Give Store Brands a Try

In most cases, store brand kitchen staples such as pancake mix, canned vegetables and pastas are exactly the same as the more expensive "brand name" items. I had a friend that worked in a packaging factory and he told me that they would pack exactly the same product, one in a brand name package, several in different chain store brands. There are exceptions but it it worth considering trying the bargain brand before shelling out the big bucks for the fancy name.

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Jess in Portland, OR

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November 19, 20040 found this helpful

I teach a class on cooking shopping etc in a state agency. I have done a great deal of research on many topic. Many people do not know the truth about store brands and no name brands. ("generic.") I feel a well informed consumer is well armed and safer. Non Brand name products are C quality products. the name brand companies have rejected the product because it is not good quality. You take a real risk when purchasing no name or "generic" items. I grew up on store brand items and found time and again more got wasted or thrown out due to poor quality then ever got used. Food is packed in extra water or comes in poor quality. One time it tastes or works good and the next it is disgusting. I pay the extra for a name brand because I know that the company has a name to protect and goes outt of their way to produce good quality products. I also find that canned foods are often full of stems and other poor quality food that can't be eaten but have to be thrown out. If you make this choice, choose with knowledge not just to save a few cents.

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November 19, 20040 found this helpful

no, i dont know where you get your food, but where i shop, shraubs, most times the generic brands are better than the so called real brand names. Maybe you just arent shopping in the right places. I have been to other stores and they are a little below gormet standards but, hey, it costs less!

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November 19, 20040 found this helpful

That C grade product argument just doesn't apply anymore. Neither does the consistancy argument. Stores invest a lot in these products, the savings comes from them not having to advertise each brand. Do a test today and you will find some store brands being better than name brands. And you will find consistant quality. 10 years ago... maybe not. But the investment in these brands by stores and their reliance on people buying them is vastly different than it used to be. They are trying to compete with name brands now and they take quality very seriously. Safeway doesn't want their brand to be crap.

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April 25, 20050 found this helpful

I shop at Krogers and I have slowly started to buy their brand over name brand on many products. I have not been able to tell a difference taste or quality wise yet. Somethings I havent bough store brand yet, but I am planning on it.

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January 18, 20060 found this helpful

No offense meant to Walker ...but I have found that store brands are often better or as good as name brand food. Starkist tuna has far more water is and less meatier than the store brand I have been buying. We have been buying store brand items for years and have never found the quality to be in question. Teaching this class, it would seem is a disservice to your attendees...because you teach in a state agency I am presuming the people who attend are on the more low income scale and therefore are buying higher priced foods and paying for the manufacturers' advertising! These especially are the ones who need to make their dollars stretch further! How often have I seen people with food stamp cards purchase expensive grocery items that I wouldn't buy for my own family! I am not putting them down, however , it does make me wonder about the "system". Also makes me wonder about the instructors "research" in this area. Common sense would indicate that name brands are top dollar because the consumer ends up paying for the advertising associated with this product. Many companies like Walmart do not have their own commissaries to produce food products, but rather have the name brand companies re-label the product and sell it for a fraction of the cost. Sorry to ramble on but this guest post really bothered me....it offends me when someone tries to back up their statements by stating there is "research" to support their opinion.

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August 19, 20060 found this helpful

I remember when generics first became popular. The arguement the they were inferior would indeed have been true, but it no longer holds true. Even Aldis is now starting to carry gourmet products under their own label.

When my son was younger, he insisted on a certain ketchup which was his favorite, not to mention his father's favorite. One day, I took him to the store to shop with me. We actually went to 3-4 stores, where we bought every brand of ketchup that we could find. We went home and opened all of them. We poured them out to check thickness, consistency, color, smell, taste, and price. I remember the surprised look on his face when he realized the differences you could see, taste and smell having them side-by-side. He decided that his so called favorite wasn't really the one he like best. This experiment stayed with him, and he often applied it to many other areas of his life. It made my life SOOOO much easier, that I felt the money had been well spent.

PS: His father decided that his favorite ketchup wasn't that good either.

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August 29, 20060 found this helpful

We don't have Kroger's here in Chicago area but when I lived in KY we did. My good friend there uses quite a few of the Kroger branded items. What I do use a lot of is Wal-Mart's "Great Value" brand. In fact, I seek out those products over brand names and find them to be every bit as good, if not better!

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August 29, 20060 found this helpful

Store brands are great, especially since if you don't like it, you WILL GET MONEY BACK, unlike with name brands. There is no risk. I have returned coffee because it was not as good quality. Now where Walker is coming from, you may have run across the lower end of store brand (you'll notice every store has at least two brands of store brand.) I have bought on the lower end, and noticed a difference in taste or texture, but overall the "higher end" store brands are comparable to big labels.

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