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Billeater: Save Money When Comparing Store Brands to National for Quality

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by
at 11:58AM Wednesday September 7, 2011
under Money Saving Tips

You can save money by switching to a store brand versus its national brand counterpart. Consumer Reports studied store brand and national brand item in 29 food categories. The results were pretty amazing. Of the foods tested, 19 resulted in a tie. The remaining 10 were divided as six times the national brand won and four times the winner was the store brand.

The message here is 23 out of 29 times you will enjoy the same or even beat the national brand in quality and taste. What a great way to trim the fat from your grocery bill!
The Taste of Generic

Starting in the 1970s you may remember the "generic store brand" versions of popular or national name brand products. Names such as "Peanut Butter" or "Whole Kernel Corn" would be stamped in black on a plain white-labeled can. The packaging wasn't the only thing that was bland; taste and quality suffered as well. Times have changed since the 70s, as Annika noted in her post on brand vs. generic.  The store brands of today are rivaling even the most gourmet national brand products. Private "generic" labels have been cropping up all over the country in supermarkets looking like a high-quality labeled product.

The Name Game

Any product can think up new and exciting names and packaging ideas, however, the question comes down to quality and taste. Supermarkets in recent years have gone from the generic white label with black lettering to their own stores' name brand product.

Then some companies started to buy each other out so the store's name may not have been the best marketing choice for a product line. In some instances the companies just plain wanted to invent a whole new product. Some stores to go this direction rather than market their in-house version of a national brand rip-off. Regardless of brand creation, the consumer will make the ultimate decision on which to try and hopefully grow loyal to. Catchy names, great packaging and strategic placement on shelving have all proved to be amazing marketing ideas. But when it comes to the name game, quality and taste will be the ultimate factors.

Money Well Spent

In the 2000s, the store brand was a godsend to consumers looking to keep their grocery bill down. It can be hit or miss as some store brands still remain inferior to their national counterpart. Many food manufacturers, however, actually produce the national AND store brand item. There are manufacturers dedicated to the production of each only as well. A smart shopper may wish to do some research on their favorite items. Find out which store brands are made by the same manufacturer as the national brand.

If you've found your favorite store brand cereal is made by a national name brand company, make sure to check the list of ingredients. Even though it is made by the same manufacturer, the recipe may have been changed slightly to favor the national brand. Like anything else, knowledge is power.

Are there any store brand products you prefer to their brand name counterparts? Tell us which items won over your taste buds in the comments!

Jessica Bosari writes for the money-saving site, The site is devoted to helping people reduce expenses, save money and find great deals. Pay Billeater a visit for more money-saving tips!