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Brand names vs. store brands: Can you taste the difference?

We took everything out of the package and made it a blind test. Here are the 16 products the moms tasted and the cost of each item.

HOUSTON — Store brands, like generic products, tend to get a bad rap. You can save money by buying them but some consumers are so loyal to their favorite brands, they won’t even try them!

That’s why we bought eight different brand-name products and similar items from either H-E-B, Kroger or Walmart. We wanted to put them to a taste test.

We recruited help from six Katy-area moms. They’re all contributors to the Houston Moms Blog. Among them, they have 14 children and spend a lot of money on groceries.

We took everything out of the package and made it a blind test. Here are the 16 products the moms tasted and the cost of each item:

Honey Nut Cheerios $3.49

HEB Honey Nut Toasted Oats $1.49 

Pop Tarts $2.49

Kroger Toaster Treats $1.49 

Eggo Buttermilk Waffles $4.88

Great Value Buttermilk Waffles $2.93 

La Croix Sparkling Water $2.99

Kroger Sparkling Water $2.37

Dr. Pepper $1.25

HEB’s Dr. B $1.00

Cheez-It Crackers $2.99

Kroger So Cheesy Cheese Bits $1.79

California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza $5.78

Walmart Sam’s Choice frozen pizza $4.98

Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream $5.85

HEB Creamy Creations Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream $4.68

I’ll go ahead and tell you the majority picked the brand name in every single round. However, most believed if the items were not side-by-side, they wouldn’t taste a difference.

“If I had that pizza alone or the crackers alone, I would have eaten those just fine not questioned it,” said Becca Slocum.

“My kids would probably not care either way with the waffles and same with Honey Nut Cheerios,” said Meagan Clanahan. “They would have thought that the store brand was just fine.”

Our grand total on the eight brand-name products $29.72.

The comparable store brand items cost is $20.73.

That’s a savings of $8.99!

Imagine how much you could save with a shopping cart full of store-brand products. 

If you have a product or service you’d like Tiffany to try, email telltiffany@khou.com.

To check out some of the products and services we compare, visit www.youtube.com/tiffanycraig.  Don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there!

To learn more about the Houston Moms Blog, visit   https://houston.citymomsblog.com/

I'm Tiffany, a news reporter at KHOU in Houston. My station pays me to test products!

Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KHOUTiffanyCraig/

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TiffanyKHOU

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiffanyontv


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