As if the sheer state of the economy did not crystallize the radical differences between the haves and the have nots, Wal-Mart is now doing its part to underscore the differences as well. If you listen to package designers with knowledge of fonts, contrasts, cohesiveness of product line, etc., they believe the new Great Value packaging is overall a good effort. As a purse strapped consumer, I just feel poor buying the Wal-Mart brands now.
That attitude is largely driven by the expanse of white on the background of all the packaging which is reminiscent of the generic brands of years past. The generics were cheap and that is the only positive adjective that can reasonably be attached to those products. These blatant generics in the history of grocery shopping were thankfully short lived.
Once again, my cabinets and freezer are a sea of cheap looking packaging that is embarrassing. Most recently, store brand packaging was designed to imitate the more expensive, more desirable brand names. Even if you bought Wal-Mart’s Great Value brand to save money, your grocery buggy didn’t scream the financial need to purchase inferior quality products to save on your grocery budget.
Some will argue that these products are not inferior and as with any argument there are two sides. Some are inedible while some are just as good as the name brands (kudos to Great Value Twist and Shout cookies). The argument is about perception, not specific products.
In this economic environment, where consumers are feeling desperate to make ends meet, the Great Value packaging has an unintended consequence. In this land of plenty where advertising drives a consumer’s desires for better products, this new generic looking packaging underscores yet another area where financially strapped Americans do not deserve anything better than the cheapest items available.
Nothing like kicking somebody when they’re down……..