Battle of the brands

How do the supermarket brands compare with the market leaders for taste, nutrition and value for money?
 
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01 .Introduction

supermarket-lead

The rise in supermarket-own brands has been phenomenal in Australia, with Coles and Woolworths leading the charge, closely followed by the popular discount chain, Aldi.  Private labels now account for almost a quarter of all grocery sales, and there are few supermarket categories that don’t offer a prominently displayed home brand – often keenly priced to fly off the shelves. But how do they stack up against market-leading brands? To find out, CHOICE purchased a total of 163 products, across 30 different popular food items, and put them to the test.

How we tested

We used the nutrition information on the label to see how they measure up against each other for sugar, fat and salt. Then we put 10 of the food categories to the taste test, recruiting 30 CHOICE members, along with some staff members, to be part of a taste test panel.

For each food item, we purchased:
• the budget tier consisting of Woolworths Home Brand (WHB) and Coles Smart Buy (CSB);
• the premium tier of Woolworths Select and Coles (formerly You’ll Love Coles);
• the Aldi brand; and
• the market-leading brand.

 
 

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Traffic light ratings were surprisingly similiar within each individual food category – that is to say, while individual levels of salt, sugar and fat obviously varied across brands, the green, amber or red light category they fell into was remarkably consistent within any given food category, with a few notable exceptions. We also often found little correlation between how healthy a product is and how well it rated with our taste testers. This could be down to a number of things, including the quality and quantity of ingredients used. Our previous taste tests of mayonnaise and yoghurt illustrate this point. The best tasting mayonnaises, for example, generally contained more fat and eggs than the others. So it pays to have a good scan of the ingredients before you buy – especially if you’re buying on price.

Coles vs. Woolies

Coles’ budget Coles Smart Buy (CSB) brand consistently rated poorly for taste, whereas Woolworths Home Brand (WHB) rated well for both taste and value across several categories. Both brands are very similarly priced across the products we purchased. We also found that the higher-end Woolworths Select brand had less coverage across products, yet there was a Coles equivalent in every category. Aldi offers good value for money but is hit and miss for taste.
Overall, leading premium brands proved a mixed bag in our taste tests, topping tuna, cornflakes and biscuits (equal first) for taste, but ranking bottom in ham, baked beans and cheese (equal last).

Baked beans

Aldi Corale baked beans

The iconic Heinz baked beans came bottom in our blind taste test, even though it topped the nutrition scoreboard as the only baked beans to get three green traffic lights out of a possible four, with the lowest sugar and equal lowest saturated fat. Yet only 7% of tasters said they would buy it. Aldi, came out top with its Corale baked beans; some of our tasters liked their smooth texture and rich, flavoursome sauce, while others thought it was too sweet.

 

 

 

 

Breakfast cereal

Kelloggs-cornflakes

Weet-Bix dominates the breakfast cereal category with almost 20% of grocery volume. However, cornflakes have a better coverage across the brands and so are better suited to this taste test.

Almost two-fifths of our taste panellists picked the premium brand, Kellogg’s, as the best-tasting cornflakes and the brand they would be most likely to buy, with one saying they have “the best colour, flavour and texture”. By contrast, Coles Smart Buy ranks lowest for taste, with only 7% of panellists saying they would buy this product. However, several tasters commented on the similarity in taste among all cornflake brands, so if you were to buy just on price, Coles Smart Buy Corn Flakes are the cheapest in the category at 38c per 100g – almost half the price of Kellogg’s.

 

 

Cheese

Home Brand tasty cheese

According to Retail World’s 2009 Annual Report, private labels have 33.2% of market volume for block cheddar cheese compared with the premium brand, Mainland, which only has 15.2%. The cheaper WHB private label is the standout best-tasting cheddar cheese. It’s a good value-for-money option that shows up its more expensive counterpart, Woolworths Select. Once again, Coles Smart Buy comes in at the bottom of the list. One taster claimed it “tastes like a generic inexpensive cheese,” while another said it’s “salty and boring”.

 

 

 

Ham

Woolworths Select

Smallgoods is another fast-growing grocery category, though we were unable to find budget supermarket brand options for pre-packaged ham. The two premium private labels, Woolworths Select and Coles, were deemed the tastiest. The cheapest by far was Aldi, which half our tasters found too salty – ironic, as Aldi actually has the lowest sodium content of the lot. Aldi and Primo tied equal third for taste, even though Aldi is half the price. Our review of packaged ham may help guide your buying decision.

 

 

 

Chocolate biscuits

coles-not-tim-tam-2 tim-tam-2Coles Chocolate Surrenders were the most expensive Tim Tam-style chocolate biscuit in the group and were equal winners with Arnott’s for taste, with Aldi not far behind. Our tasters were far less impressed with both Woolworths’ and WHB’s offerings, with one saying WHB was “cheap-looking and with no real chocolate taste”.

 

 

 

 

Ice-cream

homebrand-icecream-001Ice-cream is one of the fastest-growing grocery categories. One-third of our tasters picked WHB Vanilla Ice-Cream as their favourite, praising its creamy taste and smooth texture. The leading brand, Bulla, comes in next at 23%. Once again, CSB rounds out the bottom of the list. Our tasters said it lacked creamy flavour, and the flavour it does have seems fake and artificial – “like ‘milk bottle’ lollies”, said one.

It’s worth checking out where milk and cream come on the ingredients list on ice-cream tubs. For our top tasting brand, WHB, milk and cream are the first two ingredients used, whereas milk is fifth on the list for Coles Smart Buy – water being the first ingredient. Bear in mind, CSB is labelled as an ‘ice confection’ rather than ‘ice cream’.

Pasta

Woolworths Organic Penne

The penne pasta we tested was cooked according to packet instructions, with no flavour added. While Woolworths Organic was the clear favourite, the sauce is the dominant flavour of any pasta dish, so we suggest going with whichever pasta is cheapest at the time (for example, if it’s on special).

The same cannot be said for tomato-based pasta sauce; our results below clearly show you shouldn’t go by price alone.

 

 

 

Pasta sauce

Coles Napoletana

In our taste test, the Coles premium brand of Napoletana pasta sauce came out on top. Yet it was also the most expensive and scored the only amber light in its category for fat, coming in at a staggering four times the fat of its nearest competitor (5.7 compared with 1.3 for Dolmio). By contrast, the Coles budget brand of pasta sauce scored a disappointing zero in the taste test, even though it stacked up well nutritionally. Our tasters found the sauce too watery with an artificial taste and colour. A look at the ingredients was telling. The sauce had just 45% tomatoes, the lowest by far of any we looked at, with the second ingredient – you guessed it - water.

If you would rather make your own pasta sauce, take a look at our simple and delicious homemade pasta sauce recipe.

 

 

 

 

Peach slices, canned

Home Brand

Our tasters thought Aldi’s Sweet Valley Peach Slices in Juice weren’t sweet enough and were paler in colour compared with the other brands. WHB is the clear winner for sliced peaches; our tasters were impressed by the brand’s good flavour, texture and colour. It was also the cheapest, along with CSB. Bear in mind, however, that for WHB and CSB the fruit was only available in syrup rather than juice. CSB gets a glaring red traffic light for sugar, so we recommend avoiding this brand here.


 

 

Tuna in brine, canned

John West Tuna

Canned tuna is an incredibly popular grocery item and comes in a range of different flavours. For this test, we focused on canned tuna in brine.
Leading premium brand John West was clearly our tasters’ favourite, with 37% saying they would buy it. However, it is the most expensive in the group at $11.51 per kg. Next best for taste is Aldi Portview, which was the number one pick for 23% of tasters and also one of the cheapest of the lot. Woolworths Select is fairly expensive in comparison, while its cheaper WHB equivalent rated poorly for taste. The worst-tasting of the lot, Coles Smart Buy, was variously described as “dry”, “flavourless” and “bland”.

NUTRIENTS PER 100g
Food item Taste score (%) * Energy (kj) Total fat (g) Saturated fat (g) Sodium (mg) Sugars (g) Price per 100g ($) Packet size (g)
CANNED TUNA
John West Tuna in Brine (A) 37 460 0.9 0.4 400 <1.0 1.15 425
Aldi Portview Tuna Chunks in Brine 23 463 0.8 0.3 453 <1.0 0.48 425
Woolworths Select Tuna Chunks in Brine 20 460 1.4 0.6 500 0 1.03 425
Coles Tuna Chunks in Brine 17 443 0.4 0.2 305 0.1 0.77 425
Woolworths Home Brand Tuna Chunks in Brine 10 460 0.5 0.5 590 0 0.45 425
Coles Smart Buy Tuna Chunks in Brine 3 443 <1.0 <1.0 400 <1.0 0.45 425
ICE-CREAM
Woolworths Home Brand Vanilla 33 849 10.5 6.4 80 16.1 0.11/100mL 2000
Bulla Vanilla (A) 23 819 10.2 6.6 65 22.1 0.31/100mL 2000
Aldi Milfina Vanilla 17 844 10.4 6.8 35 14.3 0.11/100mL 2000
Coles Vanilla 17 822 10.5 7.4 55 20.0 0.21/100mL 2000
Coles Smart Buy Vanilla Ice Confection 10 869 10.3 5.5 68 17.2 0.11/100mL 2000
CEREAL - CORN FLAKES
Kellogg's Corn flakes (A) 37 1580 0.2 <0.1 680 7.9 0.64 775
Woolworths Home Brand Corn flakes 30 1530 0.4 0.1 780 9.0 0.40 500
Aldi GoldenVale Corn flakes 20 1530 0.4 0.1 780 9.3 0.40 500
Coles Corn flakes 17 1530 0.4 0.1 780 9.0 0.56 500
Coles Smart Buy Corn flakes 7 1640 1.5 1.1 765 10.3 0.38 520
PASTA - PENNE
Woolworths Organic Pasta Penne 30 1468 1.5 <1.0 3 3.6 0.46 500
Woolworths Home Brand Ribbed Penne (B) 27 642 0.9 0.1 25 0.8 0.12 500
Coles Penne 100% Durum Wheat 20 1489 2.2 0.4 6 1.4 0.26 500
San Remo Pasta Penne no. 18 (A) 20 1520 1.5 0.5 30 0.6 0.45 500
Aldi Remano Penne 100% Durum Wheat Semolina 13 1560 1.5 <1.0 5 3.0 0.20 500
Coles Smart Buy Penne 13 1523 1.8 <1.0 5 < 1.0 0.12 500
PASTA SAUCE, NAPOLETANA
Coles Napoletana 43 363 5.7 1.2 474 5.3 0.58 500
Dolmio Traditional Recipe Classic Tomato (A) 30 288 1.3 0.2 495 8.6 0.47 550
Aldi Remano Pasta Sauce Traditional 17 228 0.9 0.1 410 6.9 0.32 500
Woolworths Home Brand Chunky Pasta Sauce with Onion and Garlic 13 215 0.7 0.1 250 7.2 0.28 700
Coles Smart Buy Pasta Sauce 0 190 0.1 <0.01 384 5.9 0.32 500
BAKED BEANS IN TOMATO SAUCE
Aldi Corale Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 37 389 0.6 0.1 390 5.5 0.16 425
Coles Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 33 363 0.6 0.1 260 4.7 0.28 425
Woolworths Home Brand Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 23 370 <1.0 <1.0 450 6.2 0.16 420
Coles Smart Buy Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 10 420 <1.0 <1.0 400 6.7 0.17 400
Heinz Baked Beans (A) 7 380 0.5 0.1 360 4.4 0.40 420
CHEESE - BLOCK/CHEDDAR
Woolworths Home Brand Tasty Cheddar 40 1715 35.2 23.9 635 0.1 0.80 500
Coles Extra Tasty Cheddar 27 1700 33.7 21.4 610 < 1.0 1.26 500
Woolworths Select Tasty Cheddar 13 1700 33.7 24.2 610 < 1.0 1.30 500
Mainland Tasty (A) 13 1760 36.8 25.9 668 0 1.44 500
Aldi Westacre Australian Tasty 10 1680 33.3 21.7 587 < 1.0 0.80 500
Coles Smart Buy Tasty Cheddar 7 1700 33.7 21.4 610 < 1.0 0.80 500
PEACH SLICES, CANNED
Woolworths Home Brand Peach Slices in Syrup 33 255 0.1 <0.1 3 12.7 0.18 825
Woolworths Select Peach Slices in Fruit Juice 20 230 <0.1 0.01 5 11.9 0.36 820
Coles Smart Buy Peach Slices in Syrup 13 328 0.1 0 <5 18.5 0.18 825
Coles Peach Slices in Fruit Juice 13 206 0.1 <0.1 8 8.7 0.36 825
SPC Peach Slices in Juice (A) 13 250 0.1 <0.1 8 10.7 0.43 825
Aldi Sweet Valley Peach Slices in Juice 10 211 0.2 0.1 12 10.8 0.24 825
BISCUITS, TIM TAM-STYLE
Coles Chocolate Surrenders 33 2140 24.1 18.3 130 43 1.30 200
Arnotts Tim Tam (A) 33 2160 27 13.3 170 45 1.45 200
Aldi Belmont Biscuit Co. Just Heavenly 30 2200 28.2 20.7 142 36.3 0.90 200
Woolworths Home Brand Triple Choc Biscuits 3 2120 24.2 18.3 205 42.8 0.80 200
Woolworths Select Chocolate Sandwich 3 2090 25.5 18.1 200 42.9 1.20 200
HAM
Woolworths Select Double Smoked Leg Ham 97% Fat Free 40 455 2.9 1.1 1010 1.2 3.55 100
Coles Sliced Smoked Ham 97% Fat Free 33 409 1.9 < 1.0 1160 < 1.0 3.49 100
Aldi Courtway Leg Ham 97% Fat Free 13 435 2.9 1.9 860 1.3 2.00 200
Primo Premium Leg Ham 97% Fat Free (A) 13 389 2.8 1.1 1200 < 1.0 3.95 100
Food item Taste score (%) * Energy (kj) Total fat (g) Saturated fat (g) Sodium (mg) Sugars (g) Price per 100g ($) Packet size (g)


Using the table

Nutrients are based on information on the label. Traffic light criteria are based on the latest nutrition recommendations and dietary guidelines established by government health experts in Australia and internationally. Fat (g/100g) green ≤3, orange 3.1-19.9, red ≥20. Saturated fat (g/100g) green ≤1.5, orange 1.6-4.9, red ≥5. Sodium (mg/100g) green ≤120, orange 121-599, red ≥600. Sugars (g/100g) green ≤5, orange 5.1-14.9, red ≥15.

Prices are based on our price survey of the listed products carried out in Sydney supermarkets on the same day in August 2010. Non-special prices of the same or closest pack sizes were recorded, but as pack sizes can vary we’ve shown the price per 100g for comparison purposes.

Table notes

* Based on responses to the question, “Of the products you have tasted, which would you be most likely to buy?”

(A) The premium brand in the category.

(B) Nutritional information is per 100g cooked. All other pasta is based on dry weight.

How we test

Nutritional analysis We record the energy, total fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar content of each product, which is taken from the nutritional information panel.

Taste test CHOICE sent out a request to members to take part in an in-house taste test. We were inundated with expressions of interest and selected 30 members to come to CHOICE and be part of our taste test panel. All up, our taste panellists tasted 26 samples of ham, biscuits, cheese, canned peaches and baked beans. The taste test was a great success and CHOICE is keen to continue getting members involved. The remaining products (canned tuna, ice-cream, cornflakes, penne pasta and pasta sauce) were tasted by a panel of 30 CHOICE staff members.

We select the premium brands based on which has the greatest market share according to Retail World’s 2009 Annual Report. Where necessary, foods are prepared according to packet instructions, then presented on plain plates with no brand identification. Panellists consider the overall taste of each product and give it an overall rating based on which one they would be most likely to purchase.

supermarket-lead

While it wasn't possible to put every product purchased to the taste test, we did size up all products for their nutritional value, using the nutrition label as our guide. See our full table of results below. Of course, the level of salt, sugar and fat in a product wont give you any indication of how good it tastes. In fact our taste test demonstrates that the healthiest product does not necessarily taste great. A study of the ingredients can often help indicate whether enough good quality ingredients have been used.

However, if you want to buy on nutritional value, here are some of our findings:

Buy these products on price

While there may be ingredient differences between brands, we found this had little impact overall on the key nutrients we reviewed for almost half the items. Tim Tam-style biscuits, white and multigrain bread, butter, cornflakes and Weet-Bix-style cereals, apple juice, milk, frozen mixed vegetables, penne pasta, ham, tinned tuna in brine and spreads are all nutritionally comparable between brands, so for these items you should buy on price or taste.

For example, a 1.12kg pack of Aldi’s GoldenVale Wheat Biscuits costs $2.89 compared with $4.99 for the same size Coles Whole Wheat Biscuits. You can also save $3.40 by purchasing a 1kg pack of CSB or WHB frozen mixed veg rather than the same size pack of McCain Traditional Favourites.

Nutritional Better Buys

For almost half of the food items reviewed, some brands do stand out as having the nutritional edge over others, although these brands vary from item to item – and for some items there are multiple “better buy” brands.
Plain water crackers: WHB is the only cracker with a green light for saturated fat content.
Crumbed fish portions: Encouragingly, all surveyed products were low in saturated fat and sugar, and amber for sodium content. Coles steals ahead to be the Nutritional Better Buy with only 2.5g total fat, compared with 9.8g–10.5g per 100g in the other brands.
Low-fat mayonnaise: Aldi and WHB are Nutritional Better Buys, scoring an amber light for sodium with levels of 370mg/100g and 538mg/100g respectively. Sodium levels above 720mg/100g give the rest a red light. See our test of mayonnaise for helpful hints on what to look for.
Instant chicken noodles: Aldi’s, Coles’ and the leading brand’s (Maggi) 2-minute noodles are Nutritional Better Buys than the other three brands, being significantly lower in saturated fat. These brands, along with Woolworths, also have a green light for saturated fat, making all brands a better nutritional choice than CSB and WHB.
Crunchy peanut butter
: All products surveyed receive red lights for both total and saturated fat. However, the leading brand (Kraft) is the only peanut butter with a red light for sodium, containing more than three times the amount as CSB.
Shortcut bacon: While Aldi, Coles, Woolworths and Primo (the leading brand) all have amber lights for total fat, Aldi’s Ashfield shortcut bacon also has an amber light for saturated fat, making it our Nutritional Better Buy.
Again, ingredient differences that result in a brand having a better nutritional profile may affect taste. CSB pasta sauce, for example, lists water as its second ingredient. This limits how fatty or sugary the product can be, but doesn’t do many favours for the product’s flavour.
Limiting unhelpful nutrients may be what swings you towards certain brands or products, while in other cases you may prefer to prioritise taste or value for money.

NUTRIENTS SPECIFICATIONS
FOOD ITEM Fat (g/100g) Saturated fat (g/100g) Sugars (g/100g) Sodium (mg/100g) Price/pack ($) Packet size (g/mL)
Apple pie - family
Aldi Sweethaven Family Apple Pie 11 5.6 15.6 250 600 2.99
Coles Coles Apple Pie 9.4 6 17.1 165 600 3.99
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Apple Pie 12.9 6 17.3 288 500 2.66
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Apple Pie 9.6 4.9 15.6 235 600 3.19
Woolworths NA na na na na na na
Leading brand Nanna's Apple Pie 9 4.5 15.7 219 600 4.99
Bread - multigrain loaf sliced
Aldi Bakers Life Multigrain Sandwich Sliced Bread 2.6 0.4 2.7 535 650 2.99
Coles Coles Multigrain 10 Grains & Seed Sandwich Bread 4.8 0 3.3 425 700 2.75
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Multigrain Bread 1.7 0 3.7 420 650 1.79
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Multigrain Sandwich Sliced Bread 2.8 0.3 2.4 400 650 1.79
Woolworths Woolworths Grains + Grains and Seeds Sandwich Bread 3.4 0.4 1.8 400 650 2.49
Leading brand Helga's Continental Bakery Mixed Grain 3.1 0 1.8 500 850 4.59
Bread - white loaf, toast
Aldi Bakers Life Stonehouse Traditional White Bread 2.4 0.4 2.5 410 750 2.69
Coles Coles Bakery White Sandwich Bread + 6 Vitamins and Minerals 2.1 0 1.8 420 700 2.75
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy White Bread Toast Slice 2.5 1 2.6 450 650 1.09
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand White Toast Sliced Bread 1.3 0.3 2 400 650 1.09
Woolworths Woolworths White Vitamins and Minerals Sandwich Bread 2.4 0.3 2.3 400 650 2.49
Leading brand Helga's Continental Bakehouse Traditional White 2.4 0 2.5 410 750 4.59
Butter
Aldi Butterfully Butter 81 55.1 0.7 695 250 1.29
Coles Coles Australian Butter 80.5 53.1 0 640 250 2.26
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Butter 80.5 53.1 0 640 250 1.29
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Butter 81 55.1 0 695 250 1.29
Woolworths Woolworths Select Creamy Tasmanian Butter 80.5 53.5 0 640 250 1.29
Leading brand Western Star Original Butter 80.5 53.1 0 640 250 2.31
Cereal - wheat biscuits
Aldi GoldenVale Wheat Biscuits 1.6 0.4 2.7 270 1120 2.89
Coles Coles Whole Wheat Biscuits 1.5 0.4 2.7 270 1120 4.99
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Wheat Biscuits 1.5 0.3 0.8 385 1120 2.91
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Wheat Biscuits 1.6 0.4 2.7 270 1120 2.99
Woolworths NA na na na na na na
Leading brand Sanitarium Weet-Bix 1.4 0.3 3.3 290 750 4.19
Chips - frozen, straight cut
Aldi Seasons Pride Straight Cut 3.5 0.3 0 14 1000 1.99
Coles Coles Straight Cut Chips 3.9 0.4 0.7 60 1000 2.89
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Straight Cut Chips 4.8 2 1.5 59 1000 1.99
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Frozen Potato Chips Straight Cut 4 0.5 1 30 1000 1.99
Woolworths Woolworths Select Straight Cut Chips 4 0.5 1 30 1000 2.89
Leading brand McCain SuperFries Straight Cut 4.5 0.4 0 44 1200 3.79
Cookies - choc chip
Aldi Belmont Biscuit Co. Chocolate Chip Cookies 19.1 17 36.8 259 200 1.49
Coles Coles Chocolate Chip Cookies 23.3 15.9 27.5 228 400 3.99
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Chocolate Chip Cookies 20.6 13 35.3 230 500 2.09
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Choc Chip Cookies 19.3 11.7 27 270 500 2.09
Woolworths Woolworths Select Choc Chunk Cookies 21.7 14 39 240 310 3.79
Leading brand Arnotts Premier Chocolate Chip Cookies 23.5 13.7 40 230 310 4.1
Cordial - orange
Aldi Tropistar Orange Cordial 0 0 8 5 2000 2.19
Coles NA na na na na na na
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Orange Fruit Juice Cordial 0 0 8.5 5 2000 2.09
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Orange Cordial 0 0 7.9 7 2000 1.99
Woolworths Woolworths Select Orange Fruit Juice Cordial 0 0 6.9 3 1000 3.91
Leading brand Cottees Orange Crush Fruit Juice Cordial 0 0 7 7 2000 4.32
Crackers - water, plain
Aldi Damora Admirals Quarters Original Water Crackers 11.2 5.5 2.3 540 125 0.99
Coles Coles Original Water Crackers 7.6 3.7 2.3 647 125 1.49
Coles Smart Buy NA na na na na na na
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Water Crackers Traditional 6.8 0.6 1 520 125 0.99
Woolworths NA na na na na na na
Leading brand Nabiscos Captains Table Classic Water Crackers 10.8 5.2 0 575 125 1.71
Fish portions - crumbed, frozen
Aldi Ocean Royale Crumbed Fish Fillets Original 10.5 1.1 4.2 260 425 3.99
Coles Coles 6 Crumbed Fish Fillets 2.5 0.4 1.5 390 425 6.75
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy 6 Crumbed Fish Portions 10.3 1.1 2.5 300 500 3.29
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Crumbed Fish Frozen Portions 10.3 1.1 2.5 300 500 3.29
Woolworths NA na na na na na na
Leading brand Birds Eye Oven Bake 6 Original 100% Fish Fillets Coated in Crispy Crumb 9.8 1 0 188 425 7.96
Garlic bread
Aldi Fresh Approach Garlic Bread (twin pack) 13.2 5.6 3.8 598 450 1.69
Coles Coles Garlic Bread 12.7 8.8 5.3 590 450 2.89
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Garlic Bread (2 pack) 10.7 4.5 2.3 593 450 1.79
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Garlic Bread with Sesame Seeds (twin pack) 14.4 7.1 2.2 563 450 1.69
Woolworths Woolworths Select Fresh Garlic Loaf 18 11.9 2.1 478 420 2.99
Leading brand La Famiglia Garlic Bread (2 pack) 14.8 7.3 2.5 500 450 2.99
Juice - apple, shelf stable
Aldi Westcliff Apple Juice 0 0 11 7 2000 1.89
Coles Coles Apple Juice 0 0 10.4 8 2000 2.55
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Apple Juice 0 0 10.3 4 2000 1.89
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Apple Juice 0 0 9.4 5 2000 1.89
Woolworths NA na na na na na na
Leading brand Berri Juice Apple 0 0 10.3 4 2400 3.89
Mayonnaise
Aldi Colway Squeezy Light Mayonnaise 2.5 0.2 21.4 370 525 2.59
Coles Coles 97% Fat Free Mayonnaise 2.8 0.3 21 750 410 2.69
Coles Smart Buy NA na na na na na na
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Mayonnaise 97% Fat Free 2.8 0 25 538 500 2.84
Woolworths Woolworths Select 97% Fat Free Mayonnaise 2.8 0.3 21.9 728 555 3.04
Leading brand Praise Creamy Mayonnaise 97% Fat Free 2.7 0 21 735 555 3.79
Milk - whole
Aldi Farmdale Full Cream 3.6 2.4 4.8 58 2000 2.09
Coles Coles Full Cream Milk 3.4 2.2 4.9 44 2000 2.47
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Milk 3.4 2.2 4.9 44 2000 2.09
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Milk 3.4 2.2 4.9 44 2000 2.09
Woolworths Woolworths Milk 3.4 2.2 4.9 44 2000 2.49
Leading brand Pura Milk 3.6 2.3 5 30 2000 3.69
Mixed veg - frozen
Aldi New Season Mixed Vegetables 0 0 4.5 11 1000 1.59
Coles Coles Australian Mixed Vegetables 0.4 0.1 2.5 13 1000 3.99
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Frozen Mixed Vegetables 0 0 2.3 18 1000 1.59
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Mixed Vegetables Frozen 0.2 0 2.5 27 1000 1.59
Woolworths Woolworths Select Chunky Mixed Vegetables 0.3 0 1.2 28 500 2.49
Leading brand McCain Traditional Favourites 0.7 0.1 4 30 1000 4.95
Noodles - instant, chicken
Aldi Jade 2 Minute Noodles Chicken (5 pack) 0.2 0.1 0 257 425 1.09
Coles Coles Chicken Flavour 2 Minute Noodles (5 pack) 0.7 0.3 0.4 232 425 2.26
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy 2 Minute Noodles Chicken Flavour (5 pack) 4.6 2.7 0 310 425 1.09
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Instant Noodles Chicken Flavoured (5 pack) 4 1.9 0.3 302 425 1.09
Woolworths Woolworths Select 2 Minute Noodles Chicken Flavoured (5 pack) 3.5 0.9 0.8 260 425 3.49
Leading brand Maggi 2 Minute Noodles Chicken Flavour (5 pack) 1.3 0 0 320 360 3.95
Peanut butter - crunchy
Aldi Bramwells Peanut Butter Crunchy 51.9 7.5 9.3 555 375 2.09
Coles Coles Crunchy Peanut Butter 48.2 7.9 8.9 375 375 3
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Peanut Butter Crunchy 50.5 11.4 5.6 170 375 2.09
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Crunchy Peanut Butter 43.9 10.1 10.8 397 550 3.07
Woolworths Woolworths Select Crunchy Peanut Butter 52.3 6.1 9 437 500 4.19
Leading brand Kraft Nuts Peanut Butter Crunchy 51.6 11.3 8 647 500 5.56
Smallgoods - bacon, shortcut/middle
Aldi Ashfield Short Cut Bacon Rindless 12.3 4.3 0.3 1200 175 2.59
Coles Coles Short Cut Bacon Rindless (naturally wood smoked) 13.7 5.4 0 1060 175 4.87
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Middle Bacon (smoked) 21.5 8.2 0 882 250 2.69
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Middle Bacon (smoked rashers) 25.4 10.1 1.2 1400 250 2.69
Woolworths Woolworths Select Short Cut Rindless Bacon (naturally wood smoked) 15 5.5 1.1 680 200 4.49
Leading brand Primo Short Cut Rindless Bacon 17 7.3 1.2 1200 175 5.37
Spread - canola/margarine
Aldi Sunnyvale Canola 65 15.9 0 362 500 1.29
Coles Coles Canola Spread 65 13.1 0 380 500 2.5
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Regular Spread 50 13.6 0 465 500 1.09
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Canola Spread 65 15.9 0 300 500 1.29
Woolworths NA na na na na na na
Leading brand MeadowLea Canola 65 16.1 0 340 500 3.49
Yoghurt - vanilla, low fat
Aldi Brooklea Vanilla Lite 0.8 0.6 16.5 65 1000 3.79
Coles Coles Vanilla Lite Yoghurt 0.8 0.5 14 63 1000 4.59
Coles Smart Buy Coles Smart Buy Lite Yoghurt Vanilla 0 0 15.5 51 1000 3.79
Woolworths Home Brand Home Brand Vanilla Flavoured Yoghurt Low Fat 0.1 0 17.6 55 1000 3.79
Woolworths NA na na na na na na
Leading brand Yoplait Vanilla Creamy Lite 1 0.6 14.8 58 1000 4.99


USING THE TABLE

Food and drink items For each food and drink item, we compared nutrients and price across six brands:

Coles Smart Buy, Coles/You’ll Love Coles, Woolworths Home Brand, Woolworths/Woolworths Select, Aldi proprietary brands and equivalent leading brands (as determined by market share).

Not every item is represented by all six brands. Nutrients are based on information on the label.

Traffic light criteria are based on the latest nutrition recommendations and dietary guidelines established by government health experts in Australia and internationally

Prices are based on our price survey of the listed products carried out in Sydney supermarkets on the same day in July 2010 (or August 2010 for products marked with a *). Non-special prices of the same or closest pack sizes were recorded, but as pack sizes can vary we’ve shown the price per 100g for comparison purposes.

TABLE NOTES

na We were unable to find an equivalent product to represent this brand for this food item.

(A) Coles Smart Buy is price-competitive but a Nutritional Worse Buy for this product, so we recommend avoiding this brand here.

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