Generic vs. Name Brand – What’s the Difference?

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When I was at my parents for Thanksgiving, the local news channel ran a story on generic food vs. name brand food. They took in the obvious factors of price and taste and asked, “can you really taste the difference?”.

Take a look at those videos here:

Generic vs Name Brand Part 1

Generic vs Name Brand Part 2

Here is another video where a family was challenged to use generic products for 6 months:

This article about generic vs. name brand was posted on ThriftyFun.com:



Many people ask me this question time and time again. Is it better to buy name a brand or a generic brand? Here is what I tell them:Buying name a brand or a generic brand is a personal preference. Many consumers think if you buy a generic brand, you must purchase all generic products but this is not so.

I buy generic brand items on things I do not have a personal preference towards, such as aluminum foil, trash bags, and sandwich bags; I also buy generic brand pretzels, eggs, and milk.

I never buy generic brand detergent because I have allergies. Instead I buy Tide Free and then I do not have any allergic reactions. It is not important for me to save money by buying generic brand detergent because if I used it, I would be miserable and itchy all day.

So buying name a brand or a generic brand is a preference choice. What is the point of saving one dollar for a generic brand tissue if every time you blow your nose the tissue is hard and scratchy? When you run across items that you have no preference about, then try a generic brand and you will save some money.

My philosophy is to buy the items you like and then save money by purchasing generic brands of the items you use routinely and do not care about the brand name; such as wax paper, foil, window cleaner, and sponges. Good luck!

What do most people prefer name brand or generic brand?

Generics are generally much less expensive than name brands when they are available. Name brands are the ones that are advertised so people think they are better just because of name recognition. They should be the pretty much the same and work the same. Quite often store brands are made by the same manufacturers. (02/07/2007)

What is the difference between name and generic brands?

A name brand is an advertised brand, like Kleenex, Dole or Green Giant. A generic brand is a store brand (most stores major chains have their own brand) or have a name that is not being nationally advertised. Hope this helps. (10/01/2007)

Generic brands often made by name brand

I was just telling someone, which is why I am posting, that generics are often made by the same manufacturer as the name brands. I used to work at a widely popular chain of New York convenient stores. They would buy there bread from Freihoffers, who would take there same bread, and just package it with a Stewarts label. People would come up with there Freihoffers bread, and I would say “You can buy two loves of Stewart’s bread, for the same price as this loaf”. More times than not I would get the response “I know but I like Freihoffers better”. This statement would make me laugh as I would explain that it was actually the same exact bread. After saying this I tended to get another response “Oh, I will never go threw two loaves anyway”, as they would proceed to buy the more expensive brand. People will tend to buy products because it makes them feel good to get the “better brands”, often they will not take the time to actually compare the quality and will just take the companies nationally advertised word for it. (11/15/2007)

Name Brand vs. Generic Brand

My favorites are: Saran Wrap, I can not seem to get that to stick, but the generic store brands work very well for me at a much lower cost! And Cheetos, I love the taste of the brand name, but with others I find they are cheesier! It is all a preference and what works for the individual. (01/07/2005)By kassi59

So which is better? For me, it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Things like flour and sugar are things I buy generic all the time. There are other things I won’t buy generic. Take for instance Triscuits vs store brand crackers that were compared in the second video. To me, Triscuits just taste better so I don’t skimp on those. I can usually buy them with a coupon and on sale, so they end up being nearly the same price. I find it is like this with several things I buy. Some I don’t mind generic, others I just simply don’t like it.

I don’t think we can really answer the question, which is better, because it really is all about personal preference. Don’t be afraid to experiment with generic brands but don’t feel bad if you prefer the name brand. As long as it fits in your budget, do what works best for you!


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