Food

Store Brand vs. Name Brand


I’m slowly getting used to my husband’s reluctance in purchasing name brand goods. I’ve grown up thinking that no one possibly buys the other no-name brands. They must be there for decoration. Now that I know how money works (it’s only taken me 24 years, guys) I’ve been noticing all the sweet deals you can get when you buy store brand (or poor brand as I like to call it).

Store brand shopping is tricky. I was in the habit of telling myself that if something’s more expensive, it’s probably better quality. This is not always true. But it usually is.

Also, I’m a sucker for good packaging. Store brands have the worst appearance. They just don’t look good. Which would you rather buy?

Just for the record, mayo is disgusting.

This brand really went all-out on their look.

The bottom picture’s brand is actually called No Name. I almost have to laugh at that. But it takes more than that to make me laugh. There’s a warehouse type grocery store here that sells a lot of No Name food. I’ve actually purchased a couple of their items. Their chicken nuggets aren’t bad, but their tortilla chips are. It just depends, I guess. I was really proud of myself for eating cheap chicken nuggets. That was a big step for me. Soon enough my ghetto transformation will be complete.

One of my favorite store brands is from an English grocery store called Sainsbury’s. I have so many good memories there. Sainsbury’s Basic brand knows it’s crap, and it tells you so right on the packaging. Here are some gems:

"A little less tidy, still a great pick." Is it though? Why couldn't you have made it tidier?

That cat looks like he wants to kill himself.

"Still rises to the occasion" is kind of cute, but I still wouldn't purchase this product.

I can’t help it if I like the finer things in life. Food is too important to mess around with. If I’m gonna partake in a calorie fest, it better taste like heaven.

That is all.

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22 thoughts on “Store Brand vs. Name Brand

  1. If it’s a real good bargain I’ll go store brand. Usually it’s only like 50 cents tops. Most of the stuff I eat isn’t bad from the store. My only limit I’ve ever had is not buying something that simply says “Cola” on it.

    Isn’t Trader Joe’s all store brands? Or it’s cheap brands. I don’t know. Only people who care about the environment go there.

    And Mayo is gross. I also know a guy who goes by the nickname Mayo. He’s really gross. He coughs a lot and uses the C-Word like it’s an a comma. He must be store brand because he isn’t dressed very fancy either.

    • Anything that says Cola is bound to taste like throw up. I don’t even like Coca-Cola because it has the word Cola in it. I’m more of a Diet Pepsi gal.
      Trader Joe’s kind of scares me. Everything is healthy in there. I don’t recognize any of the brands. You have to do wayy too much looking around because nothing is familiar. Too foreign.
      You WOULD know someone named Mayo.

  2. Gary says:

    The Sainsbury’s Basic brand is very deliberately like that. It’s not the cheapest supermarket around but to increase market share they also have this range with not-so-refined goods.

    For example, they do Sainsbury’s Basics Smoked Salmon, which isn’t the beautiful slivers of salmon you usually expect in their luxury pack but all odd shapes and sizes. However they’re both the same product, but one is the off-cuts of the other.

    For many products I think they’re just as good. Whereas some of them it’s not worth skimping on quality – in my opinion.

    It’s also worth mentioning that every supermarket in the UK has a range equivalent to this. It’s kind of expected now!

    • You seem to be very well versed in the ways of Sainsbury’s. And I appreciate that! I agree, most products are just as good as the name brand versions. I guess it’s just hard for me to branch out of my usual brands!
      Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂

  3. Haha! LOL!! “Ghetto transformation!”

    Psychologically I need the nicer label. I think I would buy store brand Cheerios and dry sorts of food. As far as wet/moist food goes, I’ll stick with my tried and true. Too scary.

  4. I actually prefer the minimalist approach of noname brands, like the yellow pack you showed. There is a noname brand that uses brown recycled paper for everything and only says SUGAR or TEA on the packs in black. I don’t which chain uses it, but it’s awesome. Feels real, simple and natural.

    I think we have too much visual pollution, these simple packs are like a breath of fresh air in the supermarkets and in our world in general. Just like the iPad stands out with its simplicity among the other devices that suffer from featuritis. Simple packs tell me what I want to know and nothing else.

    I graduated as a packaging engineer and I know that fancy packaging works better because all the extrinsic visual elements add perceived value to the product. I may have became immune to such branding influences when it comes to buying them because I do it myself. I do enjoy looking at richly designed labels, especially on spirits and expensive chocolates, but I don’t buy it unless it’s a present. 🙂

    • Oh Ivan, you really know your stuff, dontcha? Purchasing items with simple labels makes me feel like I’m living in the 19th century. Where sacks of flour just said “Flour”. Seems so old fashioned! But there is something nice about it, I suppose.
      I like your use of the phrase “visual pollution” and I believe that to be true as well. We live in a world that needs to be constantly stimulated. It’s kind of creepy now that I think about it.

  5. That is so funny. I am the complete opposite. I always wonder who buys the name brand when it has the same ingredients but is much cheaper? I’m a cheapskate I guess. And it depends where you’re getting it, too. HEB is always good (I just did a pickle taste-test, so that crappy version isn’t getting on the shelves on my watch) except when it comes to cereals. I don’t buy the bag cereal. Also because those are the sugary ones.

    • Yeah, I’ve always preferred the fancy packaging and the familiar names. But I guess if I started buying store brand, they would become familiar as well! Paul definitely likes to save a buck or two. I’m trying to get good deals, but I fear that I’m not that good at it yet…!

  6. Good old Sainsbury’s basics. I take advantage of their own-brand 26 pence soup at lunch each day at work.

    This post makes you sound like a princess who is finally emerging from her royal palace to see how the plebs live. That’s the complete opposite of Cinderella…!

  7. No Name kinda cracked me up in Nova Scotia. It was the store brand of Atlantic Superstore. At Sobey’s the store brand was President’s Choice.
    Here’s a secret: A lot of the “no name” brands are made by the BIG brands. They’re just cheaper because the packaging is cheaper. Next time you’re in the grocery store and have time on your hands, pick up an item from a “no name” brand, and the top competitor, and check the label for where it was manufactured. A lot of the items are made in the same place with the same ingredients. Tricky, tricky, those BIG brands are! They’re charging you for the packaging you love so much!

    There ARE some things that are not the same, and can be AWFUL. Mayonnaise that is not Hellman’s is GROSS. Also, no name parmesan cheese? BLECH!

    • I didn’t know that! I’ll check next time! Yeah we have President’s Choice here too! I don’t mind that one as much. No Name is pretty weird though!
      Hahah Hellman should be the only one allowed to make mayo. We should sign a petition or something!

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