Budget v big brand labels – and there’s one clear winner on favorite products

Shopper taste tests undertaken by researchers reveal that store brands are not only cheaper, but often are preferable when it comes to taste

Ditching big brands for supermarket own-label products could save shoppers hundreds of pounds a year

Cost of living hit shoppers could save hundreds of pounds a year by ditching big brands such as Heinz and Kelloggs and switching to supermarket own-label products, consumer group Which? found.

Researchers carrying blind taste tests concluded that supermarket own-brands are often not only cheaper when it comes to everyday essentials, but sometimes taste better.

Examples include baked beans where, Which? says, shoppers could knock over £70 off their shopping bill.

Budget chain Lidl’s Newgate baked beans – 32p for 420g, 8p per 100g – were ranked the best value option.

They cost less than half the price of Heinz beans, that Which? found cost £1 for 415g tin.

The savings are even greater for orange juice, at almost £100 a year.

Aldi was rated the cheapest with its The Juice Company Smooth Orange Juice costing £1.69 per 1.75 liter carton – or 10p per 100ml.

Heinz baked beans can



In contrast, Innocent orange juice was the priciest option at £3.60 for 1.35 litres, or 27p per 100ml, and came last for taste.

A third product tested was peanut butter, although the saving from switching from a bigger brand was a lot less, at £9.90 a year.

Testers compared popular peanut butter brands WholeEarth, Sun-Pat, and KP against own-labels from supermarkets.

Lidl’s Mister Choc Crunchy Peanut Butter was found to be the best value pick, costing 85p for 340g – 25p per 100g.

At the other end of the scale was Sun-Pat, costing £2.50 per 400g jar – or 63p per 100g.

Other supermarket own-brand products were ranked better on taste.

Big brand spread Marmite cost £2.49 per 250g jar – £1 per 100g – said Which?

Table for the Which? brands shopping

Yet Aldi’s Grandessa Mighty Yeast Extract was not only ranked top for taste but also costs £1.69 per 240g jar – 70p per 100g.

It comes as figures last week found shoppers are ditching big brand groceries for supermarket own-label ranges to save money amid the cost of living squeeze.

A report from number crunchers NielsenIQ showed sales of branded grocery products fell by 5.1% in the four weeks to March 26.

Sales of own-label products were down less, at 1.9%, while demand packaged “private label” ranged increased by 3.3%.

It meant the own-label products shares of all sales rose from 52.4% a year ago to 53.2% now.

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Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at Which?, said: “No one wants to overpay for basic groceries, especially when the cost of living crisis is putting huge pressure on household budgets.

“Shopping around and buying own-brand products is an easy way to save hundreds of pounds a year.

“Those prepared to switch to a cheaper supermarket for their regular shop will likely find some great value alternatives to their favorite brands – with many even beating their well-known rivals for taste in Which?’s tests.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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