I never thought I’d be posting about aluminum foil. However, as I walked down the aisles of my local market, I saw the Reynolds Wrap was selling for $9.49; the house brand came in at $5.99. That’s a nearly 60% cost increase for the name brand. I had to ask why. From mainstreet.com:
By choosing store brand products from retailers such as Costco, Wal-Mart and Kroger and Winn-Dixie instead of buying national brands, you can save about 30% per week on the average shopping trip, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.
I’ll expose myself here. My biggest expense every month is supermarket trips. Feeding two teenagers ain’t cheap. If I can potentially knock 30% off my bill at the day’s end, that’s especially meaningful. I don’t care about the name on the box. Particularly when it comes to staples like aluminum foil, I just want to know that it will get the job done. In some cases, it may literally be the same product.
Many of the national brands actually produce store brand products, so besides the packaging, you may not even notice a difference between generics and their brand name counterparts. For example, Alcoa, the maker of Reynolds Wrap Aluminum foil, produces store brand foil. McCormick produces herbs and spices without its signature label, and Birds Eye, known for its frozen vegetables, produces a number of frozen and canned vegetable products, according to Consumer Reports.
This isn’t about my making a recommendation on the brand of aluminum foil you buy. What we’re really discussing is how to be an informed consumer. Here at Kaplifestyle, we often riff about labels on products and what they really mean. I continually advise readers to do their homework and not be led astray by clever advertising. Don’t get me wrong, if your brand tastes or performs better, by all means select it. However, too often we blindly trust in brands without good reason. Name familiarity should never be enough when it comes to our hard earned shekels.
When it comes to quality, or a product that will change our life experience, it makes sense to pony up. You may remember that I stressed buying organic here, for example. I shared that feeling good is worth the added cost, because there isn’t an area of life that has a greater impact on happiness than health. Some products, on the other hand, are no brainers. Cleaning products generally are in that category. From money.howstufffworks.com:
The majority of the cleaning products we use aren’t really that different from each other, which means — unless you really like the way something smells, or a particular product really does make your life easier — you’re better off going generic.
Remember that we never make decisions for you nor do we judge your choices. We simply encourage you to be a good detective. Information is king. Now that you have it, what will you do?