Homebrand vs Select Brand
Granted, I don’t shop much at Woolies any more, for a number of reasons, but earlier tonight we dropped by because we were out of paracetamol. Generic is our preferred option for drugs of any kind; we’ve never had a reason to need a specific brand. I know some people do for reasons and that’s cool, but it’s not something we’ve ever needed.
As you may have heard, Woolies are dumping their Homebrand label and remaking everything as Select brand. If you believe articles such as this one, then they aren’t changing anything other than the packaging. Keep that in mind, then observe the photo I took tonight:
Both of these packs are 20 packs of paracetamol. Homebrand is $1.04 and Select brand is $3.29. Their unit pricing is even on the label; Homebrand 5c per tablet and Select brand 16c per tablet.
That’s a pretty damn big increase in price for nothing but the packets changing.
I thought I would ask Woolies about it:
They were very quick to respond.
I’d like to know how a base product is completely different, personally.
Like I said in that post I linked to above, I largely gave up on shopping at Woolies because I kept finding prices creeping up and I got sick of both it and their really slow cash registers. It’s not exactly a secret that Woolies isn’t going well financially, so changes to increase revenue are clearly on board. And to some degree, Woolies need to make more money.
Who seriously thinks Coles will stay cheapish (or so I find them to be) if Woolies goes out of business and Coles becomes a monopoly? Not me.
The issue I have with Woolies is that they increase some prices (sizzle steak was the last straw for me, I don’t have any photos though – I used to buy it for making beef jerky but it kept going up in price so I stopped buying it) and then I think they had some trolley/ad/signs in their stores talking about what was cheaper now than a year ago (or whatever time period it was).
The bigger issue is that I was suspicious for a while that there was no difference between Homebrand and Select brand products – apart from the package and price. Tonight was a stark example of it and one that I think is worth noting given the announcement of getting rid of Homebrand. Grocery budgeting can be a hard one to manage, and if this is an example of what is to come, then I think if you shop at Woolies you might want to be keeping an eye on your budget for a while to make sure that you are still getting the value for money that you expect – whatever mix that might be for your household.
Do you have a preferred grocery chain or do you go with the flow? Is your flow cheapest, easiest, most convenient location or something else?