For the first time in its history, private label items will be found in your military commissary.
Commissary shoppers know (and often complain) that generic products aren’t available at the commissary.
If you want ketchup, you buy Heinz.
If you want oatmeal, you buy Quaker Oats.
If you want cola, you buy Coca-Cola or Pepsi.
The same quality for a lower price product often referred to as a generic brand, like the Best Value brand found at Walmart stores or the Market Pantry brand in Target stores, isn’t an option at your commissary. There isn’t a store brand for DeCA.
Soon that will change.
The Defense Commissary Agency selected MDV SpartanNash LLC to be its first private label supplier.
“We are excited that DeCA has selected us to support this important initiative, and to provide commissaries with private label products for the first time in their history,” said Dennis Eidson, SpartanNash CEO and Chairman of the Board in a press release.
“This partnership will provide military families with quality options and the opportunity to stretch their food budget. Many of our active duty and veterans are on a limited income, and their military benefit provides savings which are key to meeting their families’ food and household needs. Patriotism is one of our core values, and we are extremely proud to serve our nation’s service members, their families, and military partners around the world,” Eidson said in the press release.
Starting in May, commissary shoppers will see private label items on the shelves in their stores. DeCA officials said the plan is to introduce an initial assortment of 400 items in commissaries worldwide in May 2017. The amount of private label products will be gradually increased with the goal of 1,000 available at commissaries by the end of 2017.
DeCA’s director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu said he is excited to bring private label products to military families.
“They are smart, savvy shoppers who know that private label products are cost-effective alternatives to national brands. We’re excited to help them save more at our commissaries,” he said in a press release.
DeCA reported that 60% of commissary patrons said they would be interested in a DeCA private label.
“Our customers have been asking for private label for a long time,” Jeu said.
Customers aren’t the only ones asking for private label products. Congress had a hand in this decision too.
The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) nudged DeCA to explore the option of private label products. DeCA has been researching ways to keep the commissaries open with less federal funding. The private label brand is only option out of many that DeCA is exploring in the next year.