How to live off no-name food and maintain your diet

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Do you walk past no-name food products in the grocery store because you need clarification on their quality? Do the lower prices worry you and make you wonder where the food products come from? Have you ever wondered if the food would be as healthy?

It's common for people to spend a few extra dollars to get name-brand products due to the false impression that name-brand means better quality, flavour, and nutrition. And if you think about it, those extra dollars add up. However, no-name products can be of the same quality or even better. If you want to save on your grocery bill but still maintain your lifestyle, consider buying off-brand food products.

Is there really a difference between brand-name products and no-name products?

Research shows that the majority of no-name-brands are well-known brands on a national level. The difference is often in the packaging. Generic food products are produced in the same factories and come from the same sources; they are just packaged in a less eye-catching manner.

Does brand matter for food?

As we've seen, there is little difference. Everything that you need can be bought as a no-name product. Of course, there will be items that you favour from a specific brand, but here are some food items that will be the same:

  • Sugar/Spice/Flour

These products are processed and packaged the same way, regardless of brand.

  • Milk

Unless you are buying organic milk or alternatives like oat milk or soy milk, off-brand milk is usually the same as name-brand milk.

  • Frozen foods, fruit and vegetables:

Often, vegetables are used in combination with other ingredients in meals, like casseroles or smoothies. Buying off-brand vegetables will keep the taste of these meals the same. Even when it comes to fruit, you could get the same product in the same amount for a lesser price. You can also use catalogues and flyers to compare. For example, the Maxi flyer has $4.99 and $6 oranges, but they are packaged the same and both contain 3 lb of oranges. More often than not, these products are taken from the same sources and packaged differently.

Photo by Eduardo Soares on Unsplash

Is off-brand as good as name-brand?

Off-brand products are also just as nutritious and flavourful as name-brand products. In fact, customers are rarely able to distinguish between store-brand and brand-name products in the numerous blind taste test research studies that have been carried out over the years. The store-brand may actually be preferred in some cases.

On your next shopping trip, try and compare two of the same products, one name-brand and one no-name brand, to see the difference besides the labels. You might find that no-name brands actually have higher nutritional values, lower sugar content, and lower sodium content. You can still make the same tasty recipes while saving some money. Remember, it’s all about you and your preferences.

Why are name-brand products expensive?

When comparing prices, brand-name products can cost anywhere from 30 cents to $5 more, leading many customers to assume they are getting higher quality for their money. As we've learned, that isn't always the case; contrary to popular belief, quality, nutrition, and flavour are frequently unrelated. The added expense comes from advertising. Large companies spend money on magazine ads, commercials, and other forms of advertising, all of which require some form of payment. Consequently, the price is higher.