/ Food & Drink, Shopping

What is it that influences you to buy certain brands?


Do you find yourself sticking to the same brands in your supermarket shop? Would knowing the owner of that brand make you think differently?

Sparked by a number of requests from Which? Convo community members to discuss brands, we’re wondering what influences your purchases?

Personally, when I’m out shopping I feel that there are a number of considerations I make when buying certain products. There are cost factors, convenience, and then there’s the brand too. I feel quite drawn to certain brands.

Branded and brainwashed?

MarmiteAs the Marmite adverts go, you either love it or you hate it. Well I love Marmite. In fact, I even have my own personalised Marmite jar.

Visually I feel quite drawn to the brand, I even have a water bottle with the Marmite logo on. I really do feel quite loyal towards Marmite.

But I’m not sure if I’d apply the same loyalty towards its parent brand – Unilever. In case you’re interested, Unilever also owns Hellmann’s, Colman’s and many other brands.

Influencing factors for a brand purchase

When we surveyed Which? members last year, 84% felt that it’s important for a brand ownership to be made clear on the packaging. That’s why we revealed in our news story at the end of last year the small brands who are owned by huge companies.

As Which? Convo regular Ian commented:

‘Many consumers buy goods for ethically-determined reasons. This becomes an impossibility if we don’t know the ultimate trader. It doesn’t matter if that trader makes, buys, swaps or re-paints the product: if any aspect of the business owned by that ultimate trader is in breach of what the consumer concerned feels is ethical, then by derivation that taints the brand.’

I’ve never really considered who ultimately owns Marmite. And I suppose that regardless of whether Nestle, Pepsico, or Mars owned Marmite, I’d still buy it.

And that’s the power of a label, as John explained:

‘The practice of putting a quality/classic/traditional brand badge on substandard products has already gone too far on everything from socks to washing machines. Companies are bought up not because the acquirer wants their production lines, or their designs, or their engineers, but because they want their labels.’

But many of our taste tests over the years have shown that the big brands don’t necessarily mean a better quality product. Take the recent Convo on supermarket chocolate for example: our taste test found that supermarket own-brands can be just as good as branded chocolate.

So is it the brand, the cost or the convenience? What is it that influences you to buy particular brands? Would you make a different decision if you knew the owner of your favourite brand?


I try to steer clear of Nestle products because of ethical issues (see Wikipedia), though I confess to having bought a lot of their instant coffee over the years, but that’s changing. I also try to avoid heavily promoted products, simply because I don’t see why I should pay for advertising.

I have been wondering why Marmite seems to have disappeared from the shelves of the local Tesco. I’ll look for a jar of ‘Lauren’ next time. 🙂

I read the Wikipedia entry for Nestle and they certainly have a chequered past. They do appear to be improving ethically but only time will tell.

Nestle are one of the few owners to put their name on the front of many of their brands, something I think should be on all products.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Conglomerates hide behind brands and I have long wanted to see the name or logo at the top of the brand tree displayed prominently on all products. They are usually in small print at the bottom of the back label so you have to pick up the product and search for it.

But after doing some research, I now don’t know what the answer is.

Take Associated British Foods plc who market brands like Twinings, Jordans, Dorset Cereals, Ryvita, Ovaltine, Kingsmill, Allinson, Pataks, etc. According to Wikipedia, the parent company of Associated British Foods is Whittington Investments who own 54.5% of which 79.2% is owned by the Garfield Weston Foundation and the other 20.8% by the Weston family.

So what name would go as the name at the top?

The intro goes into the power of the label and Companies are bought up not because the acquirer wants their production lines, or their designs, or their engineers, but because they want their labels.

I also love Marmite but would it more ethical to be labelled Unilever Marmite? I think so and I would still buy it.

Take Cadbury. They have taken the brand, changed the recipe, closed production lines, should they still be allowed to name their products Cadbury? I don’t think so. There comes a point when the original intention of the product has gone and another company is just using the brand name. Should Cadbury be renamed Kraft Cadbury?

Then there is Anchor butter. It used to be made in New Zealand and was my favourite butter. It is now made in the UK by Arla and no longer tastes the same. But on the front of the label it says Original Butter Co. Since 1886.

There is a whole minefield of names associated with products, some meant to deceive us, some apparently for tax-dodging purposes, some from mergers and acquisitions.

As the intro says When we surveyed Which? members last year, 84% felt that it’s important for a brand ownership to be made clear on the packaging.

Brands are obviously hugely important and in times of the adulteration of food [oops not last year] in the 1800-1900’s they were a guarantee of a quality.

Some brands still have a quality attached however as noted above many companies by a brand to run cheaply on its historical value. The question is separating the wheat from the chaff. Which? who you might think would be hot on this do not test for durability nor provide a serious attempt at enlisting the 800,000 or so subscribers.

Fundamentally people what goods that last, food that tastes right, and also not to be made a fool of. This last category is for those people who are buying the “latest” gizmo which ends up unsupported in software up-dates or in parts availability.

I have been shopping at Aldi and Lidll pretty much since they came to the UK and they are consistent as to quality standards. The veg and fruit being a weakness. John Lewis are good but have lost brownie points for a sub-standard legal insurance – in the sense it was franchised and it did not deliver to one Which? subscriber what it promised to do. Mind you it did buy Which?’s food guide.

I am a staunch believer in firms having histories so that you can be happy that they are not ripping off the tea-pickers in India to commercial advantage in the UK. The BBC has done both radio and a TV programme on the famous names much advertised here who keep their workers in abject poverty.

There is a small UK charity Ethical Consumer which does good in this area by naming and shaming, and recommending the least bad. As for banks etc there is corporate watch: corp-research.org/barclays

Basically I do not expect every decision to be made with ethical as the main guide in my life but it sure helps to have an idea what some firms get up to. Which? need not beat an ethical drum but they darn well ought to improve the testing/ or long term reporting so that we can have confidence in the long term value of a product.

If you are concerned that perhaps you are aiding the disparity between rich and poor this report may make you think. So there is the brand you see on TV and written up in the media and then the actual business practices so much appreciated by multinationals who gain competitive advantage by dubious tactics.

I have not bought Mondelez chocolate since they bought Cadbury and decamped to Switzerland.


The gap between rich and poor is reaching new extremes. The richest 1% have accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world put together. Meanwhile, the wealth owned by the bottom half of humanity has fallen by a trillion dollars in the past five years. Just 62 individuals now have the same wealth as 3.6 billion people –half of humanity. This figure is down from 388 individuals as recently as 2010. These dramatic statistics are just
the latest evidence that today we live in a world with dangerous and growing levels of inequality.

This inequality is fueled by an economic and political system that benefits the rich and powerful at expense of the rest, causing the gains of economic growth over the last several decades to go disproportionately to the already wealthy.”

….. ” Profits disappear from countries where real economic activity is taking place to exist only in
tax havens. In 2012, for example, US companies reported $80 billion of profits in Bermuda –more than their reported profits in Japan, China, Germany and France combined.”

That report is mind-blowing and I only read half of it !!!

Things have to change.

Supermarkets own brand products have no accountability. It is just not good enough to say on the packaging Produced for Tesco, or whoever.

I found an interesting thread on moneysavingexpert forums entitled Great ‘disguised Own Brand’ Hunt. It is a few years old but gives an insight into who might make what for whom. I once worked the school holidays in a food factory where the line was stopped to change brand packaging and the same product went in at least 6 different boxes.

But with the adulteration of food being highlighted in recent years, and supermarkets trying to produce cheaper and cheaper food, they need to be forthcoming with their products. Who makes it? Where did it originate?

Foodstuffs are traceable through a code that appears on the packaging that can then be checked against a list of producers on the FSA website – but why should consumers have to go through such a rigmarole?

Mr. Tesco has now invented some homely farm names for some of his bagged fruit and vegetables. He is no doubt trying to emulate Herr Aldi and Herr Lidl who have been doing that for years to give a spurious British tradition and impression of authenticity to their food products. Old McDonald has been doing it for the last few years as well in the wake of accusations of using cheap imports.

Something we bought recently said “Xxxxx by Sainsbury’s” on the packet [I can’t remember what it was now] and then lower down and round the corner in smaller print it said “Produced for Sainsbury’s”. Does that make it honest?

Non-food products in supermarkets and half the products in most major retail warehouses are unbranded and virtually untraceable.

I can no longer see the point of companies trying to create their own internal brands. It flourished in the hey day of home shopping catalogues which were appealing to a certain market segment who wanted the latest homewares but couldn’t afford the leading brands. It spread right across the retail sector with a proliferation of invented names or themes. B&Q is a good current example with a plethora of odd names that have a hint of heritage about them [think Cooke & Lewis kitchens and MacAllister tools]. I am suspicious of any name with an “&” in the middle – it usually means it’s a made-up name; low-end fashion and toiletries suffer most from this pretension. At least there was a Mr Boot, and a Mr Sainsbury, and probably a Mr Smith. Biscuits have clung on to their originator’s monikers through every merger and amalgamation down the decades. For that splendid and essential British product Marmite we have to thank Herr von Liebig from Deutschland [who also concocted Oxo].

I think internal brands have become so numerous and dubious that their main purpose now is to help the staff to categorise and merchandise the stock: the customers don’t give a hoot for labels that are not super-brands and would rather such products kept their identity to themselves.

We have been drifting back to leading brands in food because we felt the own-labels were sometimes becoming inferior and no longer at such a price advantage. But for household goods, like laundry and cleaning products, we feel the major brands are no longer good value as the stores’ own brands have caught up on quality and performance.

John, I have had a look at the Food Standards Agency website but couldn’t find anywhere to trace foodstuffs. Do you have a link please?

Sorry Alfa I don’t have a link. This was something I saw on a recent TV programme which I mentioned in another Conversation [whose title escapes me now] and there was a reply that gave more information. I shall have a look at my commenting history and see if I can trace it.

Thanks John.

I got a sense of resignation in your post above that probably sums up how many of us feel about what we buy these days and the devious ways it is presented to us.

I found my previous comment in the last campylobacter Conversation in early March 2016. I wrote. “I caught a glimpse of an item on a TV programme about shopping some time last week [it didn’t burn in my memory] that showed the FSA in a very good light. The topic was the manufacturing origin of food sold under own-labels and other branding. Under recent regulations about the traceability of food, each tin or packet now carries a code which can be interrogated on the FSA website that shows who makes the product and where. This is a really good development in furthering our knowledge of the food chain”.

I took the TV programme at its word and didn’t check the FSA website. The further comment was from Malcolmr who proposed that the actual manufacturer should be declared on the packaging rather than people having to go on line to find out.

I have just tried to find it on the FSA website but with no luck. I tried various word possibilities but nothing came up. I have also tried to find the code on various own-label food products but although there are some code numbers on a number of products it is not clear what they are for. We don’t seem to have many own-label products in stock at the moment so it was a very limited check. I feel that if it is a legal requirement for an origin code to be shown on the label then there should be a reference to the code index at the very least.

Obviously it would be best all round if the manufacturing origin of unbranded foodstuffs were given on the product; it is just not convenient, even if it is possible, to look the codes up on-line while in the supermarket.

Thanks for checking John.

I did a goggle search but didn’t find anything either so maybe traceability is still under construction.

Packaged foods should have a code that would enable to manufacturer to identify the batch. For example, I’m looking at a bottle of HP Sauce (made in the Netherlands this week) with an 8 digit number alongside the ‘best before’ date. This information is useful if the manufacturer has to recall a batch of a product for any reason.

As far as I am aware, there is no way that the public can use these codes to obtain more information, but I would be impressed by any manufacturer that took a lead and helped us to find out more about its products and their origin.

Knowing the owner of a brand would not make me shop differently. Shopping for 1 person is hard enough already when pre-packed fruit & veg is cheaper per kilo than loose!!!! To work out some of the multibuy offers when the product comes in 2 different sizes requires a calculator or a degree. I am rapidly getting to the point when what is on the shopping list is what I will buy with certain exceptions, those being items like toilet rolls & washing up liquid.

I buy most things by price. I have always found the cheapest are just as good as top branded things,I even prefer some cheap supermarket products. My first shop is usually a pound shop then move onto others usually those whose prices seem to be discounted.I would rather buy something for a pound and find it doesn’t do just what I needed it for than spend £3 and still find the same faults

When we had a pound shop open near us, I went and had a look round.

What I noticed was all the products were in much smaller sizes than I was used to seeing. A very small bottle of Fairy Liquid washing up liquid was £1 whereas we usually get 2 large bottles for £2 when they are on special offer which is quite frequently.

If they had something you wanted to try then maybe it is worth the £1 but otherwise it looked like false economy to me.

I agree Alfa. To keep the price of the products down to one pound each the pound shops are having to reduce the quantities in branded items and offer inferior products in their own-label or unknown origin categories. If you keep your eye on offers in the main supermarkets you can generally do just as well on household products. For example, Tesco washing-up liquid is not as good as Fairy Liquid but is good enough and it will never be found in a pound shop, but when on special offer in Tesco it represents excellent value for money even if you might have to squirt a drop more into the bowl [the same can be said for the other three major supermarket chains]. Proximity is also a factor – there’s not much point in spending a pound to get to and from a shop that will save you a few pennies.

With pound shops you do need a trained eye to sift the real bargains from the “brought up to £1 items”. Quite often the latter sell for less than a pound elsewhere.

You need a cynical outlook when shopping. Unless you trade in out of date goods or buy up bankrupt stock for example it cannot be so simple to put goods on the market for £1 that generally offer value for money. Unless there is some conspiracy, all the supermarkets would be doing it. So I regret I don’t believe in the pound shop concept. I bought a roll of biodegradable food-bin bags as our normal supplier was out of stock. They turned out to be much smaller – didn’t fit a standard bin – and poorer value compared to the norm.

I don’t make much use of pound shops but their market share seems to be growing. I am aware that many of the packages are smaller than in other shops but hopefully this will encourage more people to use unit prices.

I don’t often find the local supermarket out of stock of what I’m looking for. I presume that the pound shops bulk buy goods that are available cheaply and their customers benefit from lower prices, much like market traders, but what they stock will vary.

Perhaps Which? could do an investigation of pound shops to see whether they genuinely offer “good value” or whether by different means they simply trade on that perception, but in reality you win some lose some. They make a profit. Woolworths I think started with the concept of a 6d store (is that right?) and promoted the cheap shop image but in my experience you generally got what you paid for – whether quality, size, or whatever. There’s no “magic bullet”.

It’s interesting that none of the major supermarkets cite pound-shops as competitors; their main competition comes from the real discounters like Aldi and Lidl. I read today that, in an attempt to break into discount retailing, Sainsbury’s has opened 15 Netto stores in partnership with Dansk Supermarked. If you can’t beat ’em, . . .

Different approaches appeal to different people. Supermarkets often offer standard, premium and budget versions of popular products under their own brand. From waiting at the till, it’s obvious that this has an influence on shopping habits. I confess that I avoid budget supermarket food ranges without even having done a taste test. 🙁

Every schoolkid must know that Audi, VW, Seat and Skoda are owned by the same company and often customers stick with the same marque when replacing their car. With white goods, it is more difficult to find out about similar products made by the same manufacturer and sold under different brands and prices. Brand names change hands, so what we have learned may be out of date.

What seems to have helped the discount supermarkets is to include familiar products at a cheaper price than than their competitors.

As we had to buy a new cooker recently, we were pretty disgusted with the rubbish on offer. Cheap plastic knobs, badly fitting shelves, badly fitting grill handles, oven linings that easily scrape off when you move the shelves, shelves being held up by a flimsy rack that was not supported at the back, grill pans that couldn’t be removed without scraping against the glass door, etc.

We noticed the insides of many of the cookers were exactly the same, came home, did some research and discovered they were all the same company even though they had different brand names on them. The insides are the same but they put different fascias on them to deceive you into thinking you have a choice. It turned out Electrolux products are sold under maybe 49 brand names.

If we are ever going to get competition and quality products back on the market, the name Electrolux has to be put on the front of every one of their products not hide behind names like AEG, Zanussi, John Lewis, etc.

We need to see we have a choice and not be deceived by different brand names. White goods are not something we buy every day so most people are unlikely to realise they are choosing between products from the same company. My perception, right or wrong, was that AEG was quite good quality whereas Electrolux was lower down the chain. Do I now think AEG is a quality product? The answer is no.

I think this is an example of where a company buys a brand name and uses it but lowers the quality. If Electrolux could produce quality products on their own merit, they wouldn’t need better brand names to prop them up. And, if they don’t maintain the integrity of the AEG brand they should not be using the name. In any case products should say Electrolux AEG, Electrolux Zanussi or Electrolux John Lewis on the front.

Here here Alfa
As you probably have seen we are doing a new “small home” for wifey and I .. . .
We need all new machines and have bought a new washer and dryer. . .probably a sealed drum so bearing changes may be difficult or impossible and the wash times are unreal. . .Up to 3.5hrs. . . .Bonkers . .We use the 40 degree 40 minute mostly. . . Today’s clothes are seldom dirty

The cookers and we want gas/lpg are like Alfa say’s rubbish or worse
We were given a 50cm wide one a few years ago and even wifey who likes new stuff and would like a 60cm one has been out looking at and has said to fire it up and if all looks okay get it whatever it needs
That cooker came out of a little stone cottage that was replaced by a very good modern well insulated and dry bungalow. . . .Good job but even building a box to live in could be improved on. . .Our building regs/requirements could be improved on and why not
The new all singing all dancing much larger and very dressed up cooker (lovely looking thing) has already start to give trouble
Guys this is a gas cooker .. .Gas cookers dont give trouble or shouldn’t. . .Gas cookers dont fall apart or once didnt

Fridges etc. . .Another pile of rubbish. . .Even the expensive brands are dire and then there’s the “fashionable” 50s look and they are terribly over priced plus the American style that wifey adores
Again wifey likes gimmicks but I know that a bi-metal stat and a compressor with a bi-metal over load cannot be beaten not because electronics cannot do the job better because they can and could but because instead of using electronics to make things better they are now used to cut costs and are all borderline on too small components. . . .
If a component is rated at 90c then 90c it will be, , not 50 0r 60c where its life will be a multiplied
In my eyes perhaps some of the best cost V quality fridges are actually the very basic units but all have rubbishly light plastics

I never was a fan of German Engineering probably because I always got to see the insides of machines but today Bosch as name so German are now not German although as far as Bosch fridges are concerned they are far from the worst rubbish in the showroom. . . I’m tempted at times by Bosch. . . .
The Hotpoint range which is another brand renaming exercise are nothing short of disposable gloves. . .The upright freezer drawers are so light I broke one by squeezing with one hand and I’m 58 going on 78 and never was a mountain of a man. . .
Samsung seem big and the showrooms are full of the things and that tells me that as far as marketing is concerned they are the ones to have but that’s marketing. . That doesnt say they are the ones I should have
There are way too many with gimmicks like water chillers and and ice makers to be a long lived item. . . .
If one reads the reviews the water chillers leak habitually and if one looks at the chiller valves one can see why
The ice makers have all kinds of gubbins inside and remind me of those slush maker things that the children once had to get and that quickly fell apart
But back to Samsung/LG and Samsung are Samsung as best I can see
Sharp are another not so well known brand in fridges although not so long ago were the name to have in electronics and some years ago we had Sharp products and they were good, ,, very good, , ,
They have lost out not because they were rubbish but because they didnt see the “smart” tv entertainment thing coming and the likes of LG and Samsung more or less trounced them on that one with the result that they sold off controlling shares in their TV manufacturing in some places around the world but they do make fridges and always have albeit not a huge range. . . .What they do not do in my eyes is tell lies
Their loss was not as a result of making a poor product but as a result of not watching the market

Telling lies is what branding does
Buy the brand and stick the name on any old box

Vehicles are no better including the ones that have not been sold
People are still buying a brand but many who swear by German or Japanese whatever engineering could barely find the dipstick. . . .They only have the dream of the brand. . .They are proud to drive down the street in this particular tin box
I see them slightly differently and can drive anything that moves because I see them for what they are. . Tin box’s. . ..I amd in a tin box and soo is he. . .His does 50 somthing to the gallona nd soo does mine. . .His cost 35k and mine?
I worked to one of these brands and their TV adverts have won awards and once they were really good but they dont have to be good any more because there are no bad cars any more. . ..
Most cars are a 100 times better than the Leylands (sorry Leyland buffs) of old and are fairly if not very reliable and many of the drivers only remember the “Leylands” and compare their choice of brand to the “Leylands”. . There are even TV Doc’s about this and the Datsun Sunny/120y I think it was was said to be the business as such. . .I am sure the Docu’ producers will have doen their research and had the numbers to hand to back this up
The Brand I worked for was a little above Datsun in the status chart but today they are equipped with rubbish components by today’s standards. . . .If Leyland had been so good they would have been brilliant and been a force to be reckoned with
I serve my time in a job where there were plenty of Leyland products. . ..I been there got the t-shirt

Many of these tin box’s tell lies yet the ones that dont tell lies are despised and often in reality are no worse and often actually better box’s
Once the brand is established it can do no wrong and there will be those who will fiercely defend their brand, , the one they chose. . . .Not because it is best but because they mostly do not know a thing about how the thing works or what it’s made of but because to admit even slightly that their choice is not top of the heap would be to admit to making a mistake. . . .That is how brands work on people
Few people have the ability or desire to know about these things and the simple solution is to buy a brand
Thank the Lord jet engines are not bought on brand name but on real quality!!

Someone has mentioned Cadbury’s
Surely anyone with a taste bud can tell there’s something wrong there. . . .Even I who do not eat the stuff have tasted the product and know it is now nothing like what it not so long ago was

Back to Fridges because currently we are looking for a fridge. . . .
It was a fridge/freezer but we’ve back pedalled and are now looking for a big tall narrow fridge and a small to us but in reality mid size chest freezer because of energy
I cannot remember all my writings of notes about these items but if you were to ask me what I favour I’d say
Grundig, , Sharp , ,Bosch, ,Beko
A bit of a mixed bag . .No. . It’s a mixed bag of opinions on brands not quality
Few are made in Germany or Japan if any of my choices are made there at all
It’s as best I can see with my own eyes as such
The Hotpoint range as name I can see in my own kitchen has went to the dogs
Another couple of names that some here like are over priced and not what they once were either although better than Hotpoint/Indesit etc but they are not as good as I’d have hoped for for the money

Korean cars although not a top branding are reliable but as we’ve found not long lasting and from a engineering point of view not built to last . . .
I’ve bought a nice one with 4800m on it and it was great for a few years except of course for the drop links which are a pain especially for those on bumpy roads and those who use the anti roll bars. . . .
I could not fault the engines
I could fault the economy of the petrols but the diesels that have been around here have been fine but they had Euro built and designed engines so not as Asian built as they would have us believe
We are almost all (here) driving cars with an Italian name or assembled in Italy. . .Not because anyone told us/them to buy these but because of price V what you get. .
Fiat/Suzuki sx4Sedici/Alfa and I’d drop the Alfa any day but my son likes the style and so do I if I’m truthful and the way it drives but I would not want the thing. . .
No one needs the millions of torque’s of a turbo diesel of that power. . .The economy is S***e
If one has a Suzuki SX4 it is worth considerably more than a Sedici and there is no reality logic in that because this is one model where there is no notable differences. . . .Any dealer will take on a Suzuki but a Fiat???
The Suzuki similar to the Korean cars will be reliable but it is bland in the extreme although not the worst of the Japanese brands for bland
Our extended family then has all the big names and they are no better than the Fiats of this world so marketing works and is gobbled up willingly by some. . Not all our extended family care about engineering or what something really is. . . .When something goes wrong they stand and look at the thing and say but ***** is well built and expensive and this should not have happened .. . .”this should not have happened”
I can and does happen everything no odds what the name

Like Alfa says the cookers all look the same inside. . ..Alfa you must have an engineering interest
Thats does not mean to say they look the same because the manufacturer has found reliability by using the components but because they are cheap. . . .The branding’s will change again in a few years
Samdung and LG may become worth more as a brand and be sold off to be made in the Ukraine or some similar place not renowned for it’s engineering prowess and fro a few years people will be conned by brand loyalty before the news hits them that their great machine is not what they thought it was

These are families of brands or in some cases countries of brands. . . .
To me what name is on the thing makes no odd’s

When I once could eat dairy I loved Cadbury products but the only Cadbury thing Cadbury now have is the brand

Who makes the thing or the product on the supermarket shelf is of no odd’s to me either because much is made to a spec or a price and will be that recipe no odd’s who makes it
Dairy used to be a slightly more expensive product but now as our politicians mess around with foreign policy our dairy farmers are feeling the draft and diary being cheap is finding its way into all manner of goods because it’s cheap. . . .This is purely a cost exercise and I bring that into the equation because there are those who will all too quickly say to buy it where you can at the cheapest price no odds who made it or where it was made yet those same people may only want to be seen in particular brand or origin of car

Like Alfa and a few others on here I am concerned about the genuine quality and will pay a little more for that. . . A little
I will also consider where it is made and if the choice is close enough I will choose close to home even at a little additional extra cost . . .A little
When it comes to food I will try and buy home grown provided it is not and arm and a leg more expensive. . .
I could not bring myself to abandon the very land we see as such for a few pennies. . .

I have bought a washer and dryer made in Turkey. . . Not my ideal choice but what were my choices. . .The supposed to be great machines have yet to prove themselves and by that time they’ll be made somewhere else anyhow

Of all the brands I’ll take a chance on the new kid on the black be-it old or new name. . . .The new kid always has something to prove
Like them of loath them as many did Japanese cars were reliable and non more so then the 70s and 80s
Korean cars like the Japanese once were and they did not look so good and some around us here had pretty good results but in today’s world things are not built to last long term I feel

Boy that was a rant. . . .I didnt know to I clicked post how long it was
Forgive if you can the spelling and grammar . . .I didnt do well there

Oi DeeKay, just watch what you say about Alfas !!! 🙂
At least your son has good taste. Mine will be 18 this year, still going strong and still a pleasure to drive.

I do feel for you having to decide what to buy. There was a time when it was difficult to make a choice because there were so many to choose from and you could look forward to a nice new whatever. These days it is more a case of which one can I put with, and I wish my old one still worked instead of having to replace it with the rubbish on offer.

American style fridges might look big, but my experience of them in US holiday rentals is you can’t put much in them. And I can’t imagine the water chillers and ice makers stay healthy for long unless they are used very regularly.

Alfa, , I loved Alfa’s. . That doesnt mean I was wise
I had a sprint and a gtv. . . . .Real leg puller the gtv
Son once had a 147 and now has a 159ti 2.4

No I would go for a US style side by side. . .The freezer is tiny. . .

I likes DTs post about the 20 year warranty though

Absolutely correct Alfa.

I am grieved that there is this steady downhill spiral. Which? if it monitored subscribers cooker problems would have a deep seam of information to measure the problems. Gas ovens being fundamentally simpler should be the longer lasting as elements are the electrics weak spot. That is the kind of info we should have available.

The introduction of induction hobs is hugely interesting as it is a new and evolving technology. We have bought two in the last decade.

Extractor fans also seem problematic but as with all things a short test by Which?’s agents really does not sort out the usage problems.

I do believe the two ovens we bought in 2009 from Ikea were Electrolux – however they did have 5 year guarantees which was better than anything else. Once fitted we had to have a call-out as the temperature was 20C off.!

I suppose checking at the factory would use energy so why not send it out unchecked. After all it might be right, or the customer might not notice, so an infrequent call-out saves money overall.

Do you know I bet most drinkers of the craft beers will not know they are buying from a multinational. And the next thought is will they use their financial muscle to drive other craft beer companies out of the market? You know what – I guess they will.

“With this week’s announcement, that makes Devil’s Backbone the third craft beer acquisition for AB since Dec. 2015.
“We’re very excited with craft beer,” Felipe Szpigel, president of The High End, told the Roanoke Times on Tuesday. “It’s a great development for beer and to get beer to go all the places it deserves.”
While the companies scooped up by AB InBev for The High End differ geographically, they have several things in common including being deemed “the leading” or “one of the fastest growing craft brewers” in the country. The brewers also often owned and operated brewpubs — restaurants that serve and brew their own beers.
AB’s Craft Beer Shopping Spree
Goose Island March 2011
Blue Point Brewing Feb. 2014
10 Barrel Brewing Nov. 2014
Elysian Brewing Jan. 2015
Golden Road Brewing Sept. 2015
Breckenridge Brewing Dec. 2015
Four Peaks Brewing Dec. 2015
Devil’s Backbone Brewing April 2016”

DT again some of the public are buying an image created by marketing and not a product
I like your info

On the odd occasions when I’ve swiped my bother’s CAMRA good pub guide, I have noticed that it always provides comprehensive info on which beers really come from independent brewers and which ones are brand names used by BB (the big brewers). In many cases, BB have bought smaller brewers, then closed the brewery, to keep the label and move production elsewhere.

Many brands are now just that – labels to be used by box shifters. To pick a random example, once upon a time, in a previous century, the Kenwood Chef was the “go-to, must have” food mixer. As far as I know, in those days, they were not known for gramophones or other audio equipment. Today, I often see the Kenwood name on inexpensive audio equipment. That actually seems phoney to me and would put me off buying their stuff.

So when I’m buying stuff, I tend more to look at the price and build quality rather than the brand. I won’t usually buy online – I prefer to go to a shop and prod and poke potential purchases to see if I think they can be worth the money.

Regarding food items, I prefer to go for taste and quality – some brands like Sainsburys “Taste the Difference” do still have some provenance there.

It’s the CAMRA Good Beer Guide you are referring to, Derek. The Good Pub Guide is something different. A good example of a large company buying smaller companies and closing breweries is Greene King. In contrast, Marstons, another large company has generally kept the breweries open. Personally, I prefer the smaller independent breweries. As I see it, ‘craft beers’ is a marketing term, often used as a reason to charge more. The real ale produced by small breweries can all be regarded as craft beer, and there is no need to pay extra for it. 🙂

Could you once rely upon a brand name? I think you could. Now they have become pretty valueless and in many cases it is almost fraud. Another company buys a “name”, devalues the product but the unsuspecting trustful public thinks they are (or should be) getting the original quality associated with the original owners. And, of course, the original “owners” will change personnel so they too can be clever and decide to trade on the name but still devalue it. I see no answer

This is where we need an active, investigative consumers’ association to look at the quality of products, not just their initial performance. Durability and repairability matters when looking at value. I think this is much too big for one national association that only spends £10m on testing – 10% of its members “subscriptions”. We need a working European consumers’ association that can bring together all the separate national consumer organisations, combine resources, share out testing and investigations, and be a real match for the producers, organisations and governments. But has Which? become too much of a commercial enterprise to want to pursue this?

The posts about beer remind me that it’s high time that all products include an ingredient list. For some reason, there is no requirement to provide this for alcoholic drinks. Likewise, we need to be told what goes into fresh produce sold by bakers and delicatessens.

This is significant in terms of reputation.

“LG has just announced the first ever refrigerator with 20-year warranty with its new Centum range. The 20-year warranty only covers the Inverter Linear Compressor, but that’s the expensive part to replace if it goes wrong. This is double the previous warranty and says a lot about LG’s confidence in its technology.

The range includes both standard top-bottom, fridge-freezer and a side-by-side model. Both of these have better than A+++ energy efficiency by 20% and 10% respectively, so they won’t cost a lot to run over those 20 years either.

Also available in the Centum range are a washing machine, washer-dryer and tumble dryer, so your laundry devices can have a 20-year warranty as well. These come with new shock absorber technology that claims to reduce noise, with a full load, at full 1400rpm spin, registering just 67db – around the same as a normal conversation. ”

Introduced to Europe in September 2015 at the IFA in Germany. However the 20 years relates solely to a specific motor in both cases. However it is an advance and hopefully will lead a fight back for durability. Given Test.de will run washing machines for a minimum 6 months solid a little early for a report from them.

DT your on a bit of a role this eve
Good info about LG
An inverter drive should not give many problems and the induction motor should be having and easy time of it being driven by the drive. . The drive itself only needs to have components rated at twice the motors max load and those components stand a good chance of outliving us all

They are placing a lot of faith in the compressor valves but maybe they have them sorted also
It is interesting to say the least

I dont see me putting enough faith on any machine to say it’ll last 20 years. . . The manufacturer and or company covering them will have a built in amount to cover and expected problems or worse they may be not be around when the time comes

I was close to a company who were taken over by an English company and in no time there were 10 year warranties on everything. . . . .The whole thing folded in just a little over a year later. . .No warranty

Big big companies have been known to do the same thing. . .Boost sales and go bust. . Boost sales and sell off that arm

We have had two fridges since we got married. . .We gave the first one away and it’s still going
My cousin has a freezer in his garage since 1977 and it even looks good. . .We have a freezer for near 20 years
Fridges and freezers did and should last for many years

Will the people actually keep something nowadays for that long, , so will LG actually ever see many 20 year old fridges

I can go with the dryer lasting 20 years. . .We have two White Knight gas dryers both around 27 years old

The washers will be a bigger challenge though my Dad’s aunt gave us a Servis twin tub when we got married and it refused to die.. . .

It was possible in the past and it would be great to see it really happening for the future

Good post DT

I don’t believe that LG has launched the fridge with a 20 year guarantee on the compressor but they do sell a washing machines with a 20 year guarantee on the motor.

Ten year guarantees on expensive parts have been with us for years. My 34 year old washing machine came with a ten year guarantee on the tub. I remember my parents’ 1960s fridge had a ten year guarantee on the compressor.

There are a couple of problems with these generous guarantees. Firstly, they typically cover only the parts and the manufacturer’s agent may charge a high labour charge. Secondly, a long guarantee on a compressor or motor will not help if a different component fails. On average, a five year parts and labour guarantee could well be more useful.

Nevertheless, I welcome products with longer guarantees and we have moved a long way since most products came with just a one year guarantee, with the option of paying a separate company for an extended warranty.

If you want to see how closely food products and brands are intertwined, have a look at product recalls.

I get them emailed to me and if a product is recalled due to a piece of plastic, there will be a recall of other brands ranging from the economy to the luxury.

It’s the same with household products. Few follow brand ownership but recalls provide an insight. For example, the huge recall of Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit tumble dryers illustrates that they are manufactured by the same company.

Is TV advertising too potent? Should we restrict them severely in impact as it appears humans are vulnerable.

An alarming note for mankind was in this repeated BBC programme from 2015 [again repeated Monday next] where the final paragraph of the synopsis shows how manipulated we are. You can listen to the broadcast now and if you go to the 24th minute you can hear the final four minutes which covers the food angle. The horror appears to be that 75% having seen a vivid advert believed subsequently they had tried the product and would do so again.

Past Imperfect
“S[i]tartling new research shows how false memories can be artificially generated and used to change behaviour – with implications for advertising, military intelligence and the treatment of addictions.

Memory is more of a creative than a mechanical process. Like a Wikipedia entry, we can make changes to our autobiographical history – but so can other people.

Martin Plimmer meets experts and observes experiments demonstrating the fragility of memory and the ease with which false memories can be implanted.

At Warwick University, Prof Kimberley Wade has implanted false memories of childhood experiences such as taking a hot air balloon ride. Martin follows an experiment in which participants form vivid memories of activities they have not actually experienced.

At Hull University, Prof Giuliana Mazzoni reveals how implanted false memories can change people’s behaviour. Working with unsuspecting volunteers, she explores whether she can alter their food preferences by creating false memory of an adverse reaction to eating turkey sandwiches.

Martin discusses the implications of this research with US psychologist Prof Elizabeth Loftus who believes it could be used to treat obesity and addictions by introducing false memories of disliking fatty foods, alcohol or drugs.

Professor Loftus has also worked with the US military on ways of implanting false memories of their interrogator in enemy prisoners – raising admitted ethical issues and concerns about the abuse of these techniques.

[b]And Martin Plimmer learns how our memories are all being subtly altered by advertising – as certain types of adverts can create false memories of experiencing and liking a product.[/i]
An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

thank you all above for making the time and effort to write; it was an interesting, informative and worthwhile read. It is worrying where we are headed, but at least if we have our eyes open we have half a chance. When shopping we need to do as much research as our life and sanity allows and then hope to make a good choice, using instinct, intuition and information. Several years back, eight plus, I invested in an LG direct drive washing machine and, fingers crossed, it serves very well so far with no problems. At the same time I bought an LG side by side fridge freezer, again very good. I didnt set out to buy LG but just by working hard looking around they seemed to me to be my best buys.
Thank you again above for all your input. If only more of us would or had the time to share like this.