The commissary is a consistent source of quality products at good prices. Shoppers know that they will be able to find the essentials, like milk and bread, as well as specialty products, like German potato dumping mix or Korean chili paste.
Now the commissary has even more value in store as they continue to roll out their store brand products.
Private Label Price Perks
Store brand, also called private label, products are offered at lower prices to customers. Stores offer brands developed in-house or through labels created with their retail suppliers. This helps to cut out the middleman and provide quality products at lower prices.
Major grocery retailers, like Giant, Walmart and Target, have offered private label products for years. These brands often span the spectrum of grocery items and dry goods, like toilet paper or disposable plates and utensils.
Recent surveys and studies indicated that commissary patrons were shopping off base in order to take advantage of sales and lower prices on store brands at major retailers. Approximately 20% of sales at these retailers involved their own private label brands.
3 Brands for All Commissary Products
The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) has produced 3 store brand labels, with their private label supplier SpartanNash, to encompass different major product types.
Freedom’s Choice is for food items. Right now, many commissaries are carrying bottled water and cheese under the Freedom’s Choice label. Other items available at stateside commissaries include cheese, rice and dry beans, shelf-stable juices, water enhancers and powdered soft drinks,
HomeBase is for non-food products, like household items and cleaning supplies. Commissaries are currently selling HomeBase brand paper plates and trash bags. Some stateside commissaries are also stocking foam and plastic plates, paper towels and bath tissue.
TopCare products cover medical and first aid products, dietary supplements and beauty needs. Many stores already have TopCare antibiotic ointment and acid reduction medication on the shelves. TopCare is not a DeCA exclusive brand.
Quality and Price
The commissary stands behind their new store brands, with rigorous testing to national standards. All edible products meet or exceed USDA wholesomeness standards. All products undergo extensive testing for quality and performance, according to the FAQ section on Commissaries.com.
Each product features a money back guarantee on their label.
TopCare, HomeBase and Freedom’s Choice are offered at prices that are competitive with national brands and products.
Many stateside commissaries are already stocking many Freedom’s Choice, HomeBase and TopCare products. Approximately 400 products were anticipated to be on CONUS store shelves by the close of 2017.
Overseas commissaries are approximately 6 weeks behind stateside stores in stocking in-house brands on their shelves. This is due to time delays as a result of shipping products to military bases in Europe and Asia.
Products will continue to be added to the 3 core store brands over the next few years. DeCA’s goal is to produce 3,000 to 4,000 products in the Freedom’s Choice, HomeBase and TopCare lines.
As products continue to roll-out, the items available will vary between commissaries. This is based on size and location of individual stores. As noted, OCONUS commissaries will see new commissary brand items about 6 weeks after they appear in stateside stores.