"Own brand" goods in unprecedented sales rise - but do they all taste of cushions?

The evil credit crunch/recession has proved to be an enormous boon for supermarkets and sales of their cheaper ‘own brand’ products, according to research by retail consultancy Verdict Research. And we’re always on the look out for enormous boons around here.

Apparently, skint shoppers have switched over to the own brand goods “on an unprecedented scale” after years when they were considered to be the madly inferior alternative to giants such as Brer Kellogg, Brer Fray Bentos and Brer Kia-Ora to name but three random brands.

There’s even a UK-based guide to own brand produce, where ‘professional taster’ Martin Isark appears to have tried thousands of examples and lived to tell the tale. Hats off to Martin or indeed anyone with the gall to describe themselves as a professional taster.

But once the recession ends and we’ve all got a bit of cash jangling around in our sky-rockets again, will the change in shopping habits stick? Are you an avowed disciple of the money-saving own brand or are you suspicious of it all, believing the produce to inferior, made by witches and filled with dried worms and essence of herpes?

Let us know and tip us off with the tastiest cheaper alternatives. Honest, we do care. And we're broke as well.


  • Matt B.
    Somerfield Cider 2ltr - £1.35 When nicely chilled it's surprisingly okay, though you might feel like a tramp at the checkout.
  • Joff
    Some things people shouldn't skimp on. Good quality baked beans (Branston) and toilet paper (Andrex or that Velvet stuff) are mandatory on any shopping list.
  • The B.
    I have to say, I was down in Beaulieu at the weekend and the Terrace at the Montagu Arms was only half full on Friday night, shocking for a Michelin starred nosh hole.
  • math t.
    You do realise that a lot of "own brands?" are actually manufactured by big-name brands, don't you?
  • zeddy
    @joff: Fux sake! Have you money to burn?! A tin of Asda Smart Price and a doken leaf will do me fine.
  • Jase
    Sainsbury's SmartPrice Chilli Con Carne...as good as or better than other brands. Own brand tortilla chips from Sainsbury's (19p) or Asda (50p, but twice size)...no point wasting Dorito's or Pringles on something you're going to dip or serve as nachos.
  • Anonymous
    I've been buying various own brand stuff for years - it definitely has it's place and I can see why shopping habits are trending towards them. Wouldn't buy certain things such as Value Lager etc (lol) but there's plenty of good stuff too.
  • Brian
    @math teacher "You do realise that a lot of “own brands?” are actually manufactured by big-name brands, don’t you?" That just what tight bastards like you *try*to tell their children, so they don't complain about about eating "copy" crap.
  • kellogs
    cereals , iv'e tried to change, but thats one thing you cant. suppose if i started off on own brand things would be different but kellogs for some reason are sooo good
  • sb
    @Jase agree with you about the tortilla chips froms sainsb. I like them better then Dorito's, though I wouldn't buy the tesco own brand again.
  • TeflonMan
    @ kellogs: Try the Lidl own brand ones to compare - 79p for 500 g
  • Kryzstof
    @ Brian: The larger companies DO make certain 'own brand' products. I used to work for Tesco and it was easier and cheaper to source the products from these companies than to produce them ourselves. An example of this is Bramley Apple Pies, Tesco's own brand is actually produced by Mr Kipling.
  • Alice C.
    TESCO's Lager, tastes like Jade Goody's 'final' bath water, urrrrrrrrrrk. "Pass us a can luv..."
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