Shopper taste tests undertaken by researchers reveal that store brands are not only cheaper, but often are preferable when it comes to taste
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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.
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?
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.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.