Generic Brands, Premium Label Upgrades


When most people think of the term “generic,” other, less-pleasant terms come to mind. “Off-brand,” “second-tier,” and “cheap” are hardly the words most retailers want potential consumers to use when they think of store brand products. Still, these terms have long been used to describe generic products across many sectors of retail, from food and beverage to personal hygiene, and more.

Some Generic History

Historically, in every industry except perhaps pharmaceuticals, generics have been viewed as products that are similar to the national brand, just a little bit less. Only in times of economic downturn have consumers turned to generics en masse, then to abandon them again for national brands once times were better. However, today’s retailers are broadening the selection offered by their in-house brand labels and experiencing unprecedented growth in the process.

Today’s generics are no longer so generic; now promoted as “private label,” these products are no longer recognizable as a store brand. Grocery retailers in particular have found success with creating an in-house brand with premium ingredients and a premium feel – and sharing that label among a variety of products. It follows, then, that if these products are seen as “not your father’s store brand,” neither is their packaging.

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Premium Products with Premium Labels

Gone are the days of generic, inexpensive-looking packaging; today’s private label brands are giving consumers a reason to make the trip to their respective retailers. With good reason – one in every four products purchased within the US is now a private label product, so competition for the share of inexpensive, quality market share is fierce.

Recent trends in private label packaging include several premium upgrades, such as:

  • Elegant simplicity. While generics have traditionally relied on simplicity in packaging, modern private label brands do it much better. Simple elegant designs provide a direct contrast to the stark, cheap-looking labels of the past.

  • Category-specific. Retailers are giving products within the same category a unique, cohesive labeling scheme that serves to unite the category while introducing a more premium feel. In this way, private brands feel specific to the category, lending an air of expertise and quality.

  • Artsy vibes. Packaging as art is a trend that has infiltrated a number of different brand types, but, in 2019, it is providing private label brands with a fun, premium-looking aesthetic. Private label products with these artsy labels now have the personality needed to attract a consumer searching for a new brand.

Upgrade Your In-House Brand

While it’s true every brand can benefit from employing beautiful, trendy, modern labeling, private label brands need to pay extra attention to packaging to stand out among the sea of national and competing house brands.

Ready to explore the variety of custom labeling options available to upgrade your in-house brand? Call us at 800.537.9429 or request a quote today!