FORT LEE, Va. – With nearly 100 more items set to be added to the Commissary Value Brand program, military patrons will have even more opportunities to save, according to the Defense Commissary Agency’s senior enlisted advisor to the director.
“The reenergizing of this program is still in its infancy, but we are making improvements each and every day,” said Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Stuart M. Allison. “We recommend that patrons continue to monitor the orange ‘Value’ signs in the stores because they will see a larger offering of products.”
By the middle of February, commissary patrons can expect to see labels identifying the addition of 99 more items to the Value Brand lineup. The new products include several cheeses, condiments, canned and powdered milk, canned soup, dry pasta, honey, rice, laundry bleach and paper towels.
DeCA reintroduced Commissary Value Brand in November, bringing back a sales initiative known 14 years ago as the “Best Value Item” program. The average savings for Value Brand is about 42 percent when compared to national brands and 25 percent against the store brand and private label items found in commercial retail stores.
Amid its resurrection, Value Brand is catching on with commissary customers, said Gordon Jones, the agency’s deputy director of sales.
“We are very pleased with the Value Brand program and have received positive feedback about it from our patrons,” Jones added. “We will continue to look at opportunities to expand Value Brand to other categories within our stores.”
With the influx of new items, the Value Brand mix will boast nearly 400 products such as frozen vegetables, pizza and entrees; pet foods; health and beauty care; cereals; cleaning supplies; soft drinks; coffee; canned fruit, soup and fish; disposable lunch and storage bags; condiments and more.
Shoppers like Dr. Thelma G. Smith, the spouse of a disabled Vietnam veteran, said she’s seen the orange signs at the Fort Lee Commissary. “I’ve chosen a few of them basically because of the pricing. From the few things that I’ve bought, I found the frozen vegetables to be very good – good quality for taste and good quality for cooking.”
The orange “Value” signs on the shelves, along with posters, banners, buttons, danglers and special displays make it easy for customers to spot these extra savings in stores. Shoppers who venture on DeCA’s website, commissaries.com, or stay tuned to the agency’s social media outlets, especially Facebook and Twitter, can get a heads up on value deals before they hit the store.
In addition to Commissary Value Brand items, biweekly promotions and other special sales offer targeted discounts. If commissary patrons take the time to add Value Brand to their savings strategy it will pay off at the register, Allison said.
“We are a big believer in checking the commissary sales flyer found on www.commissaries.com,” said Allison about how he and his wife prepare before they shop. “We also like to check out the promotional sales items, and we use our Commissary Rewards Card. By adding the Value Brand program to the mix, we maximize our savings even more.”
Allison said that commissary patrons can only benefit from a program that is growing and improving every day. His advice: Look for those orange signs.
“We’ve carried most of these items for years, but they were sort of hidden,” he said. “Unless you knew to look for them, you weren’t truly aware they existed. Now we’re giving the customer a highly visible option to compare and add more savings to their shopping experience.”