Is Loblaw’s killing President’s Choice?


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It’s a crazy thought, I know. Just hear me out.

Over the past few months Loblaw’s have changed the packaging on their No Name brand back to the old school look it had in the 80’s; simple black text on a yellow background, no pictures or unnecessary info. That on its own doesn’t raise any red flags. But, when that new packaging starts showing up on items that were formerly President’s Choice brand? That’s a bell-ringer.

Pictured above is a bottle of No Name Ginger Ale that I picked up last night at Zehrs. Until now, Loblaw’s has used their President’s Choice branding when it came to their in-house soft drinks. I’ve been buying their PC Ginger Ale religiously for a decade (it’s easily the best GA on the market), yet as I looked down the aisle there wasn’t a single President’s Choice 2L in sight.

Could this be an isolated incident? Is it possible they’re just switching their pop from one in-house branding to another? Absolutely. But it’s equally possible that the new No Name branding is going to slowly replace the President’s Choice label.

Sure it would be complete madness on their part, but then again somebody thought New Coke was a good idea.

Has anyone out there noticed any other President’s Choice products that have made the switch?


47 responses to “Is Loblaw’s killing President’s Choice?”

  1. Laurie says:

    The thing that I noticed was that the nice colourful PC packaging changed to a cheap, plain, white packaging with unflattering pics. It was like they were trying to lose money or make their product appear cheaper. I was disappointed and confused. Haven’t noticed any cross overs yet though.

  2. Tammy says:

    Don’t be fooled….Just because the packaging and labelling has changed it doesn’t mean anything.
    I drive truck and pickup/deliver loblaws products, as well as pickup other products for the stores from all over the place. 90% of the products come from the same place, they simply go down a different packing line to have a different label put on the same product.
    This practice is done with most of the items in your kitchen cupboards, you’d be surprised. I was shocked when I saw the same “name brand” items i was buying were being non branded.

  3. Tammy says:

    Oh yeh, its also a cost factor nowadays. The less is put on the packaging, the cheaper it is.

  4. Ginger says:

    I’m not worried about it. President’s Choice is too strong of a brand to be chucked.

    In fact, they’re attempting to go even more up-market with some of their products and establish themselves as a higher-end competitor, not a cheap, cost-saving brand. That’s what the No Name line of products is for.

    PC is a Canadian institution at this point. I don’t think we’ll see it die any time soon.

  5. Heather says:

    Glad to hear that it’s still the same product, I really have gotten into pc brands in the past 5 years. At first it was the price but now there are somethings I only will buy PC of. Still the packaging that was metioned (the yellow with black) is discouraging as no-name didn’t always have the best reputation before. I know what I’m in for when I pick up a PC package. With the other I wonder if this is the former pc or really another no-name that I never tried before.

  6. missbobloblaw says:

    I hope the PC stays around. It is the only one that I know of that has successfully brought unique and different food items into its line (like finishing salts and butter chicken)I am put off by the super generic packaging that no name is switching to. It looks cheap.I am turned off by the day glo packaging and it makes me wonder if they have changed the product inside.(I’m guessing it is way cheaper to buy ginormous batches of black and yellow dye than it is to use multi colours in their packaging.

  7. j says:

    dharma initiative

  8. Sally says:

    I think the Pc brand is here to stay 🙂

  9. Evil Tofu says:

    I read some time ago that they would like to make PC a real brand that represents quality, rather than knock off. (I must say that they cookies are much better than Chips Ahoy! Frozen food are fantastic!)
    Maybe they are trying to put the low end products as No Name and high end products as PC?

  10. Shannon says:

    I work for one of those companies that runs name branded items alongside private labels (no name, PC, Master Choice, Great Value, etc.) and we were told that in the current economy, Loblaws is changing its focus to bare-bones value (no name) and at the same time they are really trying to come out with innovative products for the PC banner. At my plant, they have kept our no name product the same (I shouldn’t say which product, I suppose) but have also added a PC label with a different formulation than the name brand and generic–something totally different. So your staples may be no name but the cool new flavours/health trends will come as PC.

  11. Simon says:

    hello,

    i noticed the very same last weekend on my search for PC ginger ale! i had to do a double-take when i saw your post, because your throught process matched mine exactly.

    freaky.

    s!

  12. stan says:

    A couple of years ago they discontinued their ridged PC chips… Now they have the No Name branded chips, which are much better than those from more than a decade ago. Back then, they had terrible quality-control… I used to find big chunks of ‘flavour’ (powdered flavouring stuck together in chunks)!

  13. mlongboat says:

    I noticed this at sobey’s a few years back. They used to carry compliments and another cheap in house brand equal to noname(smart choice maybe) They got rid of the cheap brand but it was replaced with compliments Value. So maybe PC will have its own quality brand and its own cheap brand. I love PC creamy mac n cheese:)

  14. miss_jolie says:

    My mom always bought no name stuff when I was growing up. It always tasted aweful!

  15. Skippy says:

    I believe that BlahBlahs switched their pop provider from the Stronach company to another.That said,PC labelling appears a lot more desirable than
    no name.
    Im sure they’ve spent a gazillion dollars figuring this whole thing out.

  16. Andy J says:

    Anyone else remember the days when President’s Choice was a no-name brand? Non-name come out first, then the grocer’s cought on this great concept, and offered their own no-brand names. PC eventually became a brand more recognizable than the no-brand name it started out as.

  17. dealsniffer says:

    LOL to J’s comment “dharma Initiative”!!! that is so funny-also kind of accurate-they are yellow instead of white but other than that they just need a funny logo and there you go!

  18. Jow says:

    Who’s seriously going to buy this stuff with the ugly yellow labeling? Its so ghetto.. they probably paid millions of dollars for this senseless branding exercise.

    I ntoiced the No Nmae pop cost more than the Brand Name stuff…. geniuses at work at Loblaws

  19. Sarawww says:

    I seen this today at store. It made me the saddest!
    It’s really tacky that’s for sure, and I think it may turn some people off in a way. I like PC a lot and even though it still may be the same stuff inside what’s outside counts too and what’s outside is ugly! LOL

  20. lamont says:

    PC ‘s brand of Saltine crackers have also disappeared and been replaced with the No Name brand.

  21. Bytown says:

    If one was to study the history of no name products and economic cycles, one would understand.

    During hard times (recessions) no name products sell much better because consumers become more cost conscious and companies respond. During prosperous times, companies come out with higher quality brands like PC. Why? In house brands are highly profitable.

    They may come from the same plant but the quality and contents aren’t the same. Just like the Toyota Corolla and the Lexus RX300 come from the same plant in Ontario.

    But don’t worry, when things start to improve, PC will be back new and improved and in new flavours.

  22. Graeme says:

    I’ve noticed this as well. Today, when I was buying a 12-pack of cola, I saw that there is now the No Name option, along with President’s Choice and brand. However, the 12-pack of No Name is selling for what the President’s Choice was selling for ($3.69) and PC got bumped up to $3.89. However, the big brands had their prices cut to $3.99. So I think they expect people to stay away from No Name with the low end stigma it has attached on it and look at PC. Then with only a 10 cent difference, many people will upgrade to brand.

  23. bambinoitaliano says:

    I wonder who owns the brand President’s Choice? Loblaws or former CEO Dave Nichols? and perhaps the copy right term expired?

  24. Sue says:

    I remember buying No Name cigarettes back in the ’70s. I haven’t smoked in years so I don’t know if they still have them.

  25. Jenn says:

    I work at a Loblaws-owned store, and I can safely say, thusfar at least, they’re selling the NoName brand side by side PC pop. I’ve only seen 3 varieties as well: Cola, Diet Cola, and Gingerale. I don’t forsee them getting rid of the PC brand… that’s a large expense to rebrand everything, and it will certainly cost them business to do that I think.

  26. Wayne says:

    I was at Fortinos last night, and they have all new PC signage in the frozen foods, fresh meat, deli and produce sections advertising PC. I assume if they were planning on killing off PC, they would not have invested in all the new signage.

  27. JoeMomma says:

    What surprises me the most is that you actually like this stuff. The yellow labeling probably replaced the other labeling in response to the negative feedback from the consumers. The consumers felt that the previous labeling did not reflect how bland and god awful the ginger ale is. Thus presidents choice came out with a bland yellow retro look which their reflected shitty ginger ale. Finally we have coporation that truthfully advertises their products. I just wish Pepsi can take a hint from Presidents Choice.

  28. picture1 says:

    I think they are trying to make President’s Choice less no name. Have you seen the new commercials with Galen Weston? They seem to be sending out messages of higher quality and better ingredients.

  29. Amanda Kerik says:

    I’m pretty sure they’re rebranding the stores at the very least. I live near one that went through a major overhaul – they painted the yellow and green outside … grey.
    All of the aisle signs? Grey and black.
    The store’s layout is so confusing even people who work there still get confused and it doesn’t seem to have much logic to it:

    You walk in and suddenly you’re in the clothing section.
    Dried milk is in with the _glue_.
    Cookies are found in 3 different aisles.
    Seafood isn’t in it’s own section it’s oddly placed in the middle of the meat section, and the deli is 1/2 a store away next to the electronics.
    Home decor seems to have a wandering meander through the store.
    The “training pants” for toddlers is nearly in the toy section, not next to the diapers.
    The cheese is in one corner (back) and the butter is in another corner.

    My mom and I joke that someone played darts with the layout, because it seems very hodgepodge.

    I’m sure they’ve redesigned it so that people wander and then buy more. I just get annoyed and leave with only 1/3 of my list filled and go down the street to get the rest.

  30. Matt says:

    Peoples shopping habits have changed due to the economy. Retailers change according to the winds of change. PC products and No Name are here to say.
    Loblaws has developed the most successful private label products in North America. No one comes close.

  31. Adam says:

    I work at a Superstore and I haven’t noticed anything different other than the label change for the NoName brand of Ginger Ale – we still carry the PC brand. I think that the notable absence is most likely due to problems in ordering.

  32. Mama Bear says:

    I kind of like the black on yellow packaging. 🙂 It’s plain and yes, very Dharma initiative – excellent.

  33. Beth says:

    What I have noticed is that the PC ice cream has really changed. It comes in a smaller box (1.69 versus 1.89) and the cost is over $2.50 more more–how in the world can they justify that?? (here 8.15) I really like PC products, but I know in ice cream our family has switched to a brand that was about the cost of the previous PC. Most of this chat has been how they have/or seem to have dropped the branding to a seemingly lower quality. I wish people would boycott the higher price ice cream–money seems to talk

  34. Andrew says:

    Rest assured that the PC Ginger Ale is alive and well. I am an Availability Manager at Atlantic Superstore (Loblaws) in PEI. The No Name was a new release of three flavors, cola, diet and ginger, to attract the low end soda market. It is placed as an interrupter in the middle of the PC pop set. The PC however has raised in price a bit, as it is premium, compared to the new No Namers, thus keying off against Pepsi and Coke brands. PC pop is here to stay, no worries.

  35. Kevin says:

    I would like to know what’s happening to the PC pop flavours? I haven’t seen anything but lychee, pomegranate, and lemonade at the Aurora and Newmarket Superstore/no frills in over a month. I don’t really care if they’re PC or Dharma brand, just please don’t get rid of all those other delicious flavours!

  36. freestuffforme says:

    I haven’t seen Dr. Smooth in a long time. It’s a great Dr. Pepper knockoff.

  37. jon says:

    Anyone seen the new brand identity they are creating? I personally love it – gorgeous fonts and simple, clear, minimalist packages on white. It’s not bland or boring how it sounds (definitely not like that shitty black on yellow), though – sort of American Apparel simplicity I guess. But without the loud colors and borderline pornography.

  38. Monika says:

    I have been buying PC oatmeal (in a package with white background) and recently they switched to the yellow and black packaging. I had to compare ingredients on the packages to realize it was the same product.
    I am not crazy about the packaging as I find it looks very cheap and in a way implies that the quality is lower.

  39. Kay Car says:

    Yes, I have noticed a change in marketing. I used to always by President’s Choice Moisturizing cream. It ourranked every other cream that I have ever tried in quality and price. I loved it. All of the sudden it was discontinuted a couple of years ago. I have since tried to find something to stack up to it. Finally I found Exact classic care Moisturizing Cream on the Independent Shelves. I am sure it is the exact same product. I wish they would TELL us these things…because I spent a couple years purchasing other creams elsewhere. I was very happy to find this product available again. i don’t understand their strategy.

  40. Bernice says:

    Hello,

    I was wondering how to read the “Best Before” date on Ranch Dressing with the President’s Choice label? Is it year/month/day or day/month/year?

  41. Jutta says:

    Never mind changing labels; I am wondering where some of my favoured products are disappearing to.
    Like Presidents Choice extra thick plastic wrap. The best wrap ever.

  42. Jenn says:

    I bought No Name egg rolls the other day, club pack of 20, and they were delicious! I love the plain, white packaging with basic font and picture on it… some stuff is great in no name, other stuff (like Ranch dressing and Ketchup) just doesn’t taste the same.

  43. AJ says:

    I have bought a good chunck of the furniture in my home from the Presidents choice line until about 3yrs ago and the quality started to go down the toilet. Ever since they’ve brought in fewer pieces each year which are not worth a second look. I looked forward to my trips to the Superstore or Fortinos to see what new PC household items they brought in. As for the day glow yellow no name packaging I hate it because the color makes me angry and want to puke. Its weird but some colors illicit strong emotions from me and that shade of Yellow with the black font makes me depressed. They could have the best chocolate truffles in the box for a $1 and a wouldn’t buy it because of how ugly the packaging is….my two cents.

  44. You should list somewhere an about/biography of yourself so people can realize the point of view you have when you write this.

  45. From: Leonard Kevin Moberg®, Who Own’s President’s Choice®? Leonard Kevin Moberg®, is the Owner, just Look into it! I am! This is One of many of my Investigation’s. Looking over the Timeline. ©Copyright PerfectDark® BLIND99 Agency® by Leonard Kevin Moberg®

  46. Buenos dias. Je vous remercie. Cet abondant paragraphe intďż˝ressant m’influence dďż˝licieusement. Merci bien. Cette fois encore !

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