Local Shoppers Choosing Generic Over Name Brands

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA--Of the customers NewsWest 9 spoke to at the Odessa HEB, store brands were the obvious choice. As we found out, when you compare one to the other, there really isn't much difference between them, except for the price.

"Pretty much everything we have, there is some kind of a private label or owned brand or store brand item that matches it," Store Manager, David Dowd, said.

In attempts to hang on to their hard earned money, shoppers at HEB in Odessa have started to shy away from the more expensive national brands and buying store brands.  Dowd explains, "With the economy slowing down, we are seeing a trend where customers are buying more of the budget labels in our store."

With a potential savings between 10 and 30%, why wouldn't they?

"If you look at the back of the ingredients of the national brand versus the store brand, they'll be identical.  They're exactly the same item," Dowd said.

A common myth about generic or store brands is quality and taste.   Shoppers NewsWest 9 spoke to like Odessan Rita Davis, don't have a problem with either, "I like the HEB brands, because they taste the same and they save money.  So, I'm all over that."

Others have different reasons for the switch to save money. Mother of 5, Janie Lopez says, "It's just me, a single mom.  I've got a house to pay, my bills to pay, Pampers, and all that stuff too, so I have to be on a tight budget."

While retired Seminole resident Roger Pool says, "I buy store brand most of the time because with a fixed income, you're going to want to save as much as you can."

Dowd tells NewsWest 9, customers are buying these grocery items almost as fast as store employees can stock the shelves, "We are ordering more of the HEB brands.  We're putting more of them out on display, because there is a bigger demand on it."

The folks NewsWest 9 spoke to said, even when the hard times get better, they will more than likely keep buying store brands.    As Rita David put it, "If you can save and get the same taste, why not?"