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Report: Store brands’ taste is worth the savings

Josef Brandenburg offers advice for shoppers confused by food labels. (Thinkstock)

Alan Etter, WTOP

WASHINGTON – When shopping for groceries, do you generally choose brand names over the store brands? You could be spending a lot more for no additional quality.

Consumer Reports compared 57 store brands to better-known brand names.

Thirty-three of the 57 store brands tasted as good or better than the brand names in a recent taste test. But the magazine didn’t stop there — staffers who regularly purchased Heinz ketchup and Hellmann’s mayonnaise did a blind taste test against store-brand products and more than 40 percent preferred the store brands.

In one of the most notable cases, Target’s Market Pantry ketchup was a virtual dead ringer for Heinz ketchup, according to the results.

Supermarket brands generally cost 15 percent to 30 percent less than national brands, an industry expert tells Consumer Reports. And some items at Sam’s Club were 50 or 60 percent cheaper in warehouse-size packages.

However, store brands don’t always save you money. Consumer Reports says Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods can have expensive store brands, and five of 10 tested Whole Foods products cost more than their national brand-name counterparts.

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