old store brands

Uh...California.

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bud
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old store brands

Post by bud » 21 Jul 2008 05:29

Hopefully some old-timers on here can answer this question.

Does anyone remember the names of the store brands for the defunct Southern California grocery chains? I am specifically interested in:

1. Lucky (the old one, not the revival)
2. Hughes
3. Alpha Beta
4. Vons before it merged with Safeway.

All I know is that Lucky had its Lucky brand as well as Lady Lee and Harvest Day (read this in the news when the Lucky brand was revived). Anyone remember any others? Thanks.

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Daniel
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Re: old store brands

Post by Daniel » 21 Jul 2008 07:37

I recall Vons having Vons branded items, along with a generic line called "Slim Price". Slim Price products were white with red lettering, similar to Ralphs' generic offerings that were white with black lettering.

In the book "The Alpha Beta Story" there are photos from the early 60's that show them using Food Club as a house brand.

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Re: old store brands

Post by Groceteria » 21 Jul 2008 08:11

Alpha Beta also used its own name on soft drinks, at least, and probably on some other items.

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runchadrun
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Re: old store brands

Post by runchadrun » 21 Jul 2008 12:04

Lucky had a generic line with a yellow label. At first it had its own aisle, making comparison shopping difficult, then the products migrated onto the shelves with their higher-priced bretheren.

Alpha Beta used a buying co-op called Topco in the 1950s which had the Food Club, Top Frost, Gaylord, Topco, Baby Soft, and Dartmouth labels. According to an ad, there were 31 chains nationwide that sold these brands. In the 70s and 80s Alpha Beta used its own name on all the products I remember until Yucapia bought it. They then used Cergo (Springfield) products for a short while then switched to Sunny Select until the Ralphs merger. During the Yucapia years they also bought the Van de Kamps Bakery name, which still lives on as a Ralphs brand, and they licensed the Carnation name for dairy products. In the 80's they had a generic brand called Econo Buy.

In the late 70's/early 80s, Hughes used Cergro's Black and White generic line. In the 90s they used Sunny Select for many items before their merger with Ralphs. You can still find the Hughes name on a few private label items (vitamins and bottled water) at HOWS, which was co-founded by members of the Hughes family.

Vons' dairy brands were Jerseymaid (jointly owned with Market Basket) and Westwood, which is now the value-price milk brand. They had a premium line in the 90's called Pavilions Select which was the exact same thing as Safeway Select and you had to look closely at the logo to see that one word was different. After the outright merger the name was changed to Safeway Select.

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Re: old store brands

Post by klkla » 21 Jul 2008 13:07

Another now extinct chain (or will soon be when their final store in Hollywood officially becomes a Gelson's in a couple of weeks) was Mayfair Markets. Their house brand was "mayfresh".

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Re: old store brands

Post by surfingdude » 21 Jul 2008 15:51

Lucky/Gemco used Hi-Class on pet foods, Brown Derby on beer, Lucky on HBC/OTC and Spirits, Lady Lee on Grocery, Frozen & Deli, LaTortilla on tortillas, and Harvest Day as 2nd label and bread. This was the case unto well into the 90's, when the Lucky name replaced Lady Lee on most items. Harvest Day continued on as a 2nd label and on bread. There was also a short lived generic (yellow/black label) in the early 80's.

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Re: old store brands

Post by Groceteria » 21 Jul 2008 18:11

surfingdude wrote:Brown Derby on beer
I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure Brown Derby was Safeway's beer brand.

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Re: old store brands

Post by surfingdude » 21 Jul 2008 23:17

Groceteria: You are correct! The Lucky brand was "Golden Crown". I had to to go to my 1979 Lucky Stores annual report to verify.
Some other Lucky private lables (from the 1979 annual report):
Stadium Green - Garden Supplies
Evr Pure: Pool Chemicals
Lenita: Hosiery
Hi-flo and Kasco: Automotive
Gemtone: Paints
Chateau: Candles

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Re: old store brands

Post by Brian Lutz » 22 Jul 2008 22:49

runchadrun wrote: Vons' dairy brands were Jerseymaid (jointly owned with Market Basket) and Westwood, which is now the value-price milk brand. They had a premium line in the 90's called Pavilions Select which was the exact same thing as Safeway Select and you had to look closely at the logo to see that one word was different. After the outright merger the name was changed to Safeway Select.
By any chance, would these products be related to the Jerseymaid milk that is sold at Target stores??
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Re: old store brands

Post by runchadrun » 22 Jul 2008 23:44

Brian Lutz wrote:By any chance, would these products be related to the Jerseymaid milk that is sold at Target stores??
Vons phased out the Jerseymaid name in favor of Lucerne about 5-6 years ago but Safeway has been using their Lucerne Foods division to reuse some of its historic brands to sell to third parties. For example, I've seen Crown Colony OJ at the 99 Cents Only store that looks exactly like the OJ they sell at Vons. If you look at the milk and the name is Lucerne Foods or has an address in Pleasanton (PO Box 99--how sad is it that I know that?) then that's the case.

I would have to look to see when Vons bought out Kroger's interest in Jerseymaid, but I'm guessing it wasn't long after Market Basket pulled out of Socal in 1982.

My Target sells Swiss Dairy (an independent dairy) and Market Pantry, a Target brand.

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Re: old store brands

Post by storewanderer » 23 Jul 2008 00:08

Doesn't Kroger use Golden Crown on mixers?
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Daniel
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Re: old store brands

Post by Daniel » 23 Jul 2008 01:35

Was Jerseymaid an independent dairy at some point? I found some reels of old commercials in an old AM radio station I was cleaning out, and there was a 1960's Jerseymaid ad among the tapes. It was a cute ad, it was done to sound like it was being sung by cows.

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Re: old store brands

Post by lvkewlkid » 23 Jul 2008 04:23

Jerseymaid is still found on most of the ice cream at VONS...

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Re: old store brands

Post by runchadrun » 23 Jul 2008 10:18

I also remember the ads with the singing cows: "All us cows/do our best/for Jerseymaid"

Jerseymaid's plant opened in 1936 at 1040 West Slauson in South LA and it closed after the 1992 riots. Jerseymaid later became part of a joint venture of Vons/Shopping Bag, Market Basket, Thriftimart/Fitzsimmons, and a small chain called Alexanders in order to avoid state-imposed dairy price controls. In 1962 Vons owned 32% and Thriftimart owned 22%.

Sometime betwen 1985 and 1990 Vons took complete control of Jerseymaid after all the other chains disappeared.

In looking this up I found that Lucky also had a value milk label in the early 1990s called Farm Fresh which cost a dime less than Lady Lee yet it was the exact same milk from the exact same plant.

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Re: old store brands

Post by klkla » 23 Jul 2008 15:45

runchadrun wrote: Jerseymaid later became part of a joint venture of Vons/Shopping Bag, Market Basket, Thriftimart/Fitzsimmons, and a small chain called Alexanders in order to avoid state-imposed dairy price controls. In 1962 Vons owned 32% and Thriftimart owned 22%.
That sounds similar to Knudsen. Weren't they 50% owned by Hughes Markets and 50% owned by Stater Bros at one point? I think this happened after Kraft bought them out but spun off the SoCal milk operation.

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