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What Happened to Safeway’s Private Brands?

October 23rd, 2009 · 23 Comments

By Garland Pollard

RESTON – So we haven’t been in a Safeway in years, but go in to grab some things while traveling. And I am curious about brands, and I look to see what has happened to some of the valuable private labels that Safeway was known for.

They all seemed to be gone; sadly, the store packaging was quite un-imaginative, and all the company did was stick a Safeway logo on its store products. I could not find Cragmont nor Crown Colony, and was afraid to go in the dairy section and look for my old friend, Lucerne milk.

A dreary effort by what was once a great grocery company.

In the early 1990s, Safeway made a major effort at jazzing up the private labels, but we guess the effort fizzled and the changes in packaging just confused the consumers, and turned them off. Note to grocery folk; if you have private label packaging that is pretty classic, you need to leave it as is, and people will still buy it.

Some Safeway brands we think were/are exceptional are:

  • Crown Colony. Such an evocative name for spices, don’t you think?
  • Lucerne milk. What is better?
  • Kitchen Kraft flour
  • Town House canned goods
  • Busy Baker cookies
  • Nu-Made mayonaise
  • Cragmont soda

The above Cragmont picture is from online; see more at the following website / CC BY-NC 2.0

Tags: Grocery

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Garland Pollard // Oct 29, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Dollar Tree has Busy Baker cracker products.

  • 2 Bruce // Dec 18, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I fondly remember the Safeway brands as well, particularly the Cragmont sodas. It was always a treat to go over to my grandmother’s house, open the refrigerator to get a drink, and have the whole top shelf full of a huge variety of soda flavors! My favorites were always the Sparkling Punch and the Cream Soda. The label in the picture above really brought back memories of the 1970s!!

    Didn’t Safeway also have their own brand of frozen foods?

  • 3 Adam Vandenberg // May 31, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Lucerne is still Safeway’s dairy brand.

  • 4 Andrew // Jul 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Safeway Select is the branding they started using for several of their “premium” products while I was working there in the 90’s and continues today. They still have Lucerne, but I think that is the only old brand that still exists. Look at the bottom third of this page ( ) for a long list of their current store brands.

  • 5 Kathy // Dec 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I went into Safeway today looking for the Craigmont sodas but didn’t see any. I did see a brand called Refresh. Are they taking the place of Craigmont now and are they as good? Thank you!

  • 6 Wayne // Dec 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Do You Remember Page Chipper Ice Cream? I Believe It Was Only Sold At Safeway.

  • 7 Garland Pollard // Dec 31, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I dont remember Page Chipper..maybe someone out there does?

  • 8 Robert // Jul 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Those simpler times made life seem magical to me. Now it just seems like marketing.

  • 9 Jay Couk // Feb 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    We too always seemed to have a case of assorted Cragmont sodas on hand, as my mother’s stash of Pepsi was strictly off limits. Bel Air was Safeway’s proprietary brand of frozen foods, I seem to recall. And yes, it is a small world indeed.

  • 10 Garland Pollard // Feb 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Jay…we always had the Cragmont around too. Safeway was the leading chain those days, and all the brands sort of omnipresent. I do remember the Bel Air brand, as my grandparents always had it around, and their house and farm on the Rappahannock was named Bel Air.

  • 11 Evie // Mar 2, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I live in San Jose, CA and the other day I was in a downtown Grocery Outlet. While there, I came across 12 packs of Cragmont Sodas. (4 different flavors to choose from.) So if you want Cragmont Sodas, try any Grocery Outlet. Call first before you go though to make sure they have them in stock.

  • 12 David // Oct 12, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Grocery Outlet carries Cragmont sodas. Just bought the cola on 10-11-14 in San Diego county

  • 13 Jay Vissers // Nov 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    As a boy, I thought the name “Cragmont” was so funny because of the word’s menacing overtones. Not the scenic and happy “mountain”, “peak” or “summit”, but the dark-sounding “crag”. Evil Lord of the Rings creatures live in crags. Climbers fall to their deaths from crags. Say it and tremble. Crag! I do miss the cheap, tasty soda, though!

  • 14 Sam James III // Dec 12, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I haven’t seen Safeway in decades. I live in Oklahoma, and when Safeway pulled out of the sales territory, it was replaced by a local start up chain called Homeland, which sank a few years later, and the name is now used by another chain, Country Mart, for some of it’s stores. I miss Safeway, because My family used to live in the SF Bay Area during the 70s, and having it in Oklahoma was a homey bit of continuity. I loved the Cragmont brand, even it’s Dr. Pepper clone, The Skipper. I know some people get snotty about the Pepper copies, but some are good.

  • 15 George Katalinić // Jan 8, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I’m originally from Prince George, Canada.

    Safeway was my mom’s choice for shopping and house-brand products such as Cragmont and Lucerne were routine purchases.

    Yes, the pictures very much bring back fond memories and the odd tear.

    I currently work in Riyadh, and believe it or not, there are Safeways everywhere in Riyadh and Saudi Arabia. They have the red “S” but are called, TAMIMI. Needless to say, the old house-brands are long gone.

  • 16 Bruce // May 12, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Jay Couk, thanks so much for refreshing my memory on the Bel Air frozen foods brand! I knew they had their own brand, but for the life of me couldn’t remember the name!

  • 17 Stephanie // Oct 3, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    The best equivalent to Cragmont is Krogers “Big K” brand. Safeways Refresh is aweful.

  • 18 Dave // Nov 24, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Anyone remember Safeway’s econo brand Scotch Buy? How about the coffee grinder Safeway had in the coffee section? I remember shopping with my mom when I was a kid and eating the left over coffee grounds at the bottom of the machine!

  • 19 Dennis Dumont // Jan 29, 2017 at 4:27 am

    My favorite was the grapefruit soda from cragmont

  • 20 Connie // Mar 31, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Does anyone remember a vanilla, chocolate dipped ice milk bar they sold? Not ice CREAM, because apparently when you have 8 kids, you can’t afford the cream, but you can afford the milk. I sure was glad when I grew up and got a job and could afford real ice cream. I imagine my parents were too!

  • 21 Mike G // Apr 12, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    There were several I can remember when I worked there in the 80’s:
    Crown Colony (spices)
    Scotch Buy (cheapo brand canned goods)
    Mrs Wrights (bread)
    Maison Blanc (wine)
    Bel Air (frozen food)
    Town House (regular canned goods)
    Edwards (coffee)
    Cragmont (soda)

  • 22 Rebekah // Jun 10, 2017 at 12:54 am

    I loved the grapefruit! Big K’s grapefruit does not compare.

  • 23 Braniff // Jun 12, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I recall the Scotch Buy line when Safeway had some stores in the Des Moines, IA USA area in the late 1970s. This was when generic food items were becoming popular; some supermarket stores sold items with just the names of the items on the packaging and such labeling as “Developed to create a greater value”. The color of the lettering was dark blue and the lettering was often stenciled. Fortune magazine carried an article about the trend; it called Scotch Buy “a wolf in sheep skin” if I’m not mistaken.

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