Thursday, October 7, 2010

Do You Believe in Name Brands?

I'm talking Grocery Name Brands.  We've all grown up with specific brands of food items and we continue to buy those same name items simply because of that.   Robin Hood Flour, Kraft Dinner, Kelloggs, Delta Rice, Hershey etc.  I bet you could pull two names right off the top of your head that brings back not only child hood memories but you also buy today to recreate those memories for your own children.

Somewhere down the line we've absorbed the belief that name brands are better and no name knock-offs are just not the same.  But is it really true?  I mean it's pretty hard to buy that bag of Robin Hood Flour when the no name brand is sitting right next to it at almost a dollar less.  Which would you buy?  I bought Robin Hood because it's familiar and I know it's good quality.  For years, I have stuck to my guns on certain name brands but when you are feeding a family of five, it's tough to stay true. My eyes now automatically slide to the cheaper can next to it and more often than not I'm buying it.

So what have I learned in the process?  Are the name brand products really all that superior? 

Yes and No.

I know that doesn't really help but really it comes down to a product by product comparison.  Some products are better than others.  Take chocolate chips. I generally buy Hersheys but sometimes I get frustrated by how expensive it is for a little bag (Thankful they now sell jumbo bags) so I tried the much larger bag of no name chocolate chips and I have to tell you it was so bad, we still have chips sitting in the cupboard that I won't make cookies with.  I don't know why I don't just throw it away.  So I've learned you can't mess with chocolate.  Quality of ingredients is very important or you just might find yourself buying "chocolate flavored" products like they now sell in Advent Calendars and Easter Bunnies.  Gross.

Other items, I swear it's the same company just repackaging the same product in a cheaper package so as to target us cheapos er thrifty people.  Safeway corn or Green Giant corn?  Uncle Ben or the knock off Uncle Paul rice?  Pretty much tasted the same to me. 

However, when I tried to switch to the bulk bag of fruit loops vs Kelloggs.  That didn't go so well.  While the ingredient list seemed the same and it had the same amount of Iron as it's more expensive sistah, they definitely were a poor quality turning into a big soggy mess in five seconds.  I definitely could not pour the milk until the child was at the table or they'd refuse to eat it. 

No Name Macaroni and Cheese? Blech.  It just doesn't taste the same something even the kids noticed and they wouldn't eat it.  Not that we eat much of this but I do like to have it now and then.

We don't have all the big box stores like they do in the US or the bigger cities in Canad so unfortunately, I have to really be aware of the sales going on at my local stores and shop as smart as I can.  Which, when you are lazy busy is hard to do.

What about you?  Have you tried no named brand?  What is the one brand you would always stick with no matter what the price?


Do you look for grocery coupons by brand?

3 comments:

  1. Some generics are perfect - but others I have learned I don't like as much. Some cereals, feminine hygiene products must always be Always. Dental floss. Deodorant. I'm sure there is more but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.

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  2. We used to have a few products that we would stick to the name on brand regardless of the price. And then after the economy tanked and our income plummeted, we went all generic, all the time. Now that we are recovering, most of the foods I buy won't be name brand. But that's because we eat a lot less prepared foods or foods that have a big difference in taste between name brand and generic.

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  3. Ketchup is definitely something I have to always have Heinz! Most other things I've experimented with and, like you, have discovered some generics are better than name brand and others not so much.

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