Commissary Adding 'Value' Tags to Generics


The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) has directed their stores to add "value" tags to products in their off-brand lines or put them in special displays in an effort to highlight the lower prices.

By law, DeCA does not carry a true generic "commissary" brand. However, they do carry lower cost off-brand items. For example, the Ralston brand of cereal, Presto food storage bags and the Blue Bunny brand of ice cream are often cheaper than the typical name brands like Kelloggs or Bryers, the same way a Safeway or Publix store-branded item would be cheaper than the name-brand.

While officials said the roll-out of tags, displays and prices will start in December, some stores have already implemented the changes.

Unlike a true generic store brand, every value brand in the commissary has a different label. Still, commissary officials hope to unite them in shoppers' minds under the "value brand" banner.


As part of the effort to highlight the value items, commissary officials have worked with manufacturers to lower the prices of those brands. By law, the commissary must sell goods at cost and cannot set its own prices or run sales unless the lower price is offered by the manufacturer.

Officials said the value brands cost an average of about 25 percent less than similar items, including the generic, found in typical civilian stores. Patrons may even see items up to 50 percent less, they said.

"We are rolling out a renewed program that will offer consistent, quality, everyday low-cost pricing on name brand products equal to or better than private label items in commercial stores," Joseph Jeu, DeCA's director and CEO said in a release. "In essence, we are a making a good deal of a commissary benefit even better."

Officials plan to reevaluate what is included in the value brand inventory every six months, they said.

"Every six months, patrons may see products added or subtracted to DeCA's Value Brand inventory based on price, sales performance and market changes," the release said.


Photos by Military.com.

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