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Wal-Mart demoralizes cash strapped Americans

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……..


  • Liz Kelly 5 years ago

    What I think the real tragedy is here, is that we have become so driven by consumerism and feeling like what we buy is what we are, that an intelligent woman like yourself is concerned that the products in her medicine cabinet don't look nice enough. (I'm with you on being anti-Wal-Mart, though!)

  • Bobby 5 years ago

    this is the most ridiculous article I have read lately....I don't have to buy the generic brands, but I have for years......I know that most of them are the same as the name brands except for the father worked a meat packer all his life and the only difference in the name brand and the store brand was the package......who gives a rip about what folks think about whats in your buggy or cabinets? that's crazy.....and as far a anti Walmart is concerned.....that's crazy too.

  • Tim 5 years ago

    I don't care what color the box is. I want to know why the prices went up 50 to 80% when the went to the white boxes. Is whit die more expensive than colored die?

  • Alicia 5 years ago

    This isn't an anti-Wal-mart article, it's simply about how Wal-Mart made their packaging...well...uglier! I noticed it, too. In the past several months, their packaging went from colored, with an actual design scheme to white, with bland, bold letters. It was a terrible idea, but I guess their intention was to save on packaging. I'm not going to quit buying Great Value brand, but that wasn't a consumer-friendly move. Most of their store brand products are now in plain, white packaging with plain letters, and it's really easy to point out. The old packaging was a bit more difficult to find, because it blended in so well with all the rest. I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed!

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