Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Name Brands VS. Store Brands

A recent article on Yahoo has some taste test results that will make store brand fans (moi) sing with glee.  There are several generic items that are just as good without the name brand price tag.  Blind taste tests had many store brand foods equal in quality to name brand products.

Add in a huge price savings on many store brands, and I'm dancing the jig.

What many shoppers don't know is that national brands, such as Hormel, package many store brand products.  While you can never be certain where exactly your generic brand hails from, chances are it's from a very reputable company.

If you're looking to break lose of brand loyalty and try some store brand items, here is a list of the top finishers:

Peanut Butter:

Blind taste tests had Wegman's peanut butter tied with Skippy.  Skippy is a bit sweeter, Wegman's a tad more roasted in flavor.

Savings?  $0.05 per serving

Cheez Its:

Dollar General ties Sunshine's signature Cheez It,  noting that Dollar General's were a bit saltier and slighty more toasted.

Savings?  $0.19 serving

Greek Yogurt:

Of all the results, it shocked me that Winn Dixie's Greek Yogurt was equal in quality and taste to Chobani.  Another plus?  Winn Dixie's was slightly sweeter.

Savings?  $0.22 serving

Ranch Dressing:

This result came as no surprise to me, since I'm a regular Target customer and Market Pantry's Ranch Dressing is currently residing in my fridge.  I haven't purchased Hidden Valley Ranch is a long while.

Savings? $0.12 serving


While I'm a bit of a carbohydrate snob, I do buy store brand bread if my favorite brands are not on sale.  I make enough sandwiches in a day to make the savings well worth my while.  This blind taste test has Hy-Vee Wheat Bread tied with Freihofer's.  Both breads are soft, although Hy-Vee has more of a sourdough flavor.

Savings? $0.06 slice or  $1.14 a loaf

Fruit & Nut Bars

I admit to having Great Value Fiber Bars in my pantry, and my six year old eats them regularly without complaint.  I was pleased to see that blind taste testers also enjoyed Great Value's Fruit & Nut Bars just as much as Hidden Valley.

Savings? $0.33 serving

While it may not seem like saving $0.33 a serving adds up to much, when you consider there are six bars in a box of Fruit & Nut Bars, you're saving $1.98 on a box compared to average retail prices.  If you buy two boxes a month, over the course of the year you're saving $47.52 on Fruit & Nut bars alone.

Now switch your salad dressing to Market Pantry, and buy one bottle a month.  Your annual savings jump to $70.56 on just two items.  And according to these taste tests, you're not compromising quality.

Below is a list of Mommyhood approved generic/store brand items:

Up & Up Paper Towels (Target)
Up & Up Laundry Detergent (Target)
White Cloud Toilet Paper (Walmart)
Market Pantry Cini-Mini Crunch (Target, compare to Cinnamon Toast Crunch)
Up & Up Dishwashing Soap (Target)

There are a few items, such as Eggo Waffles, that I have never found a generic to match the taste and quality.  However, by switching out many of the everyday items for generic, you can save tons of money.  I only bought Bounty Paper Towels for years.  With four kids and dozens of daily spills, I refused to stray from my favorite paper towel.  But one day, short on cash, I bought Up & Up instead.

I have never looked back.  And my annual savings on paper towels alone is about $100.00.

Share with us, what's your favorite store brand?

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