Roundy's Review Roundup!
Have you seen the price of groceries these days?
In these uncertain economic times (Wait, I mean “Robust Economy,” isn’t that right, George W. Bush? Wow, what we will do when that motherfucking genius isn't around?), you might cast an eye toward those store brands. I know, it’s a risky proposition. Is generic ring bologna really going to meet your family’s high, high standards? Will they judge you harshly if you bring home some no-name Thousand Island dressing?
Here at Summary Judgments, we always have the public’s good in mind, so we’ve compiled a review of Roundy’s store brand products.
For those of you outside of the Wisconsin/Illinois area, the Roundy’s corporation owns the Pick N Save, Copps and Rainbow chains of grocery stores.
A few overall notes:
1) First of all, the “Chairman Bob Approved” campaign? (Bob Mariano is the Chairman of the Roundy’s corporation.) Might need some re-tooling. The primary in-store feature of this campaign are little “thumbs-up” cardboard cut-outs that stick out from the shelves, alerting you to featured Roundy’s brand products.
It took us about 2.4 seconds to realize that the thumbs could be easily flipped over, thus creating the unintentional “Thumbs down from Chairman Bob” campaign and scaring shoppers away from that reasonably-priced can of jumbo pitted olives.
And trust me, we weren’t the only ones flipping the thumbs, not by a long shot. It’s pretty much the primary form of entertainment at the 16th and National Pick N Save. Well, it’s a close second behind loudly airing your marital grievances via cell phone.
2) I realize it’s probably some family legacy thing, but I think the products might go down easier with a more appealing name. Roundy’s. Meh. It’s not exactly unappetizing, but it’s not doing anything to draw me in, either.
Aldi’s does it right when it comes to store-brand names. In the market for some generic canned veggies? Why, look, it’s “Happy Harvest” brand! Need an industrial size bag of noodles? Well you’re in luck sir, for you’re about to purchase “Chef’s Choice” dried elbow macaroni. Ooooooo, fancy. Better hurry before the chef’s snatch it up!
(Please note. Summary Judgments does not recommend Aldi’s products, particularly “Happy Harvest” canned goods. If you really want to know why, send me an email.)
3) The design values on the Roundy’s packaging is poor. Weak fonts, muddy colors – the overall design just screams, “I am so fucking cheap.” Could the good folks in the Roundy’s creative department step it up a little? We’re already shopping generic – give us just a little bit of our dignity back.
Despite their creative flaws, I would wholeheartedly recommend most Roundy’s, Roundy’s Select or Roundy’s Organics products…
But, let’s face it; it’s hard to fuck up applesauce.
Most of the Roundy’s stuff is of the processed, smashed, blended or otherwise smooshed variety. How can you assess the true quality of ingredients rendered into a liquid, paste, spread or sauce?
Know what I’d be impressed with? Roundy’s brand Filet Mignon. Roundy’s Select brand Beluga caviar. Roundy’s Organics stripped sea bass on sautéed jicama matchsticks.
Ok, moving on. Here are the ratings for some specific Roundy’s brand products:
Roundy’s Organics Pure Maple Syrup: I give this two thumbs up (WAAAAAY up). Tastes exactly like the $8 pure maple syrup and it’s seriously cheaper. Like many whole dollars cheaper. The kids like it, we’re saving whole dollars, everyone’s happy.
Roundy’s Organics Fruit Spread: Also two thumbs up. Keep in mind, though, this product is smooshed up fruit. Not real hard to fuck up. It’s definitely cheaper than the national brands, with no discernible difference in taste or texture. Go for it.
Roundy’s Select Premium Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: One thumb up. It’s okay, but it’s not that much cheaper than Breyer’s and it has a weird, slightly foamy consistency. It tastes a lot more processed than other premium ice cream brands. However, it does go on sale a lot, and, hence, the thumb.
Roundy’s All Natural and Roundy’s Organics All Natural Apple Sauce: Two, thumbs, but please see my comments above re: degree of difficultly in fucking up applesauce.
Roundy’s Select European Sodas (Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade, Blueberry something, and I forget the rest): I guess one thumb up. These are really expensive, like $3 for a 1.5-liter bottle. Not available in individual serving sizes (which means serious loss of carbonation if you don’t drink the whole thing right away), the bottles are too tall and take up valuable tall-item space in the fridge. Taste is not memorable. That’s it, I’m taking the thumb away. These things blow. No thumbs.
Roundy’s Organics Crunchy Peanut Butter: Two thumbs up. Comparable to any national brand “natural” peanut butter. People, it’s smashed peanuts and salt, no need to pay more.
Roundy’s Citrus Breeze (or something like that) Anti-Bacterial Dish Detergent: One thumb. As dish detergent, it’s on the low end of the scale -- not as bubbly as Joy, without the grease-mitigating properties of Dawn, and lacking the historical presence of Ajax. Still, the price is easily half that of national brands, and sometimes, that’s good enough for us.
Roundy’s Eggs and Milk: Two thumbs. All eggs and all milk come from the orifice of a barnyard animal. There’s really no need to pay for a name-brand orifice.
So, in conclusion, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Roundy’s store brand products, especially when it comes to things consisting primarily of smashed fruit or nuts or products that come from an orifice. Also, George W. Bush is a fucking idiot.
Help us help you – if you have something to say about Roundy’s, or any other store brands, let’s hear it in the comments!
Posted by Anne Quimby Mathias at 4:21:00 PM