Do you automatically reach for the Heinz ketchup as you race round the supermarket? Shock news – it might not be as tasty as the own label alternatives – but would you be persuaded to change?
This month we carried out a blind taste test of ketchup comparing branded and supermarket own brands.
Of all the ketchup bought in the UK 60% of it is Heinz – but despite its popularity our consumer panel of 130 scored it poorly. In fact, it came joint second from the bottom out of the 13 sauces tested. Our tasters rated Sainsbury’s, M&S and Tesco ketchups the best.
And when we did the same test with baked beans last year the findings, although not as extreme, were not dissimilar. Heinz came joint 4th behind Branston, Asda and Morrisons baked beans.
Yet despite these findings I still buy Heinz Baked beans and ketchup.
What’s on your plate?
It’s odd as there are some items I always buy branded and others where I don’t really care. And judging by a previous Conversation we ran on this topic, I’m not alone. Our poll asked ‘What do you think of supermarket own-label food?’ – and 76% of you said ‘it varies so I buy according to product.’
I always buy ‘Weetabix’ but am happy to buy a supermarket’s own brand of ‘Fruit and Fibre’. I buy Fairy liquid and washing detergent but buy own brand bleach. And I’m happy to buy own brand pasta but prefer Tilda rice. I always buy own brand cheese as I’ve yet to find a brand that offers a strong, mature cheddar but buy brand yoghurts.
Are brands brainwashing us?
Thinking about it, there doesn’t seem to be any logic to my choices. I think I’m just set in my ways – I know what we like at home so I stick to it. I guess I don’t want to risk buying something that I won’t like which will then go to waste. At least that’s what I think, but maybe I’ve just been brainwashed over the years by clever marketing?
Are you surprised by the findings of our taste test? Do you always buy branded or own brand products or, like me, a mix of both?