Consumer Reports Tastes Store Branded Foods, Finds Some Are Just As Good

Name brands exert a strong power over shoppers: 17% of us think name brand foods are more nutritious, even though there’s little nutritional difference between the two categories. Consumer Report performed taste tests on several food categories to determine whether name brands tasted better than store brands, and found that in some cases the store brands actually won.

Some of the store brand winners:

  • Chicken soup: Food Lion’s (36 cents per serving) Lotsa’ Noodles soup beat out Campbell’s Chicken Noodle (41 cents per serving) for having a little more intense flavor. Campbell’s had oily broth, with fatty pieces of chicken.
  • Orange juice: Publix Premium won over Tropicana for having a bit less of a cooked flavor with slightly less bitter taste.
  • Hot dogs: America’s Choice (A&P, $2.64 per package) beef hot dogs trumped Oscar Mayer ($3.65 per package) for their juicy and flavorful franks.

Although store brands performed well in the taste tests, “second tier” brands did not. The magazine says,

We tasted second-tier Kroger Value Sandwich Singles Imitation Pasteurized Process Cheese Food and Shoppers Value creamy peanut butter, bought at Albertsons. Testers said the Kroger faux cheese is inferior to Kraft and regular Kroger singles. It’s salty and chalky, with the artificial-butter aroma common in microwavable popcorn. The Shoppers Value peanut butter is so-so, with off-notes (raw-nut flavor) and a bit of bitterness, probably from peanut skins.

“Store brands vs. name brands” [Consumer Reports]
“Consumer Reports Latest Taste Tests Find Some Store Brands at Least as Good as National Brands” [PR Newswire]