Consumer Reports Conducts Grocery Taste Test: National Name Brands Vs. Generic Store Brands

Posted by on Sep 8

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In a recent study conducted by consumer advocacy magazine Consumer Reports, researchers found that store-brand grocery items are usually just as good as the higher-priced, name-brand items -- if not better.

Twenty-one well-known food products were put to the test -- items such as Mott's applesauce and Campbell's chicken noodle soup -- against generic counterparts found in local grocery stores. The professional taste testers at Consumer Reports revealed that there was not enough of a significant difference in taste or quality to rate a generic store brand below a national name brand. Most tests scored in an even tie. However, some name brands scored higher, and a few generic store brands surpassed their national rivals.

Researchers said that Food Lion's Lotsa' Noodles soup tasted better than Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup. They preferred the intense flavors of Lotsa' Noodles and were unimpressed with Campbell's oily broth and fatty pieces of chicken.

In the battle for orange juice supremacy, Consumer Reports rated Publix Premium higher than Tropicana. Tasters said that Tropicana had more of a bitter aftertaste and did not produce as much of a "cooked" flavor.

The third generic brand to surpass its competition was America's Choice beef hot dogs, which were rated as more flavorful than Oscar Meyer's hot dogs.

"The study reaffirms that store brands are worth a try," said Tod Marks, senior projects editor for Consumer Reports. "For a family that spends $100 a week on groceries, the savings could add up to more than $1,500 a year."

Additional findings are listed at www.consumerreports.org.

Source: Dine & Cook

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