Wow, private labels have come a long way

Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, especially from Florence, is the best olive oil for use as a condiment, IMHO, and I spent an entire Saturday running around the city trying to find a store that sold some. After being disappointed in general by Trader Joe’s and Marvelous Market’s (local specialty food store) selection, and disgusted by Dean & Deluca’s hawking of 2005’s oil at $60/liter (olive harvest is in October, so there’s no reason that they shouldn’t have 2006’s), I decided to give up and get whatever they had at Giant (local mainstream supermarket) during my weekly trip - and later buy what I really wanted by mail-order. Apparently my tastes were too specific for me to find something locally.

I was absolutely floored, then, to find that Giant’s (upscale*) store brand has a line of Italian olive oils, and part of that line includes an oil labeled in large capped lettering “TOSCANO”. Thrice it reiterated that yes, we mean that this is actually from Tuscany and not “Tuscan-style” or some BS like that - and on the back it further specified that it was from Florence.

And it was good! The best I’ve had since I’ve imported oil from their myself. And it was under $10 for 500ml. I love it when the market comes around this way.

*yeah, they have an upscale store brand to compliment their standard store brand. Simply Enjoy. It sounds really corny (check out that patronizing copy - it really feels like they’re lying to you), but in my experience it’s good stuff.

I’ve been quite pleased, generally, with Publix’s store brands. I can’t think of anything I’ve gotten in their lines that I’ve been disappointed with, although of course if I want something specific I don’t buy generic. Also, the packaging is very attractive.

I agree. My girlfriend introduced me to Publix, and I like 'em: their products are clearly labeled, and usually have a neat little picture on 'em. She tells me to go to the store and pick up some “Beagles”, and I pick up tall kitchen bags. But she may call me enroute to the store and say “Make that weimereiners!” so I pick up the lawn & leaf bags instead.

Yeah, I like Publix. :smiley:

I found the craziest thing with the Publix labels: Publix Packaging, a blog by some design guy about their labels.

I like them too. Next time you’re in, visit the detergent aisle and find the Publix fabric softener sheets. The clothing pictured on the box matches the fragrance – the Mountain scent has a fishing vest and a VERMONT t-shirt on it, and the others are similar. Kills me every time I see it.

I’ve been recently impressed by Target’s Archer farms line. I haven’t actually tried a lot of their items (though I’ve no complaints about the ones I have) but I’ve noticed the packaging and “style” seems as though they are designed by someone with the same borderline OCD issues I have.

I love it when everything matches!

I came in to sing the praises of Archer Farms products. I go through a jar of their salsa almost every week, and they have many different varieties. At $3 for a 24-ounce jar, it’s a better bargain than almost any of the national salsa brands, better flavors (hot chipotle, medium-hot tropical fruit, salsa verde…), and better quality. Their potato and tortilla chips, dried fruit, cookies, crackers, sodas, sauces and marinades, and pretty much everything else are awesome as well, and usually great buys.

Publix products aren’t bad either (I like their yogurt flavors more than Dannon, for example), but it’s hard to beat Target’s Archer Farms.

I’ve never been disappointed in the quality:cost ratio of anything with the Kirkland Signature logo (Costco’s proprietary brand) on it, including a set of cookware I bought recently. It helps a lot that Costco’s return policy kicks ass, so I know if I buy it and am disappointed, it can go back, no questions asked.

Most of the time, I’ll buy the house label in the grocery store. It’s just as good as the name brand (sometimes, even better), and it is considerably cheaper.

Count me in as a lover of Kirkland and Archer Farms as well. Archer Farms crackers and cookies are by far the tastiest ones around, and cheap! Target is getting more of our business every month.

Wait, was it this set? I really, really want a new set, but every set I choose sucks.

Oh, and just to not completely hijack the thread, I love Archer Farms and Kirkland stuff as well. I don’t think we have Publix around here, though. But in general, I’m all for store brands, with a few careful exceptions (jarred pasta sauce immediately comes to mind.)

I totally forgot the Archer Farms! I love all their stuff, especially their Italian sodas and their dinner kits. The dinner kits are much better than the national brands, and they’re cheap too. The chips and dips are also awesome.

It’s a Southern thing – only FL, GA, TN, SC, and AL. Which is sad for you, cause the ice cream is wonderful too.

Somewhat inspired by this thread, and the fact that we were out of nearly everything here, I took a ride up to SuperTarget this afternoon and did the bulk of my grocery shopping. I discovered that there are actually two private label brands at Target, the aforementioned upscale-ish Archer Farms, and the more utilitarian Market Pantry line.

I’m very pleased with the selection of vegetarian and organic convenience foods in the Archer Farms line. I got a big box of frozen chile-and-cheese tamales for $4 (this is about $2 cheaper than the equivalent purchase at Trader Joe’s), a couple boxes of pierogi (cheaper than Mrs. T’s, a national brand) and some fancy bottled marinades for $2 each. The Market Pantry staples - butter, cream cheese, cereal and stuff like that - seem to be priced very reasonably too, about on par with Woodman’s or Meijer.

And they had a great selection of cheeses, too!

I just passed that blog around the workplace - it’s hilarious! And now I want fish sticks. He’d been waiting with baited breath for the vanilla wafers.

My wife used to work for a brand name bean canner (now defunct) who would run private label beans some time.

I grew up on A&P maple syrup. I shop at Safeway now - their store brand popcorn sucks, but their ice cream is as good as or better than Breyers and Dreyers which they also sell.

Last week when we didn’t have a kitchen sink we stocked up on Costco ready to eat stuff, and were very impressed.

I’ll also sing the praises of Giant’s private label stuff. Hell, yeah.

Yep, that’s the one! I’ve been sick most of the past week, so haven’t done that much cooking (and anyway, it’s hard to tell if the non-stick is really nice until it gets some wear and tear), but so far I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen. It has really nice weight to it, too, and is oven safe up to something like 450.

I really like a lot of Publix brand products, and I am especially amused by the aluminum foil packaging. Different sizes have different animals made out of aluminum foil; my favorite is the “moose” and the second runner up would be the “alligator.”

I’m also really amused that the trash bags are identified by a specific breed of dog sticking its nose inside the trash can. Too funny.

*Some of their products taste a lot better than the “brand name” stuff.

Man, I’d pay almost that for the saute pan alone! (I love a big saute pan - I do almost all our meals-for-four in my 14 inch skillet, but a straight sided saute pan with a lid is so much dreamier!) I do wish it wasn’t all nonstick, because no matter how good, it will give up the ghost eventually. But for some ogforsaken reason, non-nonstick anodized is so much more expensive than nonstick anodized. I’ll just have to reconcile myself to the idea that I’m not going to own one perfect set of pots and pans for the rest of my life the way my grandmother and mother have.

Publix is a great company. Wonderful store brands, fantastic selection of imported/organic/healthy/fresh/specialty stuff. I hear they’re fantastic to work for as well.

Re: Publix Packaging blog.

Mmmm, panda-wiches.