News of Your Commissary
The Panama Canal Review - November 3, 1950
Although the Commissary Division operates a number of manufacturing plants, such as the Bakery, Coffee-Roasting Plant, Ice Cream Plant, Sausage Factory, and Ice Plant, the Industrial Laboratory, which is one of the group, is possibly the most unusual because of the multiplicity of operations which are conducted by its Chemist. The more than 200 items which are presently made or repackaged there under the Commissary label, usually cause the Laboratory to be considered the home of Commissary products. The lines include foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, insecticides, cosmetics, polishes, cleaning compounds, and others too numerous to itemize.
By purchasing high quality commodities in bulk and repacking in our Plant, many items can be sold at a substantially lower price than if purchased from the supplier in retail size packages. Moreover, by buying raw materials and making our own finished products, savings are passed on to the consumer because of the following factors: lack of advertising costs, the use of inexpensive containers and labels, and inexpensive hand-operated machinery for many products.
Experimental and development work is constantly under way to produce new items for sale as Commissary products, or to improve those which are now being made. Recent new additions to the line have been the Creme Shampoo, non-flammable Paint and Varnish Remover, Comsy Cola, and Liquid Laundry Bluing, all of which have proven to be popular with the trade. Changes have recently been made in the formulas for Borymol and our DDT Insecticide, both of which have resulted in superior products.
With few exceptions, our raw materials are purchased from States sources of supply. Our biggest problems arise with the ordering of bottles, the scheduling of deliveries, and storage after arrival on the Isthmus. It is not practicable for a number of reasons for us to carry individual stocks of containers for specific items; instead we try to use inexpensive containers that can be adapted to more than one item. In the eyes of most glass manufacturers, our requirements of bottles are relatively small and in many instances less than the minimum quantities that will be accepted for delivery. While it may not be possible to alter our style of bottles to a material extent, we nevertheless have a package improvement plan under way at present to improve the general appearance of all our products. The most noticeable change so far is the replacement of the black metal caps with closures made of white plastic. Several of the newly designed lables have already made their appearance on the shelves of your commissaries and more will follow periodically until the change is complete.
All old-time Zonians are thoroughly familiar with Commissary products and will consider no substitute for a rather considerable number of them, such as Borymol oral antiseptic, Bocas mouthwash, Cree-Mee brushless shave, Athlene liniment, and Menticol cooling lotion. The last-named product was developed years ago in our Laboratory and appears to be unique and much sought after by persons who have used it here, then moved away. We regularly receive letters from former residents, and occasionally purchase-orders for wholesale quantities for resale in other countries, asking that we ship Menticol to them; however, because the regulations under which we operate do not permit the exportation of merchandise regularly, we are compelled to decline all such requests.
Newcomers who are not familiar with the full extent of our Laboratory products, and who are interested in seeing their purchasing dollar spread as widely as possible, will find it to their budgetary advantage to use regularly the Industrial Laboratory products. We're certain that they will then learn that..."The Commissary label is truly a guarantee of quality."
May 23, 2000
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