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Supermarket Own Brand Groceries

Discussion in 'The Lockdown Lounge' started by Angela Channing, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator EXP: 21 Years

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    Do you buy them or do you prefer the well known brands?

    I mostly buy own brand items to save money but there are a few things that I always thought were never as good as the major brands. One was tea and I always bought PG Tips until a few years ago when they shrank the size of their teabags and I felt I couldn't get a strong enough cup of tea any more when using them. So I tried just about every other major brands but none were as good as the old PG Tips. Then I tried Lidl's own brand and to my surprise I loved it, in fact, it's even better than PG Tips used to be.

    The number of big brands I still buy continues to fall but I would say over 80% of what I buy is own brand.

    Which do you prefer: bargain supermarket own brands or the well known names?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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  2. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 12 Years

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    I normally don't care about the brands. Especially with things like basic cans of stuff like tomatoes and beans, I use a lot of butter beans/kidney beans etc in cooking. I don't eat a lot of pre-prepared stuff. So it's usually veg, potatoes, meat or fish. And it would be just whatever supermarket I was in. Basic pasta and rice too. I think the only things I like to be branded is tea and coffee, I like Tetley and Nambarrie and Kenco Coffee or Nescafe. If it's filter coffee it's usually one of Tesco's own. The only other thing I can think of would be HP sauce and Heinz baked beans.
    I am not really loyal to one supermarket though. I like Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Lidl. I think I more into brands when it comes to health and beauty products and cleaning products.
     
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  3. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

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    In the US we usually refer to them as private-label products. I have to say I'm about 90% private label when it comes to the basics like sugar, pasta noodles, etc. but that's mostly because I'm not very brand loyal on that stuff. WalMart's "Great Value" line (their private-label items) is mostly items made by the brand leaders and simply given different packaging. I hear the "Kirkland" line of private-label products made for Costco is also highly-rated. I can get a little more picky when it comes to stuff like jellies/jams, frozen dinners, and stuff like that because the ingredients in a private-label item like a frozen dinner might be of generally lesser quality, whereas Sugar is Sugar.

    It's kind of fun trying to figure out who is actually manufacturing the store-label items for the stores. The companies like WalMart, Kroger, Costco, etc. keep the secrets under lock and key and leave no identifiable info on the labels....but you can tell by the shapes of the bottles, the sizes of the portions, or other similar traits when you have (say) a variety of Great Value Pasta Sauce right next to Prego Sauce on the shelf and they're in identical glass containers with the same ingredient lists and calorie counts. The only differences are the price (of course) and the design of the label. Once you figure out who is making what for whom, you have a little more confidence in buying the bargain brands. The cereal aisle is especially telling, since there's typically one factory turning out a national brand alongside ten or more private-label versions for numerous supermarket chains.
     
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  4. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator EXP: 21 Years

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    Coffee was another thing that I always used to buy one of the major brands until very recently. I always drank Kenco or Douwe Edgberts instant decaf until the weeks before lockdown when supermarket shelves were stripped of most goods. The only local place I could get coffee was Lidl so I bought their own brand instant decaf. It cost about a third of what I pay for my usual brand so I wasn't expecting much regarding taste, and I had previously tried Aldi's own brand and hated it, but in these times beggars can't be choosers. However, it makes a very good cup and I don't plan going back to my usual brand.

    I still buy branded toiletries and some cleaning products but I can imagine at some point switching to supermarket brands for more of them in the future.
     
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  5. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Winner EXP: 7 Years

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    I don't care about what brand it is as long as it's not overpriced, contains weird stuff or tastes bad.

    When it comes to coffee, I am pickier. I buy Arvid Nordqvist, Gevalia or some special blend from a small local company. With tea, I don't care what brand it is as long as it tastes good.

    I am also picky with meat considering how much antibiotics some countries give the animals. I buy only Swedish meat given our strong animal laws. (Although we could, and should, sharpen our laws regarding chicken.)

    I should be pickier with fish, as I know perfectly well that farmed fish can have been fed with some questionable things to make them grow bigger fast.
     
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  6. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    Yes, the same is true here; the contents are often identical. Other times, though, there is a definite lower quality. Spaghetti sauce may be thinner, for example. But the question is becoming moot, with the supermarkets increasingly dropping name brands in favour of their own.
     
  7. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

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    I don't blame them for that. If I become brand-loyal to enough of one store's private label items, then it follows that I will go there (no choice, since they're the only ones selling it) and buy other things as well. If all your favorites are national-brand items, those items can be purchased anywhere and you have little to no loyalty to a particular supermarket.

    For instance, Winn-Dixie has better bread, meats, and frozen vegetables than Publix. Even though W-D is a longer drive (I literally pass three Publixes to get to W-D) I will make that drive when I have a list that includes those particular items. If I just need a bag of Doritos I'll stop at the first Publix I see. :rolleyes: If Publix's bread were to suddenly develop flavor and Publix would reduce the high prices of their meats, I might be more willing to suffer through soggy broccoli, or just buy the Jolly Green Giant brand rather than private-label.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020 at 11:02 PM
  8. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Star

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    I do try them and decide which I like better. When I lived in Vienna, SPAR supermarkets had these amazing SPAR-branded chocolate bars that were better than many of the others they carried, for instance. By the way, @Daniel Avery , when I used to live in Georgia I loved Publix's cheese puffs and I would drive quite a few miles out of the way to get them. So, that is two out of two junk food items that generic brands won. :D
    And of course when it comes to things like rice, sugar, etc., I don't think it makes a difference.
     
  9. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

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    Publix Fried Chicken (prepared in the deli department) is the absolute BOMB. No other supermarket-deli chicken even comes close. Since South Florida isn't really considered "the South" (long story) it can be difficult to find southern-style fried chicken done well, but every Publix I've been to makes it the same way--which is a godsend when you really need a Fried Chicken fix and no one seems to know how to cook it correctly.
     
  10. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Star

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    Are you referring to country-fried chicken with buttermilk (often called, unironically, "chicken fried chicken" in some parts of the South? I loved it and have learned to cook it, though the kitchen smells for hours afterwards. Sadly it is not possible to find it anywhere in NYC.

    PS: Bread was such a nightmare to find in the South, unless you were lucky to live by a Panera.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020 at 3:24 AM
  11. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

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    I'm not sure how they do it. I'm not one to question magic. :D

    Most of the "baked in store" bread at supermarkets is brought in frozen! The more correct term would be 'defrosted in store,' since they don't actually "make it from scratch" on the premises. I mean, I can see why; they'd have to be mixing and baking all night long to keep up with sales. But it still feels kind of like they're mis-representing their product.
     
  12. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Winner EXP: 7 Years

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    It is quite suspicious when you can't smell any baking going on anywhere in the store. In some stores you can really smell that freshly baked scent or even see an employee who looks warm and is wearing a hat to keep the hair away. I love those stores!
     
  13. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    I understand why they're doing it. It's just sad to see some of the old-time brands disappear.
     
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  14. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Star

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    When I was in Austria, I hardly smelled any baking. All of the bakeries around (Anker, Ströck, Felber) were branches that had the bread delivered early in the morning from the central bakery somewhere in the city. At least in NYC I do actually smell the bread being baked.
     
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  15. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 12 Years

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    Sadly lots of local bakeries have closed in Northern Ireland over the last 10 or 15 years. I guess mostly due to Supermarket in house bakeries. I know Tesco has a bakery part in my little local one. Some of the stuff is nice but most is kinda bland and often a bit stale by the time you get it. It doesn't feel special.
    Years ago we used to have a local bakery and it was AMAZING. They used to do these things called Vienna rolls which I don't think had anything to do with Vienna at all. They were more like a standard French baguette but they were so good! Crusty and then soft inside. You could also get them filled as a sandwich and the egg salad one was everything. Every week my mum used to get 3 and they vanished so fast! Then there was the creamy damb. A long bun filled with fresh whipped cream and jam. And a cream cookie which also wasn't a cookie at all. It was a choux pastry sliced in half filled with cream and drizzled with caramel. And of course the iconic Belfast bap! @Sarah you know what I am talking about!
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    Oh God yeah lol

    Love me a Belfast bap. Gotta have the Tayto Cheese and Onion in there though @Alexis :)
     
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  17. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 12 Years

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    Oh yes... Loads of real proper butter and the blacker the crust the better.
     
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  18. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    A good hard one eh? @Alexis :D

    There was a craze for a while last year, where I think there was a specific place in Belfast where you could get a Belfast bap with crisps inside (Tayto C&O ONLY!).
     
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  19. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 12 Years

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    Were taking this way off topic but I do like a Worchester sauce crisp bap.
     
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  20. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Star

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    A Vienna roll would be a Semmel

    [​IMG]

    I think many bakeries call Viennoiserie any bread-like products such as croissants (which are Austrian with a French name--like Marie Antoinette) etc.
     
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