Sunday, November 2, 2008

Brand Name vs. Generic: Part 4

Part 4: Brand Name vs. Generic

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Brand Name Cold & Allergy Elixir
Brand: Dimetapp Children's Grape
Price: $8.24
Size: 8 oz. bottle
Review: Great grape taste with a nice after effect of a good night's rest.

Generic Cold & Allergy Elixir
Brand: Wal-Mart's Equate Children's Cold & Allergy Grape
Price: $2.84
Size: 8 oz. bottle
Review: The Wal-Mart version was great tasting and also helped me sleep.
Verdict: Equate is the clear winner giving me a savings of $5.40. Other than the cost and the packaging the products seemed identical.

Brand Name Weight Loss Shake
Brand: Slim-Fast Optima French Vanilla
Price: $6.97
Size: Six 11 oz. cans
Review: The Slim-Fast Optima tasted like a thin vanilla milkshake without the "mmm" factor. It also had a granular feel to the liquid. I drank the shake at 1 p.m. after breakfast at 9:30 a.m. (three eggs with green peppers and a yogurt). I was hungry three hours later.

Generic Weight Loss Shake
Brand: Equate Ultra French Vanilla
Price: $4.59
Size: Six 11 oz. cans
Review: The Wal-Mart version tasted nearly identical to Slim Fast but with a touch more sweetness and no grainy feeling. As with the Slim-Fast, I was hungry three hours later.
Verdict: Both drinks are fine to the taste, although the texture of the Slim-Fast was bothersome. However, Slim-Fast has 2.5 grams of saturated fat whereas the Equate has no saturated fat and ten less calories. The Equate kept me full for the same time, had no "grain" in it and saved me $2.39.

Brand Name Peanut Butter Cups
Brand: Reese's
Price: $2.69
Size: 12 oz. bag
Review: The peanut butter was very nutty and the chocolate covering had a nice crisp bite to it.

Generic Peanut Butter Cups
Brand: Target's Market Pantry
Price: $1.49
Size: 6 oz. bag
Review: The peanut butter was very smooth, moist and very fresh tasting.
Verdict: I thought the Target cup was better, but I had an additional 15 people test the cups. Out of 16 taste tests nine people preferred the Market Pantry cups -- which cost more per ounce. After looking at the saturated fat levels. though, I will stay with Reese's because they have 1.5g less saturated fat per serving and they cost less.

Brand Name Fiber Chewy Bars
Brand: Fiber One
Price: $2.34
Size: 5 bars
Review: These fiber bars are delicious and I've been an addict to their great taste for some time. They are sweet, chewy, and nutty. They taste like a healthy candy bar. Each bar is 150 calories and has only two grams of saturated fat (the bad fat) per bar. Cost wise it works out to about 47 cents a bar.

Generic Fiber Chewy Bars
Brand: Target's Market Pantry
Price: $1.84
Size: 5 bars
Review: These fiber bars don't look as appetizing, but they have a powerful nutty punch and they satisfy my taste buds. The bars work out to be 37 cents each.
Verdict: They have a subtle taste difference that I think comes down to more of the amount of rice vs. oats mixed into the bars, Target having more rice. Since I'm a fan of the fiber bar and will buy a lot of these, my vote falls with the Target brand which is cheaper.

Brand Name Cola
Brand: Coca Cola Classic
Price: $1.89
Size: 2 liter
Review: Good, sweet taste, a good level of carbonation and a pleasant aftertaste.

Generic Cola
Brand: Safeway Go 2 Cola
Price: $0.81
Size: 2 liters
Review: Though it has more sugar than Coke, it's not as sweet. I just opened the bottle and the soda seems a little flat.
Verdict: Coke is definitely better, but if I wasn't tasting them back to back I don't think I'd notice any of the shortcomings of the generic brand. I don't buy soda very often so since the actual difference in price is pretty small I'd probably just buy the Coke. If I bought it more often I'd definitely buy the generic since it's less than half the cost.

Brand Name Applesauce
Brand: Mott's Cinnamon
Price: $2.19
Size: 24 oz.
Review: Mott's was light in color, sweet and a bit liquidy. It tasted good.

Generic Applesauce
Brand: Giant Cinnamon
Price: $1.79
Size: 25 oz.
Review: The Giant brand was a little darker in color and had a much stronger cinnamon taste (too strong for me). But overall, the taste was decent.
Verdict: They both tasted good. I would give a slight edge to Mott's on taste alone, but with the cost difference it becomes a tie.

Brand Name Canned Corn
Brand: Green Giant Whole Kernel
Price: $1.69
Size: 15.25 oz. can
Review: Large yellow crisp kernels, good chewy skin texture.

Generic Canned Corn
Brand: Shoppers Food Whole Kernel
Price: $0.75
Size: 15.25 oz. can
Review: Kernels were inconsistent in size and color. Flavor was good. The overall color was not as yellow.
Verdict: They both tasted similar. The consistency of Green Giant was better, but for the cost difference would probably buy Shopper's again.

Brand Name Vanilla Wafers
Brand: Nabisco Nilla Wafers
Price: $3.79
Size: 11 oz. box
Review: Nilla Wafers were crisp with a nice taste. All the wafers I tested had a consistent quality.

Generic Vanilla Wafers
Brand: Giant Vanilla Wafers
Price: $1.99
Size: 12 oz. box
Review: The generic brand wafers were not as crisp and didn't really taste like vanilla. They were bland, harder and had an after-taste. They almost tasted stale even though it was a brand new box.
Verdict: I was surprised the generic was half the cost, but the taste was considerably different between the two. This is one case where I would definitely spend more to get the name brand over this generic brand.

Brand Name Root Beer
Brand: A&W Root Beer
Price: $1.18
Size: 2 liter
Review: A&W had a rich, creamy, and malty taste with a nice presentation of foam. This root beer kept well in the fridge until it was all gone.

Generic Root Beer
Brand: Wal-Mart Root Beer
Price: $0.67
Size: 2 liter
Review: This root beer tasted very spunky; it had "zing." It is sort of a sweet and tangy root beer. However, after the sixth day it had gone flat. I really liked the taste at first, so I'd only buy it again if I knew it would be consumed fast.
Verdict: I personally liked the Wal-Mart root beer better, especially in a root beer float. But since the generic brand went flat so fast, I would only buy again if I knew other people would be over to help me finish it off quickly. A&W wins because its fizz lasts longer.
As we have seen you can save a lot of money by buying the Generic Brands. We have also learned that just because it is a name brand does not mean it's better. I hope you have found the article informative and have given a Generic Brand a try.

1 comment:

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