the savings, the price advantage may be narrowing. In recent years, some national-brand makers have lowered prices and stepped up promotional activities. The full results on how all the brands stacked up, Consumer Reports\’ study are available in the October issue on newsstands September 7 and online at

2010 Publix

PB CAREERS: Private Label Specialist, Corporate Quality Assurance – Publix

\"\"Private Label Specialist, Corporate Quality Assurance – Lakeland

Location: Lakeland, FL
Job ID #: 3535
Functional Area: Quality Assurance
Employment Type: Full Time – Regular
Work Hours: 45 hours or more per week, primarily Mon. – Fri.
Minimum Base Pay: $3,225.00
Maximum Base Pay: $4,855.00
Potential Annual Pay with Bonus: $41,925 – 63,115
Education Required: Bachelors Degree

Position Description

  • Acting as the lead subject matter expert for food safety and product quality relative to Publix brand products
  • Effectively executing and participating in all aspects of the speed to market process of Publix brand products, including category reviews, line extensions, evaluations, and reformulations.
  • Providing effective oversight and direction for the evaluation of suppliers of procured Publix brand products
  • Initiating and maintaining product specifications, certification audits and detailed information of Publix brand products and suppliers
  • Continuously improving the quality and operational effectiveness for the CQA private label team
  • Providing leadership and assistance for the private label quality control laboratory

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree of science in food science, microbiology, or public health
  • Three or more years experience in a retail or manufacturing environment
  • Must have a valid driver license and maintain and excellent driving record
  • Knowledge of food production and processing
  • Ability to research science that may apply to current products
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent organization and time management skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Ability to think outside the box
  • High degree of self-motivation, commitment, and integrity
  • Ability to perform sensory analysis on products (taste, texture, etc.)
  • Professionalism
  • Willingness to continuously further knowledge of the food industry
  • Must have good human relations skills
  • Show enthusiasm, initiative, and pride in work and a
    • Commitment to Publix and our Mission

Preferred Qualifications

  • Five or more years experience in a retail or manufacturing environment
  • Sensory and organoleptic certification
  • Knowledge of Publix structure and Knowledge of company and business area policies and practices.


  • Employee stock ownership plan that contributes Publix stock to associates each year at no cost to you
  • An opportunity to purchase additional shares of our privately-held stock
  • 401(k) retirement savings plan
  • Group health plan (with prescription benefits)
  • Group dental plan
  • Group vision plan
  • Sick pay
  • Long-term disability pay
  • Company-paid life insurance (with accidental death & dismemberment benefits)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Vacation pay
  • 6 paid holidays (can be used on other days)
  • Free hot lunches (buffet-style) at facilities with a cafeteria
  • Paycheck direct deposit
  • Credit union
  • Access to over 50 discount offers including on computer, vehicle and wireless purchases.

Year End Bonus
One month\’s pay (pro-rated in the first year) if associate remains employed through December 31.



Publix Puts Lunchables on Notice.

\"\"Lakeland, Florida based grocer Publix is launching Private Brand pre-packaged kids meals that compete in the otherwise Private Brand free category and taking on national brand giant Oscar Meyers ubiquitous Lunchables. However these meals are made fresh in the deli and designed to tuck neatly into kid\’s lunchboxes.

Beginning July 29, the Publix Deli will offer five fresh, ready-to-eat kids meals for $3.99. Each meal consists of an entrée, two sides and a drink. The featured selections include:

  • Chicken tenders — Publix Deli chicken tenders on a honey wheat roll, mini carrots, kid’s yogurt and fruit drink
  • Ham sandwich thins — Publix tavern ham on a wheat sandwich thin, mini carrots, kid’s yogurt and apple juice
  • Peanut butter apple wrap — creamy peanut butter with apples in a multigrain wrap, string cheese, mini carrots, kid’s yogurt and fruit drink
  • Peanut butter rolls — creamy peanut butter on a honey wheat roll, string cheese, apple sauce, mini carrots and fruit drink
  • Turkey rolls — Publix oven roasted turkey breast on a honey wheat roll, apple and grape packet, mini raisins and organic white milk

“Our customers look to us to provide meal solutions, and finding nutritious meals for their children is no exception,” said Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations. “Whether as a solution to back-to-school meal planning or for families on the go, our new Publix Deli kids meals are the perfect solution to the question of ‘What’s for lunch or dinner?’.”

The deli worked with Publix’s in-house registered dietician to ensure each meal was balanced, wholesome and nutritious. The Publix Deli kids meals are made and packaged fresh daily in the store’s deli department and cannot be customized.


Private Brand is GreenWise at Publix


Florida based grocer Publix has long been known for its elegant white Private Brand products under its eponymous house brand, in 2005 their in-house design team won the InHouse Design Group of the year and the following year were featured in an article in the New York Times Magazine titled Shelf Improvement. Unfortunately there is not a Publix in Charlotte, so when I travel to a Publix market I make sure to spend some time browsing the aisles. Their white design has stood the test of time and is, in my mind; still one of the best examples of modern European influenced white Private Brand design. However over the last year the barbarians have invaded the gates and design that was once new and fresh is on every shelf at the local Walmart, Target and Dollar General, white is everywhere!

So I can’t help but wonder what is next for these American Private Brand groundbreakers.


So beyond the white the biggest impact when I walked the store was the expansion of their natural and organic brand Greenwise. What was once a small brand has expanded to be a visually compelling and powerful brand reaching throughout the store. With products ranging from fresh chicken to charcoal Publix has taken the notion of a natural and organic brand to the next level. The packaging is distinctive and engaging particularly in contrast to the house brand. It is clearly positioned as a quality option even when merchandised next to Publix Premium products.

With the economic recovery hovering at the horizon Publix and Greenwise should be well positioned to take advantage of increased spending, improved consumer confidence and our need to better take care of our families.