Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Is Weighing In on the Wal-Mart Hefty Issue a Cinch?

The talk of the past two weeks in the packaging industry has been a round of category trimming actions by Wal-Mart.  In an effort to consolidate & minimize its name brand offerings in the food packaging category, Wal-Mart has decided to send Hefty and Glad packing from its stores.

The actions taken are indicative of Wal-Mart's plan to streamline its name brand offerings & place greater focus on its value-brand, Great Value.  In an economy where people are spending less and shopping around for bargains, non-branded, value offerings are all the rage. Wal-mart added to its core customer base during the recession as middle income consumers looked for ways to pinch pennies.

Consumers are questioning the necesssity of brand names like never before. Retailers are pinching their vendor partners to produce the same quality goods with less, and in greater quantity. Upscale chains, like Target, are offering more club packs of non-toiletry & household items.

Is the shift toward non-branded,bulk products good for the American economy? As a company who sells non-branded consumer & industrial goods, Prism Pak has always given its customers great products for less.  Our reclosable zipper  poly bags, rival top names like Ziploc & Hefty. A case of 1000 4"x4" at $8.51 compared to 100 at $3.99.  Our 35 gallon Linear Low Density Trash liners are $19.29, but store bought brand names are almost double the cost for the quantity. This shift not only pinches pennies for consumers, but it allows greater market penetration of small to mid-size companies with products that lack the big advertising budgets, the large company overhead.

The flip side for consumers is that their old stand-bys may be falling by the wayside to generics. It may take some researching to find an acceptable substitute.  Big consumer products good companies may also be less willing to risk new product development dollars if the return on investment is low and once held dedicated shelf space is not available.

There is a happy co-existence somewhere between the land of generics and name brands!  Only time will tell who will have more land on their side of the fence.  Either way, consumers should come out big winners.