By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJune 9, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Commissaries across the nation strive to bring Soldiers, family members and retirees the best deal when it comes to their grocery shopping needs, but even more savings are on the way.
The Defense Commissary Agency is working to provide its own store brands that will be hitting the shelves in the coming weeks, according to a DECA press release.
"We are excited to finally begin offering commissary brands," said Joseph H. Jeu, DECA director and CEO in the release. "An overwhelming number of our patrons said they would purchase store brands if we had them. Well, that time is almost here."
The brand rollout will begin slowly with products such as bottled water, plastic bags and paper products throughout the month of June, and the products will be of equal or lower in price to commercial grocery brands.
The commissary brands will be sold under two names: Freedom's Choice for food items and HomeBase for nonfood items, to be able to provide patrons with an alternative when purchasing goods, said Jeu.
"These products will give our patrons the quality they expect and the savings they deserve," said the DECA director.
The introduction of these commissary brands brings savings to customers because these products can be sold at lower prices compared to their national-brand equivalents by cutting out much of the marketing costs that are built into national-brand prices, according to the DECA website, www.commissaries.com.
Over the next few years, patrons can expect to see more and more of the commissary brands on the shelves, eventually adding 4,000 items of Freedom's Choice and HomeBase products. The inclusion of these products will not affect the availability of brands people have become accustomed to finding throughout the stores, according to the DECA release.
But if patrons choose to shop the commissary brands, Jeu said that quality will not be sacrificed in favor of price.
"Our commissary brand products will have the same quality and frequently will be produced on the same manufacturing lines as national brands, meeting the same high-quality standards," the DECA director said. "These are products that have been manufactured specifically for our patrons.
"Bottom line: Freedom's Choice and HomeBase will give our patrons another chance to save money, without sacrificing quality, on brands priced significantly lower than national brands," he added.
In a recent survey by DECA, 60 percent of patrons were interested in a private label for extra savings and the commissary brands are just one way that the organization is showing that it is listening to its customers, according to the DECA website.