/ Food & Drink, Shopping

Own-label vs. big brand food – what’s in your trolley?

Lots of different types of baked beans

Is our love affair with food brands dying out? New research into who buys what at the supermarket indicates that it’s certainly on the wane – and that we could be enjoying supermarkets’ own-labels in their own right.

More than two-thirds of people believe own-brand foods are as good, if not better than, leading famous brands. Half think they’re identical in quality and 19% go so far as to say that they’re superior.

It’s a far cry from the days when it was seen as cheap and chavvy to buy own-brand foods – the preserve of students and slackers. Nowadays, not only are we buying the supermarket’s own, we’re also rather enjoying them.

Market analyst, Datamonitor, which carried out this research, says that nearly half of us are choosing where to shop based on where we can get our faves. ‘Consumer perceptions are evolving,’ says Datamonitor analyst Mark Whalley. ‘No longer is there an overwhelmingly ‘snobbish’ mentality towards supermarket brands.’

He says that sales of own-label grub increased during the recession, but now people are realising that there are some very credible alternatives to big brands, and many of us are continuing to buy based on quality, not cost.

So where do you sit on this fence? I’m definitely wavering in the middle. When it comes to cereal, juice and tea I regularly shun the brands, but I’m not being torn apart from my favourite Yeo Valley yoghurt or McVities Digestives. And on the rare occasions when I need a fizzy caffeinated drink, only a Coke will cut it.

It’s good to hear the humble own-label is enjoying the limelight for a change. While I am a self-confessed snob on some brands, making do with foods that aren’t all-singing and all-dancing is something more of us should aspire to.

What do you think of supermarket own-label food?

It varies so I buy according to product (76%, 254 Votes)

It's good quality and I buy a lot (19%, 62 Votes)

Can't stand it - I don't buy any (5%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 334

Loading ... Loading ...
Alan says:
30 July 2011

I would actually like the supermarkets to disclose on the packaging who actually makes their own brands as i think there wwould be a few surprises to be had

Daniel says:
26 February 2012

Even though this thread is someone old, What is the comparison on Milk? I have always bought which ever is cheaper but after thinking, it all comes out of the same cow …. I notice some milk does not last as long, McColls and petrol station milk for example seems to go sour after a considerable short period of time. Closely linked, what about bread – I always buy which ever is closest to £1, but what about the cheaper products?

Daniel says:
26 February 2012

rather somewhat old ***

– I am a student with a child and surviving on £40 a week after bills for fuel and food and trying to cut costs. Since today i have decided to shop at aldi / lidl / netto only in order to cut costs.

Emma says:
15 March 2012

I’m definitely a fan of own brand foods…often just as good if not better, half the price, and so delightfully unassuming in their simple packaging. I’ve just enjoyed Sainsbury’s own brand beans on Sainsbury’s basics bread and it wouldn’t have made the sliiiightest bit of difference to my life had it been Warburton’s and Heinz, aside from the fact that my purse would have been considerably lighter. And as for my cats – one of them has arthritis and we recently switched his food from Felix to Wilkinson’s own brand cat food, and it’s been so good for him that we were able to half his dosage of medicine, so as well as being two thirds of the price of the old food, we save half on vet bills! Buy own brand, my friends, in the hope that it will save you as many pounds as it does me.

I go one better and usually hit the ‘must sell by end of today’ shelves first. Depending on the product and the lateness of the day (the later, the deeper the discount), into my basket they go! For example, cheese in a cold fridge will last a week or two past the sell by date. Anything that can be frozen can last for months! If you are willing to be flexible or just wish to try something new, you can find foods on sale for 50 to 90% off!!

I have also noticed the number of people clamouring around the store clerk with the price reduction gun is growing every week–and it’s also smartly dressed professionals, not just pensioners, students, or others on limited incomes. As prices generally rise, finding saavy ways to save becomes ever more important. Own brand groceries and generic drugs (basic brands), are just one part of the smart shopper’s basket.

guncan dudhew says:
20 December 2014

Ums got four cows! Oiy oiy oiy loiksem tew. Soiroite boiyin deer braands but eff ou ants sum good grob for toiy mmmms bedder get mmmms sel a dooon that Aaaldee! Roit!!