Commissary customers will start seeing some private label products on shelves later this year, according to the Defense Commissary Agency.

"DeCA plans to start phasing in private label products during the first quarter of [fiscal 2017]," said DeCA spokesman Kevin Robinson. The first quarter starts in October.

Private label products are sometimes referred to as "generic" products, usually costing less than national name brands.

Officials issued a "Notice to the Trade" on June 20 announcing that DeCA will accept presentations from interested companies July 18-22. The agency is seeking a company — or companies — to implement the private label program that will include all commissaries, all departments and categories of products currently stocked, according to the notice. While the notice stated the contract would start on Oct. 1, it didn't specify when products should start appearing on the shelves.

Commissaries have long sold brands that are similar to private label brands, the same as are sold in some civilian stores, and offered a cost savings, but they were not developed by the commissary agency.

DeCA’s notice states the private label requirements may include the adoption of an already existing trademarked brand, the development of a DeCA brand, or a combination of both. The company chosen will be responsible for finding sources for the products, developing the program, and implementing it. 

Officials will use merchandising agreements for the process, not a contract, "because that is the instrument that is traditionally used for resale acquisitions of this nature," Robinson said.

Karen Jowers covers military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times. She can be reached at