PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – These days, you’ll find more store brands than ever at the grocery store.
In fact, one-in-four products currently on store shelves is a store brand.
Consumer Reports recently taste-tested a wide variety to see how they stack up against big-name national brands.
Saving money at the grocery store is not always an easy feat, but buying store brands can help.
“Buying store brands can save you a small fortune. Anywhere from 15 to 30 percent on average, depending on the category,” Tod Marks from Consumer Reports said.
Consumer Reports just taste-tested 57 store-brand foods from five major retailers — Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Kmart, and Target, plus Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
As it turns out, 33 of the 57 store brands proved as high quality as the national brands, though they’re not necessarily identical.
“When we evaluate a store brand and say it’s as good as a national brand, that doesn’t mean it’s a dead ringer in terms of the flavor. The fact is, products can be equally high in quality, but maybe the store brand has different seasonings or spices,” Marks said.
However, Target’s Market Pantry Ketchup tasted similar to Heinz.
The mayonnaise from Whole Foods, Target, Costco, and Walmart, while different from Hellmann’s, was just as good quality.
And listen up all you die-hard Breyers ice cream fans.
“Walmart’s Great Value Vanilla ice cream came pretty close to Breyers. And not only that – it costs a third less,” Marks said.
When it comes to nuts, store brands are the way to go.
Consumer Reports’ taste tests of cashews showed all seven of the store brands were actually better than the national brand – Emerald.
Considering many stores will refund your money if you don’t like a store brand, what do you have to lose?
Another thing to keep in mind is that store brands are not always a bargain.
For example, Consumer Reports found five out of the 10 store brands from Whole Foods actually cost more than the national brand.