Private-label salad dressing. The jar might say Kroger, Safeway, Wal-Mart, or Trader Joe's, but it's probably made by a private-label food company like Illinois-based TreeHouse Foods. Sales of cheaper store brands have surged during the recession, but consumers have also gotten used to higher quality. TreeHouse has capitalized on that trend, since it specializes in upscale dressings, sauces, soup, salsa, pickles, and organic products that top retailers can sell as their own. But you'll never know you're eating a TreeHouse product: The company won't say which foods it supplies to which stores. The secrecy seems to be good for business. Revenue is up 30 percent since the recession began, and the stock has soared 68 percent.
Is your product so good that other companies want to attach their hard-earned brands to it?