Wal-Mart expanding store brand line from household cleaners and Oreo substitutes

Wal-Mart's great value line of products already includes over 5,200 items, offering savings to its customers on everything from paper goods to beauty products to snack foods. So in normal times, expanding the offerings by about 80 new products might not be the most headline-inducing news, except that these are not normal times. And store brand products are not the bland, cheap offerings they used to be (or were perceived to be).
So the fact that Wal-Mart is going to be offering new cleaning products, a new line of strawberry yogurt, teriyaki beef jerky, double-stuff sandwich cookies, thin crust pizza, crisper kids breakfast cereal, cage-free eggs, fat-free caramel-swirl ice cream and many other products is pretty big news. Business Week also examines the change and says that Wal-Mart will also be re-doing its logo on the Great Value line, which is the largest store brand line in the country, and reamping around 750 existing products.

Wal-Mart's touts its change with the data that 75% of shoppers say that the "current economic conditions" are playing a big role in their decision whether to purchase national or grocery store brands and that more than 77% agree that store brands are "as good as, if not better than, national brand products."

But the real reason to buy store brands is that the proof is in the price. A new study from the Private Label Manufacturers Association shows that you can save a full 30% when buying store brands versus the average price of a national brand. The biggest price differentials were on soda, aspirin, sinus spray and lotion, which averaged a 50 to 60% savings. Here's a sampling of the price differences:

American Cheese -- $3.99 --$2.99
Cold Cereal -- $3.09 -- $2.13
Frozen Pizza -- $7.16 -- $5.49
Maple Syrup -- $4.99 -- $2.99
Saltine Crackers -- $3.00 -- $1.50

The PMLA study was conducted over 8 weeks in a typical suburban supermarket in the northeast.

For more on bargain shopping see our 10 Best Ways to Get Free Stuff, and watch our video below on the frenzy over free stuff!
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