Saturday, December 13, 2008


This article in today's NYT made me wonder about which brands in Korea I recognised, never mind store brands, aka private labels. More on that in a moment, but first a quiz on USA store brands. I'll list the private label or store brand, you determine which store it goes with. Ready? Go!

A) Cost-cutters
B) Clover Valley
C) Best Yet
D) Sam's Choice
E) Berkley & Jensen
F) Market Pantry
G) American Fare
H) Archer Farms
I) Croft & Barrow
J) Great Value
K) America's Choice

Here is the spoiler space, in which I will discourse briefly on what I know of Korean brands before providing the answers to our quiz. The best known Korean brands in the world are, of course, Samsung, Hyundai and LG. Within Korea, these are naturally major movers and shakers, being among the chaebol who received favorable government treatment in the 70s and 80s to build the nation's economic might.

In the supermarkets, Dongwon (the world's largest tuna concern, which I wrote about here), is a major player, as is Lotte, a supermarket behemoth, entertainment business and apartment complex concern which builds "Lotte Castle" properties. Ottogi is a popular maker of sauces, including the ketchup and mayonnaise in my refrigerator. Pulmuone is the major producer of kimchi, and sponsor of the Kimchi Field Museum.

I'm sure that E-Mart and HomePlus have store brands, but I'm too new to recognize them; certainly, I have noticed the similar packaging of E-Mart fresh food products like tomatoes, persimmons or crab meat, which usually include a small English translation on the label. Thankfully.

It reminds me of the Piggly Wiggly Lauren and I used to shop at in the early eighties which offered black-and-white, generic wrapping for "paper towels", "macaroni dinner mix" and "tomato paste". I even remember a generic book display with titles like "Western", "Romance" and "Historical".

A) Cost-cutters - Kroger
B) Clover Valley - Dollar General
C) Best Yet - Southern Family/Barney's
D) Sam's Choice - Wal-Mart
E) Berkley & Jensen - BJ's Discount
F) Market Pantry - Target
G) American Fare - K-Mart
H) Archer Farms - Target
I) Croft & Barrow - Kohl's
J) Great Value - Wal-Mart
K) America's Choice - A & P

Bonus Link:
Do visit the 99 Cent Store Chef at his blog:

Bonus Video:
This was one of my favorite shows as a kid (though, of course, I never even knew it was in color). Starred Chuck Connors, who I idolized as 'The Rifleman', also. Branded, scorned as the one who ran ...

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