- Among the three supermarkets whose 'premium own-brands' were tested, there was no clear winner for taste or performance. But neither did a brand name win out every time.
- A number of the supermarket brands were rated as good as or better than the market leaders in their categories.
- If your supermarket sells the products you want at a cheaper price than a major brand name, it's well worth trying them — you could save some money without sacrificing quality.
In a recent CHOICE survey of supermarket prices, we reported how much you can stretch your food and basics budget by buying some or all of your groceries at an Aldi store — as much as 50%. But as you stroll the aisles of Aldi, Woolies or Coles, do you wonder whether the growing number of supermarket-owned premium varieties are worth trying, or if they’re inherently inferior to 'name' brands?
Until not so long ago, the simply packaged 'home' or 'no name' brands from supermarkets were regarded as inferior by many shoppers, who assumed their low price reflected lower-grade ingredients. These days the supermarket brands, are called 'premium own-brands' or 'private label' brands, and they come with the supermarket's assurance of quality that matches the leading brands.
By choosing these brands, you can get at least some of your groceries at a lower price, apparently without forsaking quality ingredients. But the question remains: will your family like — and eat them?
To find out, we put Woolworths Select, You’ll Love Coles and Aldi's premium own-brands to the test, by asking our CHOICE Home Testers to try a range of supermarket 'premium own' items and compare them with a similar item from a leading brand. Our testers tried products that many people would buy regularly — pasta sauce, peanut butter, canned fruit, baked beans, biscuits and aluminum foil.
Please note: this information was current as of September 2007 but is still a useful guide today.
How we tested
We sent 143 Home Testers a range of different products to try. Each type of product was tried by around 70 different people. Where possible we disguised the products so they didn't know which ones were on test.
The trialists were asked to report on a leading brand, plus whichever of the supermarket premium own-brands were available for that product. If a supermarket had two premium brands, we chose the most expensive one.
- For Woolworths, we used the Woolworths Select brand.
- For Coles, the You'll Love Coles brand.
- For Aldi, the comparable Aldi product.
We also report on the quality of some supermarket products which were recently tested by CHOICE, including cheddar cheese and laundry detergents.