Business: No-Brand Groceries

"Standard" quality, low price

In 66 Chicago-area Jewel Food Stores, the items on one stretch of shelf space stand in drab contrast to the rest of the brightly colored, elaborately packaged brands. The cans and packages, in uniformly dull black, white and olive labeling, bear only the unadorned name of the product—corn flakes, tomato juice, applesauce—in blunt, stencil-like lettering. Yet these no-name groceries have become hot items, and they could herald a change in the way that Americans shop. Reason: prices of the generic-name groceries range 10% to 35% below those of comparable brand-name products, and even undercut Jewel's Cherry Valley and...

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