A story published in kingstonist.com on February 20, 2019 went viral not only in Canada, but all over the world. The Food Basics grocery store located on Barrack Street in a small Canadian town of Kingston (Ontario) was supposed to be closed on Family Day, but with the doors open, some ‘customers’ opted to ‘shop’ there anyway. What surprised everybody is that nobody stole anything during the whole day, despite the fact that the store had 0 employees present.
During the federal holiday stores supposed to be closed, but for some reason this one remained open. Clerks, cashiers and managers didn’t come to work, but the doors were open, so customers started to enter anyway.
People just went there, got what they wanted and simply left money on the counter. After managers found out about that they stated that “nothing was stolen or damaged”. Police came to the store later that day to count losses, but they had no case.
This store, apparently, had no self-checkout machines, but it didn’t stop people from purchasing everything in a fare way without any supervision. When this story got shared around the world it only proved how good, polite and fare Canadians are.
“No Name” is a Canadian food brand under Loblaw umbrella. It is well known in Canada, and it is one of those things which can be found only in Canadian stores (No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer, Super-Valu, Maxi, Atlantic Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart and others). Proudly Canadian “No Name” became an internet meme because of its simplistic design and affordable low price.
Those are products that get straight to the point as BuzzFeed called them. For example there is a No Name wine, which doesn’t even says “wine” on its bottle, just “White Blank”. They have an “apple beverage”, which doesn’t try to pretend it is a high quality juice. They are not trying to increase brand value by writing lies on a package as other companies do, their only selling point is the price.
All Canadian products required by law to write everything in two official Canadian languages (English and French), but because of No Name’s minimalist design, it is also a thing. You can learn basic french in Canadian provinces with less than 5% of French speaking population by walking around stores and checking big No Name labels.
The brand was launched on March 21, 1978 by Loblaw company with 16 generic products. This company has a very strong positions on Canadian retail market and they cover all groups of buyers, from rich and middle class to less financially fortunate individuals. To compete with Walmart’s cheap goods Lablaw developed a strategy which concentrates only on low prices. They don’t invest in branding and packaging much, it is all the same for all products with yellow label.
Of course No Name’s products have not the best quality, but food is food. Many people who want to save on their groceries need simple things like bread, milk and other stuff, there are many people who don’t want to overpay for fancy products and No Name fits their needs. Whet it comes to products which are very hard to fake, for example beans or peanuts, even middle class sometimes choose this brand.
The font they use called “Helvetica”, it was created by a Swiss designer (Helvetia is an old Latin name of Switzerland when it was a Roman province). This is not very popular font, but No Name uses it anyway.
also they never use capital letters…
Now they have more than 2900 different products and famous not only in Canada, but in the U.S. and other countries.