Consumer Reports Finds Private-Label Foods Often Meet Or Eclipse National Brands In Quality

CR's Experts Found Store-brand Foods were as Good as or Better than the National Brand Nearly 60 Percent of the Time

YONKERS, N.Y., Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Buying store-brand foods can save Americans money at the supermarket, and more often than not they'll get products that are at least of the same quality as the national brand alternative, according to a new Consumer Reports study.  CR's expert taste-testers judged 33 of 57 store-brand foods to be as good as or better than the big name brand.

In categories such as ice cream, trail mix, mozzarella, mixed vegetables, and more, Consumer Reports found at least one store brand from the national grocers Costco, Kmart, Sam's Club, Target, Trader Joe's, Walmart, and Whole Foods that was equal in quality to the national brand. For example, CR's expert testers found that Market Pantry (Target) ketchup was just as good as popular name-brand Heinz.

"We found that not only are store-brand foods often much cheaper, but in nearly 60 percent of the comparisons we did our experts found them to be at least as good as the national brand," said Tod Marks, senior project editor, Consumer Reports. "We recommend that consumers take advantage of the lower prices. After all, if they're not satisfied with the store brand, most supermarket chains will refund their money."

The full report can be found online at ConsumerReport.org and in the October issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which hits newsstand this Thursday August 29.

Store brands account for about one of every four products in a supermarket – and they're branching into niches that lack national-brand competition, Consumer Reports notes. Their growing popularity might well be economic. Some of the store brands tested by CR were more than 30 percent cheaper.

Consumer Reports also found that Costco, Sam's Club, Target or Walmart were among the low-price winners in every category. However, store brands aren't always a bargain. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods usually contended for the most-expensive store brand. In fact, five of the 10 tested Whole Foods products actually cost more than the national brand.

Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, Website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

SEPTEMBER 2013
The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.  We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

SOURCE Consumer Reports



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