I love generic brands. They usually cost much less than name-brand products because they don’t carry huge advertising costs. The problem is that many generic-brand foods just don’t cut it when compared to the real thing.
It’s a good idea to be on the hunt for shopping deals, especially when the economy looks a little rough. But you don’t want to buy food that doesn’t taste as good as what you’re used to. That’s why I’ve come up with this list of 10 generic foods that actually taste better than the name brands they’re competing against. As a bonus, I’m also going to talk a little about how this relates to ERP/MRP systems for business, so stay tuned for that.
On with the list:
1. Great Value Light Nonfat Yogurt vs. Dannon Light & Fit. I’m very picky about my yogurt. It has to be low in sugar, fat and calories, but also taste good. Only Dannon Light & Fit managed to fit that description until I discovered Wal-Mart’s version. Now I actually prefer it over Dannon yogurt. The price recently went up for Wal-Mart’s yogurt, but it’s still the cheapest (and tastiest) option.
2. Kroger Ice Cream vs. Dreyer’s and Häagen-Dazs. Who wants to spend $6 for a half-gallon of ice cream? Not me. If I’m going to throw caution to the wind and have a little fun, I’m going to splurge on the ice cream that’s sometimes on sale for as little as $1.67, depending on where you live. And there’s plenty of variety among the Kroger ice cream flavors, so you don’t really lose anything by choosing the store brand over the more expensive alternatives.
3. Kroger Deluxe Pizza vs. DiGiorno and Freschetta. This really surprised me. You can get a frozen pizza with all the toppings you want for about one-third less than the name brands. And it tastes great!
4. Kirkland Signature Take-and-Bake Pizza vs. Papa Murphy’s Pizza. Costco offers a limited variety of take-and-bake pizzas, so Papa Murphy’s definitely wins in the toppings department. But Costco more than makes up for it in price, size and taste.
5. Great Value Instant White Rice vs. Kraft Minute Rice. Honestly, I can’t tell a difference between these two types of instant rice. They’re both just as easy to prepare, but the Wal-Mart one is a fraction of the cost of Minute Rice. The fact that it’s cheaper makes it taste much better to me.
6. Great Value Multi-Grain Flakes Cereal vs. General Mills Wheaties. Again, there’s almost no difference between these two cereals, but Wheaties costs much more than the Wal-Mart brand.
7. Kirkland Signature Muffins vs. Any Other Brand. Costco muffins are so huge and delicious, other muffins pale in comparison. Plus, they’re available in blueberry, apple cinnamon, double chocolate, poppy seed and several other flavors to satisfy just about any preference.
8. Kroger Creamy Peanut Butter vs. Jif. I grew up loving Jif peanut butter, but the amazing thing is that the Kroger version is virtually interchangeable with it. Try it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.
9. Kirkland Signature Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate vs. Minute Maid. You get much more orange juice for a lower price when you buy the Costco frozen concentrates rather than the Minute Maid ones. And they’re the same thing!
10. Great Value Drink Mix vs. Kraft Crystal Light. Wal-Mart has done a great job adding new flavors and improving the packaging for their drink mixes to make them more like Crystal Light. The only gripe I have is that Wal-Mart’s drink mixes have a few calories while Crystal Light is always zero calories. That’s a minor issue, though.
It’s nice to see generic-brand foods catching up to name brands, but they still have a long way to go in many cases. Here are some examples of name brands that have yet to be surpassed in taste: Chips Ahoy, Oreos, Mother’s Animal Cookies, Nilla Wafers, Wheat Thins, Ritz, Honey Bunches of Oats, Crispix, Pop Tarts and Quaker Oats granola bars.
You can save a lot of money and not sacrifice taste or quality by buying generic products over name brands. This is like how a business doesn’t have to buy an expensive ERP/MRP system from Microsoft or some other big company when they can get the same features for much less through a more affordable brand like Fishbowl Enterprise. That’s my food for thought.
Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.