Brand-droppers need not read, for the rest of us, carry-on.
by Alexander Quebec
A San Francisco & Minneapolis based start-up aims to change the way we shop for groceries by doing away with brands starting today (7/11/2017, which also happens to coincide with Amazon Prime Day too)
Offering high quality, everyday products at $3 each, Brandless pulls this off by cutting out the name brand middleman to save you money on your daily necessities.
But how do they offer products at such a low cost? According to their website, they are able to do so by cutting out what’s referred to as “BrandTax™..the hidden costs you pay for a national brand”.
“We’ve been trained to believe these costs increase quality, but they rarely do. We estimate the average person pays at least 40% more for products of comparable quality as ours. And sometimes up to 370% more for beauty products like face cream. We’re here to eliminate BrandTax™ once and for all.” According to their website.
By offering a lineup of high quality, private label products, this helps keep the price down, which the savings are then passed on to their customers. This strategy is similar to ones implemented by merchants such as Trader Joe’s. Brandless, however, takes it one step further by offering everything at $3 each.
I took the time to comparison shop on some of the products here. While the grocery items were hit or miss, the beauty and personal care items are actually pretty close to what you’d find at mass merchandisers. Take organic cotton balls for example (Let’s assume that you need them, but not that badly since you’re buying them online) at Target, organic cotton balls came in at $4.79 for 200, Whole Foods (via Instacart) has them under their 365 Brand for $3.49 for 100, while Wal-Mart didn’t have them available at their stores. Brandless, however, has them available in packs of 100 for, you guess it, $3 (all prices are as of this article)
My verdict? it really does depend on the quality of the product you’re looking for. If you prefer to take the organic and minimal synthetics option for your household products, and you’re not a fan of grocery shopping in a brick and mortar location (like most of us), Brandless could be your new best friend.
In addition, many of their products follow rigorous product guidelines for health, safety, and environmental standards. The company has also partnered with Feeding America to make a small donation for every purchase made through their website.
Curious? check out their website here
Time will tell if Brandless will be able to break America’s addiction to brand names a thing of the past, but for now, the future for them seems anything but generic.