I’ve been meaning to pose this question for a while now: who makes generic supermarket products?
This isn’t some Evening at the Improv, “what’s the deal with airline peanuts?” schtick, it’s just one more stab at understanding this crazy, labyrinthine, murderous American economy.
A few months back, I switched from a Brand Name shaving gel for the cheaper, no-name (well, “Supermarket Name Here” brand) shaving gel. The generic brand did the job just fine, but I did find it to be less thick and less foamy than the other brand. So I compared the labels on the cans, and noticed that nowhere on the generic can did it say who made it. The Brand Name proudly says that it’s made by Edge, while the generic just announces that it’s “distributed by” Safeway Inc.
Now, I have a hard time believing that Safeway Inc. owns the factories for all its generic products: shaving gel, breakfast cereals, toilet paper, soda, etc. Which leaves two options:
1) There exist companies that solely produce generic products and slap a label on them for whatever grocery store wants to sell a generic brand.
2) Brand name companies create parallel, but inferior, versions of their popular products and put grocery store logos on them for the generics. This way they sell all of the Brand Name products they want to people willing to pay the price, and also to people looking for cheaper alternatives, in a quasi-monopoly fashion.
Anyone know the answer?
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