This week, Walmart-owned online retailer and Amazon competitor, Jet launched a new line of suspiciously affordable household products and groceries called Uniquely J. We’re talking a 25-ounce jar of organic tomato sauce for $4; a pack of 100 BPA-free, sandwich-size plastic bags for $4; even a pound of fair-trade, organic Peruvian coffee for $10. In fact, going through the listings, you might start wondering whether Uniquely J is actually a good deal or if the prices are too low to be worthwhile — or maybe you still don’t quite understand what Uniquely J is and how it’s different from anything else you could buy on Jet or Amazon or pick up from your neighborhood bodega.
We’re here to answer all with a Uniquely J primer, to explain why this private label is so cheap and to tell you what from this new line is actually worth your money and what to avoid.
What is Uniquely J?
Uniquely J is a private-label grocery brand that offers household basics and groceries, available only on Jet.com. The line launched with over 50 household products in five categories: paper goods, food storage, cleaning supplies, coffee, and sauces and dips. A sixth category — snacks — was added in November.
So Uniquely J is to Jet what the Kirkland brand is to Costco?
Basically. You could also compare Uniquely J to Trader Joe’s, which sources food from the same manufacturers as brand-name companies do but sells it with Trader Joe’s branding, or Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value, the grocery giant’s generic yet often organic brand that is now available on Amazon. The closest direct online competitor to Uniquely J might be Brandless, the recently launched retailer that also markets minimally branded groceries and cleaning supplies to millennials.
What makes Uniquely J unique?
Part of the stated appeal of Uniquely J’s products is that they are environmentally conscious and well-designed versions of the household goods you might already buying. Think cleaning products made with plant-based ingredients, USDA-certified organic and fair trade coffee beans, and BPA-free plastic bags. The biggest difference between these Uniquely J products and any other organic or fair-trade or BPA-free goods you might be used to buying is that these are ostensibly sold at a lower price than you might be used to seeing, and they’ll ship straight to your front door. (That Jet is owned by Walmart only helps the retailer’s ability to negotiate for low prices by buying products in massive quantities.)
What can I buy from Uniquely J?
Right now, you can order what Liza Landsman, president of Jet, describes in an email to me as “everyday essentials” for “busy metro millennials.” That includes obvious household basics like toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags. But in this context, “essential” also means what Jet thinks millennials want to buy, like lemon-basil-thyme-scented dish soap, bamboo-cedar-scented laundry detergent, and Korean bulgogi barbecue sauce.
Are Uniquely J products really a good deal?
It depends. Take, for example, Uniquely J’s sriracha, which is certified non-GMO and organic. But a 16-ounce bottle of the stuff is also about $1.50 more expensive than a 28-ounce bottle of the original Huy Fong Foods Sriracha, also available on Jet. And though the Uniquely J Sriracha is serviceably spicy, it’s not a dupe for the OG rooster sauce.
The plastic food-storage bags, however, are a solid bargain. A pack of 50 Ziploc gallon-size freezer bags costs about $8 on Jet, which comes down to about 16 cents per bag. Meanwhile, 150 gallon-size plastic freezer bags from Uniquely J will cost you about $13, or about 8 cents per bag.
The coffee is also competitively priced. You could get a 12-ounce bag of Starbucks Colombian coffee costs $9.05 or a 12-ounce bag of Equal Exchange organic Colombian coffee is $9.57. But a full pound of organic, fair-trade Colombian coffee from Uniquely J costs only $9.95.
Speaking of prices, does Jet have free two-day shipping like Amazon Prime?
Jet will provide two-day shipping on orders of Uniquely J products, but it’s only free if you spend $35 or more
What would you recommend I buy from Uniquely J?
We compared the Uniquely J products to similar items that are available on Jet to see what’s actually a good deal. Here are some of our favorites.
The Uniquely J Thai peanut sauce is about a dollar cheaper than a jar of Thai Kitchen Peanut Satay, and it’s also bigger, with an additional five ounces of sauce.
This pack of 12 rolls is a little more than $3 cheaper than a 12-pack of Seventh Generation Toilet Paper, and though the Uniquely J toilet paper doesn’t seem to be made from recycled materials, it is Sustainable Forestry Initiative–certified.
These fig and olive crisps are a couple dollars more expensive than other crackers available on Jet, like 34 Degrees Crispbread or Blue Diamond Nut-Thins. But there aren’t really any crackers that are directly comparable to this flavor, making it an actually unique find (and a solid way to fancy up a cheese plate for not that much more money).
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