FREE Breakfast at Publix!


Lakeland Florida based grocer Publix is once again running their Buy One National Brand, Get One Free Private Brand FREE promotion. I have written about this promotion before but I am always interested to see it return. As the relationship between national brand manufacturers and retailers evolves this is an example of either a shot fired or an interesting partnership.

Customers who buy the national brand will receive Publix brand products:


According to the Publix website: “We\’re so confident you\’ll like Publix brand products, we\’ll let you try ours for free.”

Publix Winn-Dixie

Winn-Dixie & Publix Grow Private Brands.

In this excerpt from a May 26, 2009, article in the Orlando Sentinel the newspaper takes a look at Private Brand growth, quoting the usual suspects. With some interesting details on Florida based grocers Publix and Winn-Dixie.


In tough economy, store brands are in demand

\"winnStore brands, once the ugly ducklings of the grocery-store world, have turned into swans. Demand for supermarket-label milk, snacks, paper towels and other generic products has ramped up because of budget-conscious consumers seeking the best deals in a tough economy.

The trend is evident at Publix\’s Lakeland dairy-processing facility, where dozens of products carrying the grocer\’s label travel on conveyor belts into crates and off to hundreds of stores.

The milk is trucked in by tankers, each carrying 5,600 gallons. Then, inside a maze of stainless steel, it gets pasteurized, mixed with flavoring and made into ice cream, yogurt and cottage cheese. And, of course, it\’s also poured into plastic bottles.

Production at the plant, one of three dairy facilities operated by Publix, has jumped 11 percent over the past year. In all, Publix says its store brands generally sell for 10 percent to 30 percent less than national labels.

\"winnThe trends could mean trouble for less-popular national brands.

\”Those No. 3 and 4 name brands are going to be in trouble,\” said Lisa Rider, vice president of retail marketing at Nielsen, during the company\’s recent conference in Orlando. \”Why does the retailer need to keep them?\”

Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous said customer preference dictates what products go on the shelves, and \”we haven\’t changed all that much in selection.\”

As it has emerged from bankruptcy and seeks to improve its image, Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie has made big changes in its store brands, including redesigned packaging.

Winn-Dixie continues to offer Thrifty Maid, the least-expensive of its brands, and its Winn-Dixie label. Winn-Dixie also has added premium products under the gourmet Winn & Lovett brand, using the company\’s former name from decades ago.

While some products, such as many of Publix\’s dairy foods, are manufactured by the supermarkets themselves, others are produced for the supermarkets by other companies.

Brous said the products go through rigorous testing to make sure they\’re of the same quality as national brands, which often produce the store brands anyway. For example, Publix paper towels are made by Georgia-Pacific, which manufactures Brawny, Sparkle and Mardi Gras brands. Its long-grain rice is made by Mahatma.

\”We are very proud of the standards that we set,\” Brous said.

Read the entire story

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Publix Trader Joes Wegmans

Wegmans, Trader Joe's and Publix Among the Best.

This April 6, 2009 press release from Consumer Reports details a survey they conducted on grocers, Although Private Brand is not specifically the topic the many of grocers who fared well are often recognized for their Private Brand programs.

Consumer Reports Survey Finds Wegmans, Trader Joe\’s and Publix Among the Best of 59 Grocery Chains
Changing shopping habits can slash grocery bills by as much as 46 percent; New tips to save big and avoid costly in-store mistakes

\"wegmans-sorbet\"PRNewswire – Shoppers found Wegmans and Trader Joe\’s supermarkets among the most satisfying chains to shop at according to Consumer Reports latest survey of the best national and regional grocery chains.

Consumer Reports asked 32,599 respondents about their experiences at supermarkets, super centers, or warehouse clubs in the past year. In total, Consumer Reports Ratings include information from 48,831 store visits.

Rounding out some of the other top-rated chains shoppers found to be very satisfying were Publix, Raley\’s, Harris Teeter, Fareway, Costco, Whole Foods Market, Market Basket, WinCo Foods, and Stater Bros.

Overall, grocers earned higher marks than in CR\’s last supermarket survey (2005) for service, checkout speed, quality of store brands, baked goods, and produce. But finding the perfect store was difficult. The few chains that were spotless, offered standout meat and produce, and had helpful and friendly staff and quick checkout earned only average scores for price, at best.

The survey found it\’s hard to find the perfect store. Respondents found Trader Joe\’s, Costco, Market Basket, WinCo, Aldi, and Sav-a-Lot, to be better than others at offering low prices. Wegmans and Whole Foods offered praiseworthy meat and produce and Wegmans, Trader Joes and Raley\’s earned high marks for service. On the other hand, the least expensive markets generally offered so-so perishables and service.

Walmart, the nation\’s largest grocer and the supermarket where the highest percentage of survey respondents shopped (14 percent), landed near the bottom of the CR\’s Ratings, with low scores for service and perishables. Target proved better than many chains but has only 200 locations with a full grocery store inside.

Respondents still had plenty to complain about. The biggest gripe was mostly about not enough open checkout lanes. Walmart was the worst offender: Half of the respondents who shopped there said that not enough lanes were open. Other leading gripes: congested aisles and out-of stock advertised specials. One-third of all respondents reported that they had switched stores, usually in search of lower prices.

Savvy Shoppers Can Slash Bills:
Consumer Reports found several growing supermarket trends including more visible value brands, expanded bonus-card programs, Web-site specials, longer sales, discount drugs, and more coupons, giving consumers greater opportunity to save. By doing a little homework and adjusting shopping habits, consumers can shave thousands of dollars off their yearly grocery bills.

Tod Marks, author of the Consumer Reports Tightwad Tod money-saving blog, found he could cut his bill by as much as 46 percent on the same 30 products at two stores over several days by changing his shopping strategies. First he impulse-shopped and it cost $288.26 for all 30 items. Then paying attention to price, Marks cut his cost significantly using different strategies: Savvy at supermarket: $166.22, Bulk Shopping at warehouse club: $156.16, Buying store brands at supermarket: $154.62.

Complete grocery store ratings on all 59 major national and regional changes, great everyday products more tips to save, and more on the latest grocery store trends are available in the Consumer Reports May issue or online at starting May 6, 2009.


FREE Publix Private Brand Products.


According to the Publix website they are once again offering their Private Brand products for FREE when you buy select matching national brand products. This appears to be a smaller version of the Publix Brand Challenge that they have run several times over the last couple of years.

In an article written by Mark Albright from the April 13, 2007 edition of the St Petersburg Times The full-blown promotion is discussed.

If Private Brands truly have the quality and value that they claim to have this is a promotion that makes a lot of sense.

Publix is betting you\’ll switch
The chain is so sure you\’ll like their brand, they\’ll give you one free.

\"publix-chips\"Publix Super Markets Inc. has the packaged-goods industry chattering about the launch of an unusual national brand comparison challenge.

Beginning April 26, the Lakeland-based chain will offer a buy-one-get-one-free deal for selected national brand products matched with the Publix label version of the same product.

It\’s an attempt to convince shoppers Publix brands are as good as popular national brand rivals sold on the same shelf at a 20 to 30 percent higher price.

The first week\’s products will include a 64-ounce container of Welch\’s grape juice, an 18.2-ounce box of Kellogg\’s Raisin Bran Crunch and 12-ounce package of Thomas\’ English Muffins. Buy one of them during the promotion and Publix will toss in its version free.

Grocers typically get up to 20 percent of their business from their own store brands, some of which are made by the same manufacturer but more often are not. In recent years most grocers stepped up the quality and promotion of their own private-label products as part of their chain\’s overall brand image. It\’s a trend some experts think corrodes the future of national brands.

Publix risks alienating some big vendors who typically bankroll much of supermarket ad budgets. But many customers loyal to the national brand will likely switch to the Publix brand.

\”As regards the relationship between Publix and national brands,\” wrote Liz Crawford, vice president of Minneapolis market research firm Iconoculture, on RetailWire, an industry Web site, \”let\’s just say that this doesn\’t make for cozy pillow talk.\”

Publix, a business that provides branded products access to its customers, sees the competition as healthy.

\”Ultimately, it\’s really all about providing the best quality products for our customers,\” said Maria Brous, Publix spokeswoman.

Publix tested the promotion last spring in 100 stores in Alabama and in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Enough shoppers switched to the Publix brand for the chain to expand the offer this spring to all 900 stores.


Publix: Everything tastes better with a Smile.


After the last two days of very lively debate over my posts on the Great Value redesign, I thought it would be interesting to take another look at one of the retailers that readers and myself have both referenced as best in class. Publix.

Last month I wrote a three part series on my trip to Publix and Dollar General:
What Do Publix & Dollar General Have In Common?
Publix & Dollar General: Chapter Two
Dollar General & Publix: The Final Chapter


Publix has not only created great designs but they have truly used their Private Brands as an extension of their brand. Each product reinforces and validates the retail brand in design, quality and value all the while injecting a unique sense of humor. The designs are clean, elegant and well proportioned, utilizing the white space to draw the consumer in, and creating clarity through their consistency.
Take a look at this great article from the New York Times Magazine written by Rob Walker written in 2006 it really demonstrates how a forward thinking focused retailer can innovate through private brand and both engage the customer and lead the industry.

Shelf Improvement

As store-brand, or \”private label,\” products have grown in popularity over the years, package design has been part of the story. The private-label message: This store-brand canned corn or box of aluminum foil is just as good as the nearby Green Giant Niblets or Reynolds Wrap (but cheaper). Thus the store-brand packaging tends to look like the famous-name product\’s packaging – simultaneously borrowing from the familiarity created by branding and trying to undercut its power. Imitation in this case is not a form of flattery but of subtle persuasion.


The private-label packaging strategy of Publix, an 878-store chain of groceries in several Southern states, is striking precisely because it eschews this familiar strategy. Instead of echoing brand-name designs, Publix\’s products have their own look: clean, clever and – with lots of white space and simple but crisp typography – vaguely upscale. This has won Publix praise not just from publications like Package Design Magazine and Private Label Buyer but also from HOW, a graphic-design business magazine, which named Publix \”in-house design group of the year\” in 2005.

Of course, Publix did not set out to win awards from design magazines but rather to win the attention of shoppers. Tim Cox, director of the company\’s in-house creative-service department, says Publix\’s house brands used to mimic the look of national brands; the problem was that imitation made the private-label stuff blend in. A breakthrough came with the conclusion that similarity was no longer necessary. For most consumers, the knee-jerk suspicion of \”generic\” products faded a long time ago.

Read the entire article.

So Publix is widely acclaimed for their branding and package design, I have shopped the stores many times and have always enjoyed the experience, overall a rousing success. It will be intriguing to see how Publix evolves and or changes over the coming years, these designs are at least five years old, if not older, will they stay the course or will they reinvent and lead the next five years.