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House Brands
Private label products (or 'house brands') account for 18.1 per cent of all retail dollar sales in Australia. At Coles supermarkets they account for 32 per cent of sales, with a target of 40 per cent within the next few years. Woolworths is also looking to increase its private label sales.
House brands mean big profits for supermarkets. As major supermarket chains give more shelf space to their own brand items, name brand products are squeezed off the shelves. This means less choice, both for customers, with the disappearance of familiar brands, and for Australian farmers and manufacturers, who often find that they must sell through the supermarkets' own brands. They are forced to compete with cheaper, often heavily subsidised, foreign imports.
House brands encourage us to trust that 'cheap is best'. Their labels don't disclose the manufacturer, so consumers don't know whom their money is supporting.
Best choice - choose Australian-owned brands with a positive or 'No Information' rating as preference over house brands.
If buying a house brand, choose Product of Australia first, Made in Australia second. Avoid imports.