Well, by bottle of Natural Citrus Listerine says right on the label:
“This formula is not sold to any retailer as a store brand.”
My experience with generic products and “store brands” is that they are close approximations of the “real thing”, but formulated independently. In the case of Listerine-like, store brand mouthwashes, I’ve always noticed that they have a definite, less-pleasing aftertaste than actual Listerine. If they were merely watered-down Listerine, they would have the same aftertaste, but less of it. I’ve tried both Listerine and several store-brands in nearly identical bottles, and the difference is obvious.
For what it’s worth, people have been saying that “generic” products are brand-name products with the brand stripped off ever since generic products were introduced. “Generic cigarettes are really Camels without the picture of a camel on them.” “This store-brand macaroni & cheese is really Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in a plain box.”
No, no they’re not, any more than a Volkswagen with a fancy grill and a Rolls Royce hood ornament is really a Rolls Royce. When I worked many years ago for a now-defunct big shoe store chain, I met a number of people who thought our athletic shoes were really Reeboks with our brand on them. They weren’t - they just resembled Reeboks.
I don’t think that Warner-Lambert would look kindly on the OP’s usage of the term “generic listerine”. There is trademark sign behind the name on a Listerine bottle. If you think I am nitpicking then write them and ask their opinion or ask Bill Gates how he fills about “generic microsoft”, “generic windows” or any of his other trademarks.
As to the OP’s question, it would probably be better to ask a dentist or pharmistist. The truth probably is that Warner-Lambert is making it for Walgreens, Kroger and several others under their private brand names.
But that’s not always true. I worked in a water filter plant where we slapped a number of different brand names, including a “store brand” onto the same filters. I’ve had cousins and uncles who worked in food production factories where similar things happened - both brand and store names on the same product.
Sure, some generic/store products are obviously not the name brand, but that doesn’t mean that none are, or that - at least - they aren’t basically just as good sometimes.
My bottle of generic anti-septic mouthwash has the exact same active ingriedients, and amounts, and even the same amount of alcohol as Listerine. It works just as well. It may taste different, because the manufactorer’s have trouble getting the type/amount of flavourings Listerine uses, but it’s germ-killing power is identical.
Kroger/Winn-Dixie/Publix/etc. do not own Mac & Cheese factories. They do not own soap factories. They do not own lightbulb factories.
So how do they get “store brands” of these products? They contract with the market leader or market leaders to make some for them. The contract manufacturer makes some trivial changes to the taste or color to differentiate their flagship brand when possible, but the products are identical when it’s not possible, like with lightbulbs.
Kraft sells a steady few million boxes per month and Kroger gets two price points on its Mac & Cheese. Win/win.
No, the supermarkets probably don’t own their own lightbulb factory, but they may own their own dairy or bakery. So some private label goods are made internally, some bv the major manufacturers and some by companies that do nothing but produce private label products.
And even if a product is manufactured by a major company, it can still be quite different than the brand-name product, depending on the quality of the ingredients, the processing or the recipe. Some of the premium private label goods, like “President’s Choice,” might be as good as or better than some brand name goods. Remember that a big cost advantage of the private label goods is that the supermarket or Wal-Mart isn’t spending millions of dollars on a national advertising campaign for the brand.
If you look closely at the labels on a lot of generics there will be a disclaimer. My Safeway jug o’ blue minty-fresh mouthwash had one that read something like “This is not manufactured by the Listerine company”.
Sure it’s got the same active ingredients in the same amounts (although as previously posted maybe some slightly different flavoring) but it doesn’t roll off the Listerine factory floor. I assume at some point there was a lawsuit where Listerine claimed that stores were selling their generics by at least implying that they were bottles of Listerine with a store-brand label slapped on top.