I'm not talking about generic brands in general. Just store brands.
This grocery store chain here introduced their own line of food for just about every product, like cookies, bread, cheese, sauces, frozen dinners, etc etc.
They start out cheap and at a decent quality, then when you start buying those instead of your preferred brand, the preferred brand starts lowering the price up until they're just like 20 cents above the store brand, but you still don't buy them because it's more expensive. They do well when they're on sale, so that's about it.
Then the store starts declining the quality of their products as the competition starts doing the same as well. Smaller containers, lower quality ingredients, etc etc, until they're practically giving you the same cheap knock-off that they sell to Wal-Mart*.
Then the store brand starts taking over because it's still doing well even after all the reductions on the normal brand. Even if some people switched back to the normal brand, the store brand has already established itself and a lot of people buy it just based on principal because they feel they are voting with their dollar for the cheaper product or some bullshit.
So the store starts whittling the selection down until they only carry 2 normal brands for every product that they have a store brand item for. The only shit besides the store brand is the really high quality expensive stuff, or the really poor quality disgusting generic brand that is made out of plastic.
So basically if you're not rich or dirt poor, you're stuck buying the store brand now. Then they start raising the price of that to match what you used to buy. So in the end after all this stupid exercise, you are paying the same price or more for store brand stuff, and your favorite good quality normal brand stuff is gone because "there is no demand anymore" according to the store, and also the brand knows that it's not doing well at that store anymore too and isn't pandering to have their shit sold there.
It's like some long drawn out bait & switch game. I've had this shit happen at nearly every neighborhood I lived in. But then again if you stick to just buying the normal brands of shit, they start getting crappy as well (like less filling in between the cookie, less chocolate chips, using nasty gelatin instead of real ice cream, using oil instead of real cheese, or whatever).
Holy fuck, I'm turning into my parents worrying about this type of shit. But I hate getting ripped off and it's a constant struggle not to.
My yogurt is smaller and more expensive :(
* (Wal-Mart gets a special shitty version of everything in almost/same packaging as normal stores so you don't notice)