So those of us who tend toward the thrifty side are well acquainted with the “store brand.” Back in the day, these would have just been referred to as “generics.” I remember the Franks Grocery Store — the very one where my older than Dirt sister and her even older husband met back when the 80’s were a brand new decade and feathered hair was a sign of masculinity — had an actual “generic” aisle, where you could buy boxes of goods that were stamped with the product name prominently in black and white: Crackers. Spaghetti. Cereal. Corn Beef Hash.
Loading up your cart with the black and white generics was rather embarrassing, as if you might as well have written across your forehead, “WE ARE SUPER POOR!!!!” Of course, that was until people realized that generics were basically exactly the same as name brand stuff. Then, in an apparent effort to lure in a kindler, gentler generation of cheapskates, “they” devised an evil genius plan: store brands.
Now, not only has the stigma been lifted from buying the generic brand, but it’s pretty much encouraged. What used to be embarrassing black and white labels are now chic “private labels.” Nice. And you know them by heart. WalMart has “Equate” and “Sam’s Choice” and “Great Value.” You can pick up products labeled “Equaline” and “Farmstand” and “Shoppers Value” and “O Organics.” And nothing makes me happier than loading up my cart with these cheaper versions of the exact same name-brand items and watching the savings add up.
That said, I’m not real sure that everyone was paying close attention when someone suggested “Up & Up” as a name for a generic brand. Something tells me that when Target picked up this brand for some products sold in their pharmacy, maybe, just maybe, they didn’t really pay attention to what they were actually peddling:
Kind of creates a whole new meaning for the phrase, “product placement,” don’t you think? I’m just sayin’.