Frugal friends of Australia, I am sorry to be the one to tell you this, but Homebrand is about to be killed off by Woolies.
The supermarket giant is about to ditch its entire range of budget products in the iconic white-and-red packaging, supposedly in a bid to improve perceptions of its private label range as it tries to compete with Coles and Aldi.
The Homebrand range has around 1,000 products, from flour and cling wrap to pasta and insect spray. With these cheap products of course sometimes you really do get what you pay for, other times it is an epic bargain.
Homebrand has been on Woolies’ shelves for 33 years and generates $1.4 billion in sales for the supermarket giant annually.
But all good things must end, it seems, and these private label products are going to be renamed “Essentials” in a bid to beat the perception that the quality of Homebrand products is inferior to those offered by the other supermarkets, even though the prices are generally just as cheap or cheaper to similar products offered elsewhere.
My dearly departed Nanna who was extremely frugal, and who I regard as the litmus-test for bargain hunting, had a pantry full of Homebrand everything while I was growing up, although she occasionally shopped at Coles and purchased their blue-and-white “Savings” brand products. She defected to Aldi for most things years ago, even though their own-label product prices are similar to the Homebrand ones. If Homebrand wasn’t holding my Nanna’s heart anymore, I can only imagine there are many, many more like her out there.
The Essentials line of products will supposedly have a more upmarket look, at similar prices to the Homebrand products, which admittedly did have an extremely budget look.
This comes after Coles revealed it would eliminate many of its longstanding own labels like Smart Buy, replacing them with a single “Coles” brand.
Farewell, Homebrand. You will now go to that supermarket-branding place in the sky, alongside some of my favourites such as Jewel’s “No-Name”, Franklins’ “No Frills” and the bizarre “You’ll Love Coles” branding from the mid-2000s (where they had pictures of people talking about how much they loved baked beans and bread etc. on the packaging).
What’s your favourite Homebrand product?