1. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Fairly simple one today. Most supermarkets and the like will do their own brand of various food and drink, usually cheaper than the fancy ones that advertise on TV and the like. Most times they are made with cheaper ingredients but not always (the various German/Austrian supermarkets often do deals where store brand stuff is repackaged big brand stuff (usually an offer is made that they can't refuse). On the flip side some places go out of their way to do a gourmet take on a thing instead (shops selling dried fruit and nuts often have some sweets and the one I went in last had these fairly expensive jelly babies but they had beef gelatine in, proper powder and a proper mix and were amazing, far nicer than the branded varieties).
    Most of the time the takes on it are more than good enough but I don't want that today, I want actually better that you will pick up in preference even if you are not counting your pennies.

    So I went to lidl earlier and got their take on sour skittles. They were delicious and blow baseline UK and US style skittles (of which I am most certainly a fan) out of the water.
    I have long maintained that Sainsbury's own brand salad cream is the best out there, and actually I like most supermarket malt wheats (Shreddies) more.
    For the USians then cinnabon is better when done at home I think. I had heard legends of spicy cheetos so I got some and they were not great at all, got some walmart own brand ones and while the crisp itself was nothing to write home about (not quite polystyrene texture but closer than one would like) the flavour was great.

    We might well all live in different places and thus have radically different shops, brands and whatever but go it anyway.
     
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  2. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan
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    The puffin biscuits in Aldi are much tastier than the brand they rip off penguin biscuits.
     
  3. Chary

    Chary Never sleeps.
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    Milk. I know it's bad for you, but no one wants gross watered-down budget milk. Nasty.

    If we're not talking brand crap vs store budget brand, and rather knock-offs vs the original, then H-E-B brand "puffy cheese snacks" are so ridiculously better than the real deal puffy Cheetos, that it surprises me, every time.
     
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  4. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    I was going for the opposite. Things where you go for the store brand as opposed to the fancy ones.

    That said I have tried the fancy milks before. For a handful of recipes they might do ever so slightly better but for the most part I can't even tell (and I can otherwise blind taste test skimmed, semi skimmed and actually edible full fat milk). That said I have found a lot of US milk to be rather dubious in quality compared to what I am used to, not as stark a contrast as bread, potatoes and sausages but still notable, so I am going to have to give you the benefit of the doubt there.
     
  5. alexander1970

    alexander1970 Austrian Guy - allowed make grammatical Errors
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    Hello.:)

    No LIDL Food/Beverages Brands anymore....
    BILLA - Frozen Vegetables
    HOFER (Aldi) - Zurück zum Ursprung - Water and Milkproducts
    zuruck-zum-ursprung.png csm__user_upload_PRODUKTE_Almmilch-4_f0e64d8610.png
     
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  6. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    There's a chain of "supercenters" in the midwest called Meijer that actually makes really great "store brand" everything really, usually comparable to most of the "fancy name brands" stuff for fairly cheaper.

    One of my favorites of theirs though is their "Take and Bake" "pre-assembled" pizzas. They're basically extra large pizzas with various toppings that cost a whopping $6-$9 depending on what toppings you get. Everything is freshly made and put together in-store (except the crust I believe, which I assume is from one of those "pre-made" pizza kit kind of things), and they're miles better than basically every frozen pizza I've ever had, and are better than nearly every other Pizza chain out there, too (except bae Cottage Inn :wub:). The only thing that really chumps it for the price is making up my own pizza at home from scratch.
     
  7. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08
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    Prefer in the sense that they are actually superior, or just prefer because they're cheaper?
    I usually go by the rule that if the store brand is half as good then it has to cost less than half as much for it to be worth buying. For raw meat products and disposable products like kitchen/toilet paper, plastic bags, plastic wrap and such the store brand or other cheapo brands tend to be just as good or close to it so I go with that.
    For other products it varies depending on the type of product. Cheapo pizza is not great, cheapo cold cuts, spreads and cheese you usually can't tell much difference from the more expensive versions, they just have a more basic selection of the cheap stuff that tends to be less fancy but if you are not after the fancy stuff they are just fine. Hotdogs are not great quality whether you buy the cheapo or slightly more expensive stuff so you can go with the cheapo stuff just fine.
    Overall, most of the time I will go with the cheapo brand if I am not after something fancier than they offer. For most products the quality is about the same. It's just the selection that is lacking. Obviously they can't have the same selection as more expensive brands when they need to buy in bulk to get the products as cheap as possible, they have to stick to the best sellers.
     
  8. weatMod

    weatMod GBAtemp Addict
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    Ikea lingonberry jam , great on organic whole wheat toast (whole foods store brand) with almond butter

    also stop and shop brand spinach artichoke dip for making hour devours
    just microwave it for a few minutes and spoon it into phyllo cups and bake them in the toaster oven
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  9. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".
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    Store brands are usually good enough for my needs, so I tend to buy mostly them. Very few exceptions. Mayo, for one. I experimented with many a store brand mayo and they all feel a little off. Another one being...

    I used to think that too. I hadn't eaten wieners in a while but recently I've been buying some from a local butcher, until I noticed how expensive they were (for wieners, that is)(it flew past me at first because I was usually buying one pair of wieners along with four pounds of beef or something), so I bought some cheapo brand next time... and went crawling back to the butcher. Turns out they're expensive because they contain actual meat. I haven't tried any actual store brand, so I won't rule out the possibility that they're decent too, but the difference between cheap and pricey hot dogs is huge.
     
  10. Scarlet

    Scarlet In Memoriam of Mag Staff Mouse
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    Jaffa Cakes. The real deal ones just don't cut it for me anymore, they're too... Cakey? ASDA's are great, and I love the broken ones you can get at Spar. Honestly, 400g of broken Jaffa Cakes for £1.25 is godly.
     
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  11. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan
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    I 100% agree with that ASDA's jaffa cakes are awesome.
     
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  12. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    I must admit I was none too impressed last time I was given original brand jaffa cakes. I found the lidl ones were OK but if Asda really do well I might make my once annual trip to the place.
     
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  13. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08
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    There are plenty of good sausages, but hotdogs are bad by definition. It's just the blandest most uninspired form of sausage. I do prefer more expensive sausages and will almost always go for that but they're not what you'd call hotdogs.

    @Scarlet @AmandaRose @FAST6191 Your knockoff jaffa cakes must be better than ours. I find the knockoffs here have barely any orange filling in them, the filling only goes halfway out to the edge. Meaning most of what you get is the cake part, and a small amount of very strongly artificially flavored jelly. They're not bad, they're certainly worth it for the price. But might not be worth it for the calories, I can't stop eating the damn things and there is twice as much of it in the cheapo version. But still nowhere as good as the original, the price just about makes up for it though.
    I do like cheapo brand chocolate chip cookies. They might contain less chocolate, but not by a whole lot. They still taste about the same.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  14. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".
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    That's not untrue, but there's still a huge difference in quality between good (by hot dog standards) and bad hot dogs. They range from actual meat to meat-flavored-Jell-O-tubes that stray cats wouldn't eat (I have first hand experience), and you can taste the difference. So when my kid wants hot dogs and I want to buy something fit for human consumption, I spring for the pricey stuff.

    All other things being equal I prefer other types of sausage, but they too range from "decent foodstuff" to "minced gristle and bone fragments" depending on the manufaturer.
     
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  15. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08
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    I know what you mean, I've had the jello tubes you're talking about. They're just not available here. I've had them on vacation though and they are about as bland and unrecognizable as it gets. Not that the stuff sold here is great, but I guess there's probably some law that prevents them from putting less than a certain amount of meat in a product labelled as meat or something like that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  16. catlover007

    catlover007 Developer
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    this is a topic I often see people making descision I can't understand. A higher price never guarantees anything, except you paying more. I don't trust brands if big corparations are behind them, there's not a single reason why they should produce a better product than the no name discounter version of it. You might ask, how does the lower price then comes to be? Well I'm writing this from a german perspective the land of discount super markets. Eventhough they're only so few of them, they're just enough to be in a constant trench war, pushing the margins down as much as possible. The product chains are short, products aren't put into shelves but just placed in the cardboard boxes they came in, shops sell all the same products. And yes I know if you're looking for something specific, you might don't find it in a Aldi or Lidl, also the branded ice cream cones have little plastic caps to protect the tip, but for the most part it doesn't matter.
    Another thing are standards set by independent bodies, standards set by the industry are rarely anything worse. If a product sold as organic (by organic I mean the german or the EU standard, not you're american everybody can sell ones products as organic "standards") it has to comply to the given standard. Some people say organic products sold in discounters aren't really "organic", which if true would defeat the whole reason for standards set by law.
    Though admittedly this super market landscape fosters an always go cheaper mentality leaving an imprvent on the consumers which certainly has bad sides. Like for example farmers (especially milk farmers) unable to make a living or it hindering the introduction of higher standards. This also correlates to the arguments I brought up earlier, of organic products sold by discount super markets actually not being really organic. These standards are associated with a vision of sustainability which these shops clearly opposed to.
    There are smaller shops selling exclusively organic products (though most of them belong to chains too), which often source their products locally. You probably guessed it, they're more expensive for several reasons. First of all it's products themselves, but also because they are simply smaller and thus profit less from the economy of scale. Another reason is the fact that these products are bought mostly by more wealthier people who expect a wider range of goods etc. An extreme example would be these shops selling food unpackaged, which seems like a good idea. In practice as far as I have heard those shops are expensive even for organic shop standards.
    Of course this is based on the situation here, it might be different somewhere else. Even the first post mentions german discounters and I already read in other places how they're viewed in other countries.

    TL;DR I'm gad our food prices aren't inflated by the wages of those greeters.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  17. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Reasons they might produce a better product.

    So presumably this corporation has had some serious investment and does one thing. The supermarket (or their contractor) might not have had that.
    They might have a better supply of goods -- there is a large difference between 10 million product per year and 500 million if I am the supplier selling something, and if you can scale it into some kind of arbitrage or futures contracts region then prices get even lower.
    They might have some patents. Food patents are even more complicated than probably even medicine and vary by location but it is an option.
    They might have some secret ingredients (a few drops per fairly considerable amounts of a certain flavour compound can have a radical effect on the end result. Possibly also some more money and onus to experiment with different things. They don't have to tell you that either -- look at the back of whatever you have around there and it will probably just say the local equivalent of flavourings, preservatives.... so it is not like their competitors can just read the back and add it into theirs.
    They might have some secret manufacture methods, or just different ones. See something like liquid nitrogen ice cream which has no different ingredients to normal ice cream, or indeed the various ways of setting and moulding chocolate, or the cheap vs long term methods of making booze, or the various cheeses you can make despite all mostly just being milk. High end food production these days has more in common with industrial chemistry or industrial pharmacology in terms of the processes required*, seeing videos of such factories reminds me more of proper hardcore industrial control heavy assembly lines more than the more classic "bigger version of your home kitchen but made out of stainless and using 3 phase motors" food production stuff. While the latter is certainly not cheap the former is eye watering to set up and keep running. Said industrial stuff also means cost per unit produced can be lower (24 hours a day production, fewer staff...) which in turn can go back to ingredients
    They might have some cheaper transport methods.

    On top of all this that nice advertising meaning it could well all be in your head, and also first bite is with the eyes. Or on the flip side ever see that test where food critics could not tell which olive oil was the legit stuff as the fake was so prevalent their taste buds has adjusted?

    *as a slight taster for this I have been quite enjoying Bon Appetit's series where they make gourmet versions of cheap and cheerful foods, wherein they get a decent pastry chef, a very nicely kitted out kitchen (do you know anybody in the real world with a dehydrator?) and have a fairly hard time with a lot of things.


    Now at the same time there are a great many cases of bigger manufacturers scaling past what they can use (I believe McDonalds has a famous story of someone in their test kitchen doing some good stuff with celery powder, only to be told they can't do it as the world's supply of celery is not enough even if they had it all), ramming things full of preservatives that take a little bit from the end result but still "good enough" before repeating 50 times and the end result being a far cry from where things started out, cutting back on proportions for more expensive ingredients** (I'm looking at you toblerone, though I would possibly place money on Jaffa cakes cutting back for some things), following some stupid health trend (I just noticed my beloved tumeric got landed with some kind of magic herb status, hopefully my tray in the freezer lasts until that one leaves us) and slashing salt and fat or another ingredient, chasing some kind of diet fad (animals and animal products are, by and large, bloody tasty so imagine what happens when someone decides vegans are in, repeat for gluten, artificial flavourings, organic food, halal food... and then back again when people decide that was all nonsense), getting bought out and new overlords changing things up because of ignorance/stupidity/supply lines/just wanting the infrastructure, chasing a bigger market by attempting to broaden appeal at the cost of their traditional base***... The little guy still making it like granddad used to do, or maybe having their own secret sauce, then has the upper hand, and is possibly where the subject of this thread comes in.

    **my grandma once told me about her time in the bakers. Her boss would say only one injection of jam in the doughnuts, but she did two and apparently everybody loved it/noted it when she left and prior to that when she was not around.

    ***was watching a show earlier featuring a historical cook. He showed how they made the traditional oat bread favoured in that area where today wheat bread (back then and there a luxury of sorts) is probably the norm. Local people might well have local tastes that don't scale well outside it.

    and another video to finish. In this case covering the hot dog discussion some others we having and having the barest whiff of what high end industrial food production looks like (this stuff is entry level compared to what else is out there).
     
  18. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    In the name of science I ventured out into the world to a place I seldom visit, that place being Asda in the UK. I then purchased the Asda ultra cheapo range, the asda own brand range and because they were on offer for £1 then some mcvities as well, though I will note that they were by far the most expensive, and that is before you consider they only give you 10 of the things in a pack.

    For my credentials on the matter we have https://gbatemp.net/threads/best-and-worst-biscuits.347970/ , which is to say I have been considering biscuits and cakes at a scientific level for many years now.

    In what was also the hardest science test I ever done I stopped myself from gobbling a jaffa cake as soon as I opened the wrapper.

    Busted out my drug dealer scales, only did one per pack rather than some kind of average but eh
    Cheapo
    11.59g for a random cake

    Mcvities
    12.30g

    Asda normal brand
    11.67

    I had a 45 minute walk home in the cold and the room here is 17C so there is that as well.

    Pictures. Click for bigger. They were all reduced in scale so higher resolutions may be available.
    jaffa_1.JPG
    jaffa_2.JPG
    jaffa_3.JPG
    jaffa_4.JPG
    jaffa_5.JPG
    jaffa_6.JPG


    Palette cleanser of choice today is some Tesco double strength (which I make strong even then) cherries and berries squash. I did of course start by swilling a mouthful of the stuff around.

    Bit into them
    Cheapo
    Kind of dry and crumbly cake. Nice hit of fairly artificial orange (ingredients reckon concentrated orange juice so not sure what is going on there). Chocolate was perfectly acceptable.

    Mcvities
    Far softer, and dare I say chewy, cake. If there was orange in there I could not taste it as part of the bite, but stuck my tongue on it after and it was fairly potent (also tried cheapo and it was more orangey still). Chocolate technically there but nothing to write home about at all, I would say worse quality than cheapo. Looking at the ingredients then they reckon they have more sugar but I am not sure where it went.

    Asda mainline.
    The others may have a point. Cake was great, had some nice orange kick and it was thick layer too. Chocolate was short of amazing but actually still really good.

    Then gobbled a whole cake at once (put vertically in mouth, crushed, masticated and swallowed) which did change things in that I could now taste the orange in the mcvities. The asda mainline was better still and while the cheapo remained somewhat dry (it might be more of a biscuit than a cake even, though don't tell the tax man) it still had a nice orange kick and the chocolate did well. If cheapo is going to be considered worse then it will be in the cake part.

    Of the three there then I would pick the Asda mainline as an example of what a jaffa cake should be, and you get more than twice the amount for less money. Despite this being in the planning phases for a couple of days now I neglected to visit lidl, sainsburys, tesco or others to get their take on the matter. It is unlikely we will still have a comparative sample by... probably later this evening but definitely not by the next time I go shopping.

    If necessary I can conduct some kind of double blind affair but I don't think it necessary at this stage.
     
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  19. Stwert

    Stwert GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Normally nothing. But your Skittles comment has me intrigued, I’ll buy a few dozen and see what like.
     
  20. BORTZ

    BORTZ The Amazing
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    Heinz ketchup. No exceptions.

    One time I went to that hell hole of a state they call "Ohio" and a local bar had French's ketchup and Heinz mustard. Boy was that just the icing on the terrible Ohio cake.
     
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