Personal finance blogger Len Penzo doesn’t have a minivan full of highly trained tasters at his disposal like our siblings at Consumer Reports. When he set out to compare generic and name-brand cereals, he found something even better. He rounded up the small children of his neighborhood, and subjected them to a blind cereal taste-test.
True to the Consumerist model of taste-testing, there was also a dog.
The results? Name-brand Froot Loops and generic Apple Jacks won, but none of the store brand cereals won by enough of a margin to justify the difference in price.
Yes, the name-brand cereals won four of the six challenges, but only the Kellogg’s Froot Loops won by even a moderately-sized margin. I think the other three wins were really too narrow to justify paying price premiums between 33 and 62 percent for the national labels. In fact, one could argue that even in the case of the Froot Loops, the victory was nowhere near decisive enough to justify paying two and a half times the cost of the store brand knock-off.
My recommendation is simple: If your kids are already used to eating the name-brand kid cereals and you’re afraid they’ll balk at trying the store brands, save those name-brand boxes and put the store brand bags inside them.
Then, if the kids fail to notice the difference after eating the store brands, you can eventually let them in on your little secret – and enjoy drastically lower grocery bills in the process.
And then your children will never trust you again. Maybe don’t try that last part.