Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Tastes great, less costly!

September 1, 2009

shop1Check out Consumer Reports’ latest taste test.

The magazine found that 23 store-brand foods tasted as good as or better than their big national brand competitors in blind tests of 29 food products.  The store-brand foods tested cost an average of 27 percent less than their big-name counterparts, allowing consumers to trim their shopping bills. 

“Our tests should erase any lingering doubts that store-brand packaged goods aren’t at least worth a try. In many cases, you’ll save money without compromising on quality,” Tod Marks, senior project editor for Consumer Reports Shopping, said in a statement.

“Today’s store brands are not the no-frills generics folks remember from the ’70s. They enjoy more prominent placement on shelves, snazzier packaging, more promotion, and, in general, higher manufacturing standards than in years past,” he added.

For example, Consumer Reports said its tasters preferred Archer Farms Chewy Soft Baked cookies (Target), Kirkland Signature Organic Medium Salsa (Costco) and Great Value Whipped Topping (Walmart) to similar products from Pepperidge Farm, Old El Paso, Betty Crocker and Kraft.

In the most recent supermarket survey by Consumer Reports National Research Center, 70 percent of respondents said they were highly satisfied with the quality of store brands.

Not every store brand finished on top in the survey, however. Tasters still preferred Ocean Spray Craisins, KC Masterpiece Original barbeque sauce, Oscar Mayer precooked bacon, Quaker Natural Granola Oats, Honey & Raisins cereal, and Kellogg’s Pop Tarts to the store brands.

Also in the basket:

Late Labor Day seen as pulling down August sales

Dubai’s Istithmar working on Barneys finances

Gander Mountain Q2 loss widens; shares fall

(Reuters photo)

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