The Lowdown on Private Label Store Brands


Have you ever wondered who makes private label store brands?

And did you wonder if these non-name brands were worth buying?

For example, I never have a problem buying Kirkland brand products, which are the private label from Costco.

I’ve discovered that Kirkland, the Costco store brand, makes better strawberry preserves than Smuckers.

In addition, they make better semi-sweet chocolate chips than Hershey or Nestle do.

And they sell these store brand chocolate chips in a five-pound bag.

They last for months.

After writing about dollar store hacks and food expiration dates, plus my Giant food taste test, I figured it was time to dive down a store brand’s private label rabbit hole.

So I did some digging on popular store brands and you may just be surprised what I’ve learned about them.

So, read on for the lowdown on private label store brands of food you can buy.

Finally, a big plus–the generic version is often way cheaper than the name brand version.

Looking for private label clothing brands? This article covers that.

What are the private label store brands at major retailers

Here I’ve outlined the most popular retailers and many of their private label brands.

If I have intel on where they’re produced or who makes them, I’ve shared that, too.

Target store brands

The two Target private labels I’m most familiar with are Market Pantry and Good and Gather.

Previously, Good and Gather was Archer Farms.

I felt confident trying out these Target store brands because I’d always had a good experience with another Target private label brand–Up & Up.

That’s the one the store uses for health and beauty products.

For example, I’ve found that Up & Up cleaners were on par with the Method brand.

Not surprisingly, they’re much cheaper.

Most recently, we’ve bought and eaten Good and Gather salsa and Greek yogurt.

And let me tell you this: the Good and Gather Greek yogurt is just as good, if not better, than the expensive brands like Fage or Chobani.

You can use certain Good and Gather tea products to recreate Starbucks secret menu drinks at home.

Newest Target store brand

Then this week I picked up ice cream from a new Target brand. It’s called Favorite Day.

I’ve found that Target brands are priced about $3 per container less than the brand name.

That’s huge.

Don’t miss out on Target Circle Week deals for Target Circle members exclusively on Target store brands.

vertical good and gather private label targer

Walmart store brands

Two of the most common Walmart store brands are the Great Value private label brand as well as Equate.

Equate is for health and beauty products.

For instance, Equate ibuprofen relieved my headache pain as well as brand names like Motrin and Advil.

On the food side I haven’t had any issue buying the Walmart store brand for food–Great Value brand.

In our pantry we have Great Value flour and sugar, and Great Value butter in the refrigerator.

FYI, the Great Value coconut fudge caramel cookie is just as good as Girl Scout cookies.

Also, because Walmart owns Sam’s Club, I’m told you can find Great Value products at Sam’s Club, too.

And, I’m guessing, in bulk sizes you can’t find at Walmart.

Malt o Meal cereals

Malt o Meal isn’t a Walmart brand, per se, but you can buy it at Walmart along with other supermarkets.

We’ve purchased it at our local Giant Eagle, too.

Anyway, these oversized bags of Malt O Meal cereal are now our preferred brand of cereal.

The Cocoa Puffs knock off might just be better than the original, and the frosted shredded wheat is simply delicious.

FYI, I’ve discovered that Malt o Meal is actually a Post cereal brand.

So the parent company is Post, which makes Grape Nuts among other cereals.

But when it comes to Malt o Meal bags of cereal, they are way cheaper than the brand names and, as I said, they are delicious.

Amazon private label brands

It’s probably no surprise that one of Amazon’s private label brands is AmazonBasics. You’ve probably seen it show up in search results quite often. I know I have.

Here is a link to the AmazonBasics store.

Over on the food side, there is the AmazonFresh brand, like the K cups I’ve used in my Keurig machine.

Safeway store brands

The best-known Safeway store brand is called Signature Select.

However, what you may not realize is that Safeway is part of the Albertsons family of supermarkets.

Albertsons owns these brands:

So, you may see some crossover on store brands throughout the Albertson’s family.

Also, I’m told that Signature Select chocolate mint cookies taste just like Girl Scout cookies.

Kroger store brands

Like Albertsons and Safeway, you’ll see crossover in Kroger store brands with the other supermarkets in the Kroger family of stores.

For example, the best known Kroger store brand is Simple Truth.

It includes Simple Truth Organic.

The Kroger Company Family of Stores includes:

  • Baker’s
  • City Market
  • Dillons
  • Food 4 Less
  • Foods Co
  • Fred Meyer
  • Fry’s
  • Gerbes
  • Jay C Food Store
  • King Soopers
  • Kroger
  • Mariano’s
  • Metro Market
  • Pay-Less Super Markets
  • Pick’n Save
  • QFC
  • Ralphs
  • Ruler
  • Smith’s Food and Drug

Costco store brands

The best known Costco store brand is the Kirkland Signature.

Some of the Kirkland Signature products are excellent organic options.

In fact, did you know that Costco is the largest retailer of organic products in the U.S.?

It’s so easy to buy organic food at Costco.

And, frankly, it’s more affordable than other stores selling organic products. 

Here are ways to save money on organic groceries.

Aldi also does a good job of having great prices on organics.

More about Aldi shortly.

Back to Kirkland Signature, though.

You may be wondering if these popular private label products are from someone other than Costco.

And in some instances, the answer is yes.

There are definitely store brands made by name brands when it comes to Costco Kirkland Signature food items.

For example, it says that packages of Kirkland Signature whole coffee beans say “Roasted by Starbucks” right on the bag.

I confirmed this on my recent trip to Costco, when I took this picture.

I wrote about this topic of Costco brands for Food Drink Life. In that article, I confirmed that Costco tuna fish is from Bumble Bee and Kirkland Signature cranberry juice is from Ocean Spray. 

Here are additional tips on how to save money on organic produce.

Costco Membership Deal

Please be sure to take note of the coupon code (CJPROMO) with this membership deal. And please make sure you enter that promo code at checkout. Otherwise, you won’t get the freebies and incentives mentioned here.

Terms and Conditions

  • To receive a Digital Costco Shop Card, you must provide a valid email address and set up auto renewal of your Costco membership on a Visa® card at the time of sign-up.
  • If you elect not to provide a valid email address and sign up for auto renewal, a Digital Costco Shop Card will not be emailed.
  • Valid only for nonmembers for their first year of membership. Not valid for renewal or upgrade of an existing membership.
  • To qualify as a new member, an existing Costco membership must be expired at least 18 months or more. Limit one promotion per household.
  • Digital Costco Shop Card will be emailed to the email address provided by the primary member at time of sign-up within 2 weeks after successful sign-up and enrollment in auto renewal.
  • Costco is not liable for incentives not received due to entry of an invalid address during sign-up.
  • *Use the provided single-use promo code when entering your payment information. (Note: You will see a $0.01 deduction on your membership cost after the promo code is entered. This indicates that your promo code has been successfully processed so your incentive will be emailed.)
  • New members will not receive the promotion if the provided code is not entered at checkout when purchasing the membership.

So, don’t forget to use the coupon code (CJPROMO) with this membership deal.

Weis private brands

Weis Markets, which has 197 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia, has a small cadre of private store brands.

They are Weis Quality, Weis By Nature and Weis Organics products.

Stop and Shop store brands

Ahold Delhaize is the parent company of Stop and Shop, Giant Foods, Food Lion, Hannaford and many more supermarkets.

Therefore, you can expect to see similar or the same private label store brands at all of these stores under the Ahold Delhaize umbrella.

The store brand our family tends to buy the most here is Nature’s Promise.

It’s their organic store brand.

For us it’s an affordable way to add organic food to our menu without spending more–just like Costco helps us to do this.

vertical private label store brands

Aldi store brands

aldi store front

Whenever I shop at Aldi stores, it feels a lot like shopping at Trader Joe’s.

That is, most of the products sold in the store are brands you may not be familiar with.

That’s because most are a private label brand or brand exclusive to that store.

However, if you’re like me, you’ve had such a positive experience with the products you’ve bought there before that brand name doesn’t matter.

That being said Aldi (also like Trader Joe’s) does have brand name products from time to time.

But mostly you’re dealing with Aldi store brands, such as Friendly Farms.

That’s the brand of Greek yogurt I always get there. 

There is a very long list of store brands at Aldi, but the most common you’re likely to see are these three:

  • Live G Free
  • Simply Nature
  • Earth Grown

Dollar store brands

Even some dollar stores have store brands.

For example, here is a list of some of the Dollar General store brands:

  • Clover Valley
  • true living
  • DG baby
  • Comfort Bay
  • Smart and Simple

Family Dollar, now part of the Dollar Tree family, has private label store brands of its own.

This includes: 

  • American XT
  • Ashland Farms
  • Catawba Candy
  • Chestnut Hill
  • Daxton
  • Eatz
  • Extremely Me
  • Family Chef
  • Family Pet
  • Handyline
  • Highland Originals
  • Homeline
  • Just Be
  • Modesa
  • Outdoors by Design
  • Silver Falls
  • Tropic Sun

FYI, you can use Instacart to shop at Family Dollar.

Private label store brands made by name brands

Most retailers keep their manufacturing partnerships close to the vest.

So, I wasn’t able to find any first-source information about who actually makes the private label products you might buy at your favorite food store, except those I mentioned in the section about Kirkland Signature at Costco.

However, it seems that bargain stores like Aldi’s may subcontractor some of their private labels to factories that General Mills and Post Cereals own.

I’ll keep digging.

Also, I learned that big brands like Target have set up their own manufacturing facilities for their private labels.

So, it does not appear they are outsourcing to major brands to help them get their products onto store shelves.

Of course, if I come across new information–or you find details about this topic and share with me–I’ll be sure to update this article.

Finally, in case you didn’t know, the only real differences between store brand and name brand foods is often packaging and advertising budgets.

That is, private label brands don’t have to spend millions advertising their products outside of the stores where they are sold.

Therefore, they can pass along the savings to consumers like you and me.

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