Some people will only buy name brands while others believe most store brands are just as good. My mother-in-law, for example, was extremely brand loyal and she insisted that generic store brands were of inferior quality.
This brand loyalty became difficult for me when I began to do her grocery shopping for her and she asked for items that I’m sure had been discontinued ten or more years ago. Has anyone seen Aylmer’s Baked Beans lately?
I, on the other hand, am more price conscious and at one time the cupboards and fridge in my kitchen contained so many yellow label items – everything from dried pasta and tomato sauce to cream cheese and oatmeal – that I had to make sure and read the label before opening cans and packages.
Store Brands vs. Name Brand Products
There are some brand name items that I prefer the quality of – I always buy Heinz Ketchup and Campbell’s soups – and if the price difference is only a few cents I will tend to buy the name brand, but for the most part I don’t find much (if any) difference in generic and store brands.
I’ve done a lot of experimenting and I have found my favourite generics. For example I prefer many of Safeway’s Lucerne brands to Harmony from Co-op. But when it comes to taste it’s basically what you get used to or what is familiar.
When shopping at Costco I find Kirkland brand products are usually good quality and I buy most of my paper and cleaning products there. Their vitamins and over the counter medications contain exactly the same ingredients as name brand products at less than half the price. This savings alone makes up for the annual membership fee.
I’ve always heard that a lot of generics are really brand names without the brand label. I don’t know if that is true but I have noticed that grocery stores have vastly improved their own branded items.
Do you buy store brands or generic versions? Do you buy them because they are cheaper?
Have you found any store brand items that are actually better than the pricier name brand version?