Brand Names vs. Store Brands: What's in a name?

7:00 AM Posted by Centsible Mommy

I receive a lot of emails asking my opinion of store brands. My answer in a nutshell is they are usually just as good as the higher priced name brands. Here's why:

Most store brands are manufactured by the same manufacturers as the more expensive name brands. For example, Sam's Choice soft drinks(one of the store brands found at Walmart) is manufactured by Cott, the same company that manufactures RC products or as some of you may remember when Peter Pan Peanut Butter was recalled this past year so was Walmart's store brand Great Value peanut butter right along with it. I've always found the two taste alike.

Ol' Roy Dog food found at Walmart is their store brand dog food. It is manufactured by Doane Pet Care, Doane is a division of the privately held, McLean-based Mars Inc. manufacturer of candy, pet foods, and more

So what's really in a name? Well, the cost of advertising, marketing, and packaging to name a few. The store brands are usually the same product in less flashy packaging although some store brand packaging is just as evolved as some of the brand names nowadays (no more white labels with black writing). So next time, before you reach for that name brand product because of its name, perhaps grab the store brand, look at the ingredients, you'll see that they're usually the same as the higher priced name brands, do a taste test at home between it and your usual name brand---you'll notice some taste exactly the same, and do a quick internet search on the manufacturer's infomation found on the label, you'll usually find that they are divisions of the manufacturers who make the name brand products.

When I did a search of some of my favorite store brands from both Kroger and Walmart I found that most of them were manufactured by Con Agra, Unilever, Mars, and many other well known product manufacturers.

And store brands are not just limited to food. You can find store brands or less expensive brands in all types of products. For example, Durabrand is a store brand of electronics carried by Walmart. When I did a search on this brand, I found it Durabrand is chained with Lenoxx Sound, Alco, Funai (which would also include Emerson, Sylvania, and Symphonic), Orion, Maxell, Resonance, Initial Technology, and many other different well known companies.

Just as the old saying goes "Don't judge a book by its cover" same is true as "don't judge a product by its name." So before you reach for that higher priced item just because you think it's better-perhaps give it a second thought. Think that perhaps your paying for the cost of marketing not necessarily quality or taste when you're grabbing a name brand. Store brands can offer you the savings not because their products taste bad or of less quality, but instead, because their overhead (cost of advertising) is low and marketing costs are nil and these savings transfer to the you, the consumer. So, the less flashy package right beside your usual pick might just be your usual name brand in disguise with a different label and much less expensive price tag. And who knows, it may become your new favorite brand!

What are some of your favorite store brands? In your opinion, what store brand products tasted just like the name brand products? I would love to hear your opinion!

2 guests said:

  1. Anonymous said...

    is there a site that lists generic brands and name brand equivalents? I would think some employees would leak this out . . . there should be a cache of this information. I've often heard many of the breads are the same (same batch even) just with a different wrapper.

  2. Anonymous said...

    i am doing an experiment and this info helped me alot!