May 2011 - Posts - Name Brand vs. Store Brand: Putting them to the Test
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Name Brand vs. Store Brand: Putting them to the Test

May 2011 - Posts

  • Name Brand vs. Store Brand - Mandarin Oranges


    This week we tested some different brand of Mandarin Oranges.

    Cost:  Geisha  1.09

              Dole       .98

              Kroger    .89

              Great Value    .64

    We all liked the Geisha  brand the best.  They were a little bit sweeter than the others.  The Dole and Great Value were a toss up.  They both tasted good.  The Kroger, on the other hand, was terrible.  As you can see in the picture, the juice is cloudier than the others.  I bought Kroger brand in the past and don't remember them being that way.  But, they were bad.  Great Value is much less than the other brands and tasted good, so that would be my vote if I was trying to stay in a budget and buy quality food.  If the Geisha brand went on sale and could match Great Value, I would buy them.  I must confess that I have been buying Dole Mandarin oranges for years.  After this comparison, I will buy the Great Value brand unless Dole can match their price or beat it.  I will save a lot of money in the long run from doing this test because we love mandarin oranges.  

    Have you tried other brands that aren't listed?  If so, please share your views.  If you have tried the brands above and like a particular one, please let us know!

  • Name Brand vs. Store Brand - Thousand Island Dressing

    We tried the following brands:

    Great Value - $1.50

    Kroger - $1.25

    Albertson's - $1.99

    Kraft - $1.50 (was on sale at the time I bought it)

    I didn't try this myself since I am not a fan of Thousand Island Dressing.  The people who tried it had no idea which brand was which.  They both choose the Kraft as the best compared to the rest.  There really was a taste difference.  Kraft tasted much better than the rest.  One person liked Albertson's next, and the other put Albertson's last.  Great Value and Kroger were linked together.   I am noticing that Albertson's brands seem to cost more than the other store brands.

    You can always make homemade Thousand Island dressing which costs less and my husband likes better.  

  • Name Brand vs. Store Brand - Unsweetened Applesauce

    We tried the following brands:

    Seneca - $1.64

    Mott's - $1.66

    Great Value (Walmart store brand) - $1.50

    Kroger - $1.61

    Albertson's - $2.29

    Results:  Seneca Unsweetened Applesauce won hands down.  Mott's was the one that people liked least of all.  They thought it was watery and didn't have much taste.  The other three were close enough in taste that they were put in the same category in the middle.  Notice how Great Value and Albertson's have the same packaging for the individual servings.  I would imagine that they are made by the same company. 


  • Name Brand vs. Store Brand - Chocolate Chips


    Kroger - 2.22

    Albertson's - 2.49

    Nestle's - 2.48  (price at Walmart)

    Ghirardelli - 3.38    (price at Walmart)

    Great Value - I looked at Walmart and couldn't find any store brand chocolate chips.  I wonder if they carry them any more?  Our store didn't even have a place for them by the chocolate chips.

    I didn't pay these prices for my chocolate chips.  I got them on sale at Christmas time and for some I used coupons and doubled them.  My Nestle's and Ghirardelli chips ranged from 80 cents to $1.50.  I am noticing that Albertson's store brand always seems to cost more than the store brand at Kroger or Walmart.

     Results:  People either liked A&D (Albertson's and Nestle's) or B&C. (Kroger & Ghirardelli) and it was about even.

    Kroger chips were sweeter and darker than the others.  Ghirardelli tasted good too.  Albertson's and Nestle weren't as sweet, but both tasted similar.  The after taste was stronger on the Albertson's brand, and I didn't like them personally.  A few others didn't like the Albertson's chips at all.  So, it all comes down to your taste preferences. How sweet do you like your chips?  I don't think it is worth the money to spend more on name brand chocolate chips.  I never thought I would say that, after being an avid Nestle Chocolate chip fan for years.  But, if you can get the name brand for less than the store brand, I would do that.   Chocolate chips go on sale during the holiday season and I would buy enough for the year at that time when prices are rock bottom.  You can also find coupons to make them even less.  

    Another alternative would be to get good quality chocolate when it is deeply discounted after holiday sales and chop up the chocolate and use the pieces in cookies, etc.  

  • Name Brand vs. Store Brand - Nutrigrain Bars

     Today I tested 4 different brands to see if there was much difference in price, taste, etc.  The four brands I tried were:  Great Value from Walmart, Kroger from Smith's, Nutrigrain bars which are the name brand, and Albertson's brand from Albertson's.  I have pictures of all of them here.  I was surprised to see that Kroger and Albertson's had the same exact packaging for the individual bars, although the outside packaging was different.  The prices were:

    Great Value $2.00, Kroger $2.20, Nutrigrain $2.69, and Albertson's $2.79

    Most of them looked the same.  Comments from people who tasted them were as follows:  I like the Albertson's brand least of all; The Great Value brand was drier; the jam in the Nutrigrain bar was sweeter than the rest.

    I personally think that if you can get the Nutrigrain bar for as much or less than the store brands, buy it because it did taste better overall.  But, if it costs a lot more, it isn't worth it.  They wre all very similar.   

    Do you have a product you would like me to compare?  Would you like to compare something yourself and send me the results so I can post them on this blog?  If so, e-mail me at mom@spendwise.org.


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