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Money-Saving Secrets: These Store Brand Items Are Actually Made By Name Brands

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Walmart Groceries

We all know that sometimes store brands may not compare to name brands…BUT did you know that many store brands are actually manufactured under a “private label” by big brand companies specifically for that retailer and sold at a fraction of the cost? Instead of paying more for the same or a similar product, check out a few store brand items that I found to be just as good as its competition. 👍


If you have a Costco membership, you may be interested to know that many of their Kirkland Signature branded items are actually made by big brands and sold at deep discount.

Here are a few…

1.) Kirkland Signature Batteries

According to the CEO of Costco, in an interview he did with a reporter, the Kirkland Signature Batteries are actually made by Duracell. You can pick up a 72-pack of Kirkland Signature AA Batteries for under $19 (that’s 26¢ per battery) whereas a 40-pack of Duracell AA Batteries sell for $15 ( = 37¢ each).

2.) Kirkland Signature Liquor

Buy liquor? A salesperson at my local Costco told me that many of the Kirkland Signature liquors are made in the same warehouse/region as the name-brand product. For example, a 1.75L bottle of Kirkland Signature French Vodka sells for just $19.99 and is actually made in the same warehouse as Grey Goose Vodka that sells for $47.99/1.75L bottle at Costco and even more elsewhere!

Note that not all Costco stores or their Liquor Departments have a liquor license to sell Kirkland Signature branded alcohol, so consider calling your local Costco store before making a special trip.

3.) Kirkland Signature Coffee

Did you know that select varieties of Kirkland Signature Coffee are actually roasted by Starbucks Coffee Company? You can pick up a 2lb bag of Kirkland Signature House Coffee for around $9.99 (31¢/oz) whereas a 20oz bag of Starbucks Coffee sells for $11.99 at Target (60¢/oz). BIG savings!

4.) Kirkland Signature Tuna

If you’re a fan of tuna, the Kirkland Signature White Albacore Tuna is supplied by Bumble Bee Foods and sells for roughly 25¢ per ounce whereas the 5oz cans of Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Canned Tuna sell for $1.59 per can (= 32¢ per ounce) at your local Target and $2.29 at Safeway stores.

5.) Kirkland Signature Pet Food

Also, all of the Kirkland Signature Super Premium and Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Pet Foods are made by Diamond Pet Foods in four company-owned manufacturing facilities in the United States.

A 35-pound bag of Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Grain-Free Dog Food sells for $26.49 at Costco (= 76¢/lb) whereas a 28lb bag of Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Dog Food sells for around $39.99 at Specialty Pet Stores (= $1.43/lb). It’s no wonder Costco’s Dog Food is one of their best-selling items!


Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a factory where it makes its own products but instead sources them from well-known brands and sells them under the Trader Joe’s private label at a deep discount, like these…

6.) Trader Joe’s Pita Chips

Have you ever eaten Trader Joe’s Pita Chips with Sea Salt? These chips are so yummy and taste essentially the same as the Simply Naked flavor of Stacy’s Pita Chips in different packaging with a lower price. A 6oz bag of Trader Joe’s Pita Chips sells for $1.99 whereas a 7.33oz bag of Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips sell for $2.99 or more at stores like Sprouts Farmer’s Market and other stores.

7.) Trader Joe’s Organic Vegetarian Chili

Trader Joe’s Organic Vegetarian Chili which sells for $2.29 per can is identical in taste, ingredients, and appearance to Amy’s Organic Medium Chili which sells for $3.49 at Safeway stores.

8.) Trader Joe’s Organic Shells and White Cheddar

If you’re a fan of Annie’s Organic Shells & White Cheddar Macaroni which sells for around $3.49 per box at Safeway stores, be sure to give Trader Joe’s Organic Shells and White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese a try as they taste essentially the same and you can grab a box for just $1.29 at Trader Joe’s!


As a store brand, the Great Value line doesn’t consist of goods produced by Walmart, but is a labeling system for items manufactured and packaged by agricultural and food corporations, such as ConAgra and Sara Lee which, in addition to releasing products under its own brands and exclusively for Walmart, also manufactures and brands foods for a variety of other chain stores. Here are a couple…

9.) Great Value Peanut Butter

Why pay for Peter Pan Peanut Butter which sells for $3.88 per 20oz jar at Walmart (that equals 13.9¢ per ounce) when you can opt for Walmart’s Great Value brand priced at $3.32 for the same size jar (that’s just 11.9¢ per ounce), as both items are manufactured by ConAgra Foods.

10.) Great Value Bread

The 20-24oz loaves of Great Value White Bread sell for just $1.48 at Walmart and are actually made in the same bakery that makes Sara Lee Bread (as well as Nature’s Harvest, Bimbo Bread, and other brands), which sells their loaves of classic white sandwich bread for $2.28 each at Walmart.

Note that the companies I contacted were not willing to disclose this information to me, so some of the data in this post is based off online research and my “detective work”. 😃 I suggest grabbing a few store-brand & name-brand items and doing a taste test to see if YOU can tell the difference!

Although personal taste and preference will vary by person, here are a few store brand items that I love buying at a fraction of the cost and think they are the same or better as competing name-brands! If you are looking to save without the hassle of coupons, buying store brands is an easy way to do that!

Normally-Expensive Hair Care

If you’re looking to save on hair care products, consider grabbing these large bottles of Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner at Costco – a 33.8 fl oz bottle of shampoo sells for around $9.99 and the matching conditioner sells for just $7.49. This product smells amazing, is sulfate free, paraben free, color safe… and rumor has it that this product is actually made by Pureology.

As a price comparison, a single 33.8oz bottle of Pureology Hydrate Shampoo alone sells for over $65 at Ulta Beauty stores. That means you can grab serious savings by purchasing at Costco!


As you can see, a 4lb bag of Great Value Pure Cane Sugar at Walmart sells for just $1.98 whereas a bag of Imperial Sugar sells for $2.44… and they are virtually the same exact item in different packaging.

Over-the-Counter Medicines

Store-brand medications must be FDA-approved and must carry the same active ingredients as name-brand drug manufacturers, so consider buying store brand whenever you’re feeling sick.

For instance, a twin pack of Equate 220mg Naproxen Sodium 150ct Caplets sells for only $5.98 at Walmart (that’s just 4¢ per caplet) which compares to Aleve’s Caplets 220mg with the same active ingredients that is priced at $12.67 at Walmart (a whopping 8¢ per caplet). Need I say more?


Despite the myth that generic, off-brand gasoline is weaker, it is actually just as effective as stations like Shell, Chevron or ExxonMobil as ALL fuel (including unbranded fuel!) must meet certain regulatory guidelines for for RVP, ethanol percentage, octane and more.

Although gas prices will vary greatly by region, I often find that Sam’s Club and Costco have great prices on gasoline. Also, you can often earn points by filling up at stores like Kroger or Safeway. Be sure to check out GasBuddy.com for local pump prices in your area.

Paper Towels

One of the products I love to grab while shopping at Costco are their Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size 2-ply Paper Towels with 160 sheets per roll. The Kirkland brand regularly sells for around $1.53 per 100 square feet whereas the Bounty Advanced Paper Towels sell for $2.63 per 100 square feet.

Although you may be able to find cheaper prices on paper towels at other stores during a sale and/or with coupons, the Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size 2-ply Paper Towels are a nice price and work well.

Baby Wipes

Did you know that Target offers a 1-year satisfaction or money-back guarantee on ALL of their exclusive-brand, private label items? If you are not satisfied for ANY reason, just bring back your receipt to a Target store to receive a full refund within one year of the item’s purchase date. LOVE!

Not to mention that many of the Target store brand items work amazing or even better than name-branded items as they are always working to improve their brands. For instance, a 72ct package of Up & Up Baby Wipes sells for $1.59 (that’s 2¢ per wipe) at Target whereas the same size package of Huggies Simply Clean Wipes retail for $1.99 each (that’s 3¢ per wipe).

Canned Veggies

Although some name-brands may have more enticing and colorful labels when compared to store brands, keep in mind that their canned vegetables are essentially the same exact thing.

For instance, a can of Sweet Peas at Walmart regularly sells for just 68¢ each whereas a can of Del Monte Sweet Peas with the exact same ingredients (aside of using sea salt instead of salt) sells for 98¢.

Interesting Facts from the Private Label Manufacturers Association:
  • About $150 billion worth of store brands were sold in 2016
  • Shoppers can save $44 billion per year by choosing private label products over national brands
  • Store brands are not cheaper – they are just less expensive to market than national brands
  • Retailers use manufacturers to supply their products, including large national brand manufacturers that utilize their expertise and excess plant capacity to supply store brands

Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off running long distance, bargain shopping, warm weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.

Join The Discussion

Comments 174

  1. smoothsavin

    Yes i agree i buy those great value peas, pb, and i like the gv whole wheat bread too. I like the bun length oscar mayer hot dogs on a plain whole wheat gv bun, yum!Thank u for the tip on the costco Kirkland pureology shampoo would love to try it. I saved alot on gas at Costco when i was a member last year after getting free membership thru h2s:) Tysm

  2. Christine

    Just wanted to point out that even though the store brand products are made in the same facility or by the “same people” the name brand items are, it doesn’t mean they are the same recipe. There are ex-man or tolling parties that make plenty of products for many different corporations, so yes, the equipment bakes the same bread, but the ingredients aren’t the same and neither are the recipes. You may or may not notice a difference between the brands, but they are usually not just repackaged products.

    • Angela

      Yes this!

    • Brian

      Here in my area, there is one bakery that makes 9 different brands of bread, including 3 store brands. The difference? Name brands use more preservatives than their made-in-the-same-bakery store brands. Using it all today? Go cheap. Using only a few slices a day? Go name brand.

    • lenin1991

      Great point! I imagine the Grey Goose example given above doesn’t use the identical process.

      • Dee

        Grey Goose was created and marketed as a high end luxury product before there was vodka to put into the specially designed bottles. There’s quite an interesting brand history there if you look, and their marketing gets used as a textbook example all the time. And most people can’t taste the difference between expensive and cheap vodka, so it became a big moneymaker.

        • Nicole

          I do buy the store brand’s for items like bread and canned goods, and there is no difference in the taste with certain items. There is a huge difference in the taste between cheap and expensive vodka. I’d have to try this particular brand, but in my opinion I think it’ll taste more like an absolut than a grey goose. It’ll be interesting to see though.

    • Jill

      Well u have to look at the ingredients. If there all the same it’s basically the same thing.

      • Missy

        My ex-boyfriend worked at a bakery that makes a name brand bread. He said they would change packaging machines and package the same bread for different generic companies. It happened everyday. No difference in the recipe at all.

        • Rose

          My husband worked at one as well and says the same thing.

    • Emily

      I was totally going to say the same thing.
      My brother worked in a bottling facility, and a top shelf liquor is certainly not the same as a cheapy bottle.
      Same factory, same company, different labels, different products.

    • Lizard

      This also applies to the Brand name items. Just because it says Delt- faucet and it is cheaper, it is not the same faucet you get from your plumber. These are made cheaper. I am sure this also applies to other types of items. I learned this as the wife of a plumbing contractor doing hands on work for over 35 years.

    • Chris

      I worked at an ice cream factory that made their own brand of ice cream, but also a higher end brand that delivers, as well as local grocery store brands. I remember well that we would package all three brands from the same mix by changing the wrappers, but the quality of the product supposedly depended on how much of the mix had already been used. The high end brand was packaged first, and then the factory’s own brand after a certain percentage of the mixed was used, and the store brand got the last of the batch. I have tried all three brands and could never tell the difference.

  3. Heidi

    The Kirkland shampoo are my favorite!!! So, so good.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Glad you like it too Heidi 🙂

  4. Paula

    great post. i also like the kirkland shampoo.

  5. Glenn

    What you are saying about gasoline is not true. All gasolines must meet certain minimum requirements, and the gasoline at Costco meets these bare minimum requirements. But most of the major oil companies add more expensive additives that do a better job of keeping the engines clean and producing less emissions that the bare minimum required by law. And just because a service station may get their supply from a major oil company does not mean it is as good, because the additives are injected when the truck is loaded and the trucks loaded for some no-name brand gets a different additive package than one bound for a major oil company’s station. Look for a gasoline that has been specified as “top tier” gasoline and you should be ok.

    • Martha

      My friend and her family own a gas company and they supply to both shell and Costco and she said it’s the exact same gasoline. 🙂 and I always see their gas trucks at both locations refueling

      • Andrea

        Agreed. That’s why she’ll and Costco are top tier gas.

        • Andrea

          *I meant Shell not she’ll

    • Erica

      No one should be buying ethanol gas. I pay more and get non-ethanol or ethanol free gas! I get at least 10% mpg not to mention it doesn’t mess up your fuel injectors. If you have a small engine like a lawnmower it’s A MUST. Ethanol messes small engines up google it!

      • Heather

        Are you talking e85? Only select vehicles can use it. My suburban, and Escape, my Mom’s Jeep and many others. But not all.

        • kelsey

          I believe Erica is talking about ethanol-free gas. E85 actually has more ethanol. Lots of stations in my area, NC, offer 0% ethanol. I worked for years as an auto industry reporter and did a few stories on how those additives that “clean” the engine are actually bad for it in the long term. If we all stuck with ethanol-free gas, there wouldn’t be so much buildup to burn off in the first place.

          • LovelyMess

            They have e 15 now I think it is you can use in all vehicles 2001 or newer.

    • Jessica

      Costco gas is top tier gas, at least here in California.

    • Bob

      Not true, Costco is a top tier gasoline, better than many other national brands.

  6. lenin1991

    Great overall points, I’m a huge store-brand buyer, but I disagree somewhat about gasoline: certified “Top Tier Gas” — which actually includes Costco, along with most of the name-brands — has verifiably more detergent in it than truly generic gas

  7. AnnieL.

    A manager at Aldis told me a while back that alot of their products are from name brand companies with different labels. Like chips, water and chicken.. etc.

    • DIane C.

      Aldi milk and eggs here in central NY is supplied by Byrne Dairy..just same product just repackaged. i know this, as i was a manager at B.D. for years.. its just Byrne milk but in a Aldi container!

    • Laura

      Exactly – like the slim Jims sold at the register

    • Gracie

      At my Aldi in Indiana their milk and dairy are supplied by Deans Dairy . I’ve been told this from 3 employees and I’ve seen the Deans delivery truck there.

  8. DIane C.

    some items i can buy generic, but some items have to be name brand. the quality is totally different and even tastes totally different. peanut butters are a weaker flavor and texture in the generic versions..mayonnaise is another i wont buy generic.. it tastes awful! hellmanns all the way! generic shampoo is awful! never lathers and often is diluted and watery compared to name brand. i will buy generic bread and dressings for salads.. but mostly i avoid generic, even if produced in the same factory, it is totally different in terms of quality/taste/consistency. it is honestly a personal preference 🙂

    • Joy

      i feel the same way about generic ketchup. Only Heinz tastes good. 🙂

      • Heather

        Really? I never notice a difference in ketchup. Ketchup is ketchup.

        • SJ

          Oooo so wrong….I can’t stand Hunts ketchup. It tastes tinny, like a can to me…Heinz forever.

          • Susan

            I hate Hunts anything…..it all tastes acidic/raw to me.

            • Becki

              And yet I adore hunts catch up! It’s the best tasting out there!

        • Casey

          As a Pittsburgh-er. we only use Heinz and can taste the difference. I’ve heard, though I never remember to check if it is true, that the McDonald’s in the Western PA area are the only ones to use name-brand Heinz ketchup because we won’t settle for anything less! lol

          • 5pink1blue

            GO STEELERS!

          • kait

            I’m in the Portland, OR area, and lots of McD’s around here have the large Heinz ketchups! :}

            • Casey

              Good to know! Must be a local urban legend 🙂

              ^^ and yes, GO STEELERS!!!

    • Paige

      This is what we all heard growing up, but I have to disagree. I buy whatever pb I can get the cheapest, sometimes its generic Walmart brand, and sometimes its Skippy. They taste exactly the same. Same with their mayo. I have only found a few things in generic brand to not be as good-instant oatmeal and cottage cheese off the top of my head. To each their own, right?

      • smoothsavin

        Bama mayo is free of bad preservatives and is best to buy for u.

    • Emily

      I second the mayo thing. For a very very long time I thought I didn’t like mayonnaise, but I actually like hellmans.

    • Suzanne H

      Agree on the Hellmanns (“Best” in some locations)! It is the only mayo that doesn’t taste like oil to me but I need name brand bread; the cheapo stuff is like cardboard to me. Everyone is different!

    • April

      You should try the Kirkland shampoo and conditioner in the article, it lathers just fine if not more than other name brands I have had.

    • Kayleigh Winsor

      The Kirkland shampoo and conditioner in this post definitely aren’t crappy. The shampoo lathers great! Of course, the same can’t be said for all store brands, but I have yet to find a Kirkland product I dislike compared to the name brand.

      • Christina Hill

        Did you know that the lather is provided by an additive to the shampoo and is actually very bad for you? People think the lather somehow indicates the detergent is doing its job, but it’s not the case.

    • Dealzgurl

      I feel the same way…some generics just don’t taste good and aren’t worth the savings. I don’t like generic peanut butter, laundry detergent, ketchup, cheese…I do do generic bread sometimes if Sara Lee is more than I want to pay that day but otherwise, I prefer name brand products. I don’t like generic paper towels or toilet tissue either, lol…except Kroger’s Goodsense (i think that’s right) toilet tissue. That’s good tissue to me.

  9. momo

    Possibly(!?) the vodka is made at same distillery… With the source being a “sales employee”, I find it not a credible source either. I highly doubt Grey Goose would rebadge their vodka.

    • Lr

      The key to premium vodka is in the number of times it is filtered. More filtering = premium vodka.

      • Grey

        Its also the premium soft wheat that they distill it from – only grown in a certain region. Grey Goose is pretty adamant that their vodka is filtered and bottled in a facility that does not share itself with any other brand. Most likely, the Kirkland is distributed by the same company (Bacardi) and allowed to replicate the packaging design, but I doubt it is given the same excessive distilling, filtering and attention to ingredients that Grey Goose is subject, too. If you are a picky vodka drinker – it would be fun to do a blind taste test!

        • Matt

          There have been tons of blind taste tests. Vodka is one of those spirits that really doesn’t stand up to scrutiny in that regard. The hallmark of a “good” vodka is that it doesn’t smell or taste like much of anything (besides alcohol). I’d bet a large amount of money that no one in this message board would be able to tell the difference between Grey Goose and Kirkland Signature Vodka in a blind taste test.

      • nydia

        Grey Goose is only distilled 3 times, which is why it gives me an immediate headache.
        An employee at my local Total Wine said it’s the most overrated overpriced bad vodka on the market.
        I looked it up on Costco brand vodka is distilled a few more times. I’ll have to give it a try.

        • Liz

          Totally agree Nydia! I think Grey Goose is terrible. I’ve been drinking “Platinum” vodka; it’s distilled 7 or 8 times and it’s delicious (not to mention, $12.99 for a big bottle in Maine).

        • Renee Camello

          Try Tito’s vodka, distilled her in America, it tastes great, is inexpensive and no headache!

  10. jessica

    Name brand OTC meds are the exact same as generic. The ingredients are literally exactly the same. Just read the box next time and you will see!

    • Joy

      You have to watch generic OTC meds however, A lot of them are made overseas and even though they have same active ingredients some of the inactive ingredients are not the same or they use cheaper quality ingredients, Same with prescription meds. Our pharmacy tried switching my son’s script to a generic made by different company and he had weird side effects even though technically it was same med. So we asked pharmacy to switch back to the original generic company because the ingredients used are better quality, I had to do some research first to discover this though.

      • Rebecca

        Joy you are so right about the generic medicines. I was a drug rep for one of the large companies and had friends who have worked for generic drug companies in quality control. There ARE differences.

        • Jessica

          When it comes to prescription drugs they have to be at least 85% similar to be considered bioequivalent. With most meds that’s not enough of a difference to be detectable in lab tests, but there are certain meds that cannot be substituted if you are used to using a certain brand or manufacturer.

          • Amanda

            85%?!?! The FDA require they have to be 100% for active ingredients, the only difference allowed by law is the inactive ingredients

      • Sue

        Joy, I have a friend who worked as an Analytical Chemist and Formulation Scientist at a pharmaceutical company. Her job was literally developing the formulas, making the capsules/tablets, and writing certificates of analysis ensuring they complied with standards. She said that unless you’re allergic to certain ingredients (dyes, etc.), generics are the same thing, work exactly the same, and won’t cause an issue. If you’re having any sort of allergic reaction, absolutely switch, but otherwise it’s the same thing, regardless of the country of manufacture.

    • Jen D

      I will never understand why people buy name brand Advil, etc. It is SO much more expensive!! I get most of my first aid products at the dollar store 🙂

      • SJ

        Depends on what deals you can find. I can get aleve pretty cheap on sale.

  11. Anonymous

    Generic items will vary by store, region and by year. Great Value Frosted Flakes will be made by one person this year and by someone else the next year (whoever had the better cost and reliability). It also varies by region. The same item in California will be made by someone different than the item in NY due to freight costs.

    There are literally 100’s of formulas uses for mac and cheese. There is a reason some of them are $0.39 and some are $1.99.

  12. Stella

    Great post… what a coincidence… I was just at Costco this morning and purchased Kirkland Signature brand AAA batteries !

  13. Allison 💙

    We have a Malt-O-Meal (MOM brands) plant in my city. They box the same cereals for Post brand, Aldi’s Millville brand, and their own MOM brand.

    • Bonnie Rick

      Post has owned Malt O Meal since 2015…I wrotw Malt O Meal about a certain product oover a weekend, and a Post customer service person called me on Monday am inquiring about the details and sent me a refund. They take their quality issues seriously!

  14. Carlene

    One of my first jobs was at a corn cannery run by Stokley Van Camps. My sister worked in the labeling room and she told me they put 16 different labels on the cans! Trust me…the corn was all the same. I know that isn’t always the case but many times it is. The main reason that store brands are cheaper is they don’t advertise.

  15. Joy

    Wegman’s brand ice cream is made by Perry’s 🙂

    • Amanda

      Wegmans brand is the best!

  16. Sie

    I owned hair salons for years & sold over 20 professional brands of shampoo & conditioner. I studied all of it & became quite knowledgeable because I loved how you could change someone’s day by selling them a product that would improve their hair. I guarantee you that the Kirkland brand is not made by Pureology. Loreal owns Pureology, Redken and other professional & retail brands. If you have reasonably healthy hair you can buy a retail brand & get great results. But if you have naturally curly hair, a perm or bleach in your hair you need a professional brand. It has better ingredients that can be absorbed into the hair to repair the damage you have.

    • Jessica

      I can’t say whether or not Kirkland shampoo and conditioner is actually a salon brand in Kirkland packaging or not but I can say that for me and my hair it has been absolutely amazing. I’m a DIY person who does her own lightening and coloring in unnatural colors (currently purple and teal) and the Kirkland brand shampoo and conditioner has taken my very processed hair and made it soft, shiny and easily manageable. It’s also very easy on my color and smells great. I was very surprised and very pleased with how great my hair looked and felt even just after a week of using the Kirkland brand.

    • Cindy

      Sie, how can you “guarantee” that Kirkland brand shampoo and conditioner is not the same formula as Pureology? Since you own hair salons, it is in your best interest that consumers purchase products from the salon with the extremely high price tag.

    • Rochelle

      What a bunch of hooey. It’s well known the real money maker at most salons is the products, otherwise, they wouldn’t give you such a hard sell at the end of your visit. Read online from a stylist going through cosmetology school that a portion of her course focused on how to promote retail products 😐

    • Glo

      Hi Sie! What do u recommend for course dry hair? What’s a great leave in conditioner spray?

  17. Sarah!!

    We were given some Kirkland brand diapers and we love them! They really remind me of Huggies they are in my opinion the best store brand diapers I’ve ever used!

    • Happymama

      Yes!! I am a Huggies snob, but Kirkland diapers are just as good – maybe better than Huggies!

      • JA

        Kirkland wipes are really good too!

  18. DJ Adam

    Smart and Final store brand milk and half and half are actually Alta Dena. Great quality for a better price! I found this out when the Alta Dena delivery man was filling in the Smart and Final stock. He told me it was the same productws, but with a different label.

  19. Jill

    I’ve known this for years that’s why I don’t buy name brand products unless it’s on sale or cheap

  20. Lindak

    I find the store brands of sugar to be courser than Imperial and Domino. I don’t think they dissolve as well in cakes, cookies, etc , so I prefer to stick with the more finely ground name brands.

  21. Jen

    My husband doesn’t want to buy non branded stuff especially bread. I told him many times.to jusy buy inexpensive bread since he’s just feeding them to our 3 dogs for breakfast but he still insist to buy branded bread. So what I do is o just go to 99 cents only store to buy branded bread there without his knowledge.

    • Amanda

      Lol! 😂😂 that’s so funny! I would do the exact same thing

    • Grey

      LOL! I love the Kroger PSST bread – its more square and only $.89. I just save an old name brand bag and switch them out so no one notices!

      • Christina Hill

        “Mom, why does the bread bag say it expired in 2015?” 🤣

        • marie

          Love it! HAHAHAHA

  22. Shelby

    My sister worked at Joy cones and indeed they made ice cream cones for many stores like Kroger and Great Value. They also made them for Dairy Queen, but she told me that the recipe for theirs was different. Sometimes generics may be different, but I do think they are worth a taste to see if you like them.

  23. Grechin

    The Walmart “Great Value” Brand paper towels are awesome. Work great.

  24. shirley

    I was at a local grocery store buying Mucinex for my husband and noticed that the store brand “Best Choice” costs $4.98 but the Mucinex costs me $14.98. I was so tempted to buy the store brand but I have concerns about the ingredients. Why such a huge difference in price?

    • Shannon

      Advertising and huge salaries for the top tier people of the company. It is exactly the same!

    • Juju

      I am a nurse. The answer is manufacturers of name-brand OTC meds are taking advantage of consumers’ brand loyalty and laypersons’ ignorance of the pharmacology and science. The manufacturer wants you to pay the premium price for the name brand Tylenol, Benadryl, etc. You don’t have to. 99.9% of the healthy public can buy the store brand of ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), Mucinex, etc. I always buy the generic drugstore brands. In fact, when you’re in the hospital and the nurse gives you pain medications and antibiotics, it’s almost always a generic. (Of course, sometimes new drugs or specialized drugs – chemo, etc. are still on patent or otherwise are brand names.) A very small proportion of the population may notice a sensitivity to the coating, coloring, or other specific characteristic of a generic or name brand drug. Or may have trouble swallowing and do better with a certain tablet, powder, etc.

      • Amanda

        To be fair, name brand charge more, not because “the name” per say, it’s because they do all the research and development. They then sell the formula to generic companies who are paying for the formula and the ingredients. Name brands also incur all the marketing cost for the particular drug.

    • Libby

      The PM products are just Benadryl with Tylenol, Advil etc. they cost more. Just buy generic Benadryl and take a generic Tylenol or Motrin!

  25. Mourrene

    Great post. I mostly buy name brand, especially for stuff like cereal, ketchup, mayonnaise, definitely peanut butter and bread most of the time. I do store brand milk, cheese, sour cream, etc. My favorite store brand is Kroger toilet tissue. It’s a higher end generic and I really liked it when I tried it. But in general I am a name brand girl. I find it cheaper in the long run since I’m less likely to throw stuff out if. it tastes bad cuz it’s generic.

  26. Doris Bender

    this is the same by ALDI, as I know from Germany…good quality because its a brand name…

  27. Ger

    I agree. While I don’t shop at Costco, we do shop at SAMs club. I like biting their paper items & medicine. Unless they have a really nice sale going on? I always figure out which is cheaper whether it be name brand or generic brand. My Daddy growing up always taught me to divide! Lol so it helps when they already have the price per once or however you want to calculate it. Hubby cracks up at me pulling out my calculator trying to figure out which name brand is cheaper by ply or pieces! Lol and it’s not always the name brand that’s the winner! 🙃

    • Gina

      Im shopping at Sam’s too but prefer “Olive garden” croutons, but last time they JUST offered “membership marks” or whatever same price but test is a horrible

  28. Guest

    The trick I learned was if a store brand has “compare to name brand” on the label, it’s just as good as the name brand, only less expensive.

    • marie

      Great tip! Thanks!

  29. Allison

    Awesome post!!!!!

  30. Heidi N

    We live near a salmon cannery. They have so many different labels that they put on the cans, it’s mind boggling! I never bother buying “name brand” salmon.

  31. Jackie

    Target- has almost everything the same as the high $ brand and I love them. Up & Up products are the same (if not better) than the high end brand ones. Things I love up zip lock bags, up OTC meds, up cleaning products and my favorite are the hand wipes. Compared to the Wet Ones antibacterial hand wipes they are so much better and smell 1,000 times better.

    • Sar

      The toilet wipes are WAY better than the Cottonelle ones too. Much lower alcohol content, so friendlier to sensitive areas!

  32. Green Wall

    Generic drugs must contain the same active ingredients in the same proportions and be proven therapeutically equal BY LAW-so I always buy generic as long as it is less expensive.

    Walgreens batteries are made by the ever ready battery co-the same company at the same plant that makes energizer. At Christmas when demand is the highest they sometimes come in an energizer shipping box. Consumer reports also rates store brands to take the risk out of a purchase.

  33. JA

    Giant Eagle’s frozen chicken is Tyson brand. I bought a bag that I felt was subpar and let them know about it. I got a refund check in the mail from Tyson.

  34. erin

    I like the Kirkland laundry detergent, very similar to tide!

  35. jen

    I work at gfs Gordon food service. We have aunt Millies as our bread vendor they bring in there 16 count buns and our gfs label 12 counts. Same thing. Also our gfs soups are made by Campbell’s and just relabeled.

  36. pat

    Any ideas for Sam’s club…don’t have a Costco membership 🙁

  37. Bryant

    Like Walgreen’s, CVS batteries are also brand names. ABC’s 20/20 did a whole segment on this back in the day. One of the biggest savings is on cereal. As has already been stated here, Malt-O-Meal (MOM brands) are similar to Post brands. For example, the frosted shredded wheat tastes the same. Store brand ketchup, mayo, and mustard do not taste as good as name brand. I can immediately tell the difference, but not so much when it comes to peanut butter. Aldi’s and Walmart’s store brand peanut butter both taste like name brands to me. Doesn’t BJ’s Warehouse carry the Kirkland brand too? I believe I see it there.

    • Kerry

      Kirkland brand is only sold by Cosco. BJ’s private label products are called Berkley and Jensen. So, no Kirkland brand at BJ’s.

  38. Nicole S.

    I take synthroid for thyroid and was on the generic and my doctor switched me as he said there is a big difference between the generic and the name brand and I do feel better and have more energy on the name brand. He said drug stores can switch you from one company to another of the generics and not even let you know.

    • Jessica

      Thyroid medications are one of the rare meds that are in what is called a “negative formulary” list of meds that cannot be substituted without the drs permission. And the brand/manufacturer should not be switched once a patient is taking a certain kind, again unless the dr prescribes for it to be changed. The reason is that thyroid meds have a very narrow therapeutic index where even a small percentage or change of active ingredient can be too much or too little. In order to be considered bioequivalent generic meds have to have at least 85% similarity to the brand name drug. But with a few certain meds (thyroid meds being one of them) even that small variability can cause issues which is why it can’t be substituted.

      • Pat

        At 77 years of age I still have hot flashes. I take 5mg Estrace every 3 days and it works like a charm. I’ve tried the Generic many times and it does absolutely nothing. I’ve often wondered about the difference.

    • Suzanne H

      My husband is on the same med. Dr. tried the generic first but it didn’t get his levels where they needed to be. Instead of upping the dose, she switched him to the same dose but name brand (Synthroid) and it worked. She said it’s common with that class of meds.

    • Mary

      The blood thinner Coumadin (brand name) or warfarin (generic name) is also one of those meds where it can be more effective keeping you in therapeutic range also. Some patients are better controlled on brand name vs generic. If you are one, the doctor can write the prescription DAW or dispense as written.

      • Bonnie Rick

        Re: Generic equivalents. I know there can be slight differences that effect the blood levels of certain medications. As a transplant patient, I would not/was not recommended to switch to a generic. However the price became so prohibitive, that my MD suggested one generic, and increased my blood levels to weekly to make sure that brand’s generic kept my levels at the correct point. You could try that, and the MD can write the generic brand as dispense as written, which gives you the advantage of the generic price without the aggravation. I had the opposite reaction with a brand name medical patch where I was allergic to the adhesive, and most of the other generics used the same type of adhesive. So now my scripts for that medication list the generic company, my MD has verified my allergies and I get the generic price, as opposed to the pharmacy doing the switch with whatever they can get a better price. It’s so bad that when I’ve been hospitalized, and they do not carry the generic I need, and say they cannot get it, I have to supply my own in the hospital. FWIW

  39. Mary Wilson

    You really need to try the generic/store branded items yourself. While, it’s true that some majors DO make store brands,a s well as generics, recipes DO differ at times – FOOD products – you may have a better QUALITY main ingredient in the major brand, just depends. I can tell you this much, I DO try store branded items DEPENDING on what it is AND the price! I HAVE tried the Meijer STORE branded green beans AND have decided that when I DO need green beans – I WILL purchase the Meijer gbns WHEN they are on sale at 39 cents per can – HEY, that’s what I paid(over DelMonte) UNTIL they prove me wrong – which I KNOW will happen 😉 I have tried a couple of cans AND you received MORE actual green beans in the meijer can – better color beans – SO, you receive MORE bean in the can – less fluid – more bang for your buck. There are times when it’s seemed as though the DelMonte brand did NOT meet the proper minimum standards for what is ACTUALLY suppose to be in the can – veggie wise. I NEVER take the word of a store clerk/stocker – at times, they like to look as though they know something and steer people wrong – that’s happened to me. You can always find info when you seek it 🙂

  40. Molly

    Great discussion! Isn’t it crazy how marketing can completely sway people?! Brand names are on the tv commercials, magazine ads and promoted by “celebrities” that get big checks….that’s why they cost more! It’s not because they use superior ingredients(usually)!!
    In my family, Certain family memebers only buy brand name because only poor people buy generic!! Ha ha!! 😁

  41. Georgia

    Store brand cooking oils are also the same as name brand. I worked for a large food oil manufacturer for several years and was shocked that the Aldi, Walmart, Kroger brands were the same oils as the name brands such as Mazola. They are packaged in the same facility, just different bottles and labels.

  42. Tom Collins

    In general I agree with Jackie’s post about Target’s Up n Up brand products. I use their paper napkins, “kleenex” equivalent facial tissues, cotton swabs, cotton face wipes (those little round makeup pads), low dose aspirin, and have not noticed any major difference in quality between theirs and the name brands. Their apricot facial scrub was equivalent to the St. Ives, with a small difference in fragrance. As for the Market Pantry foods? They tend to use more preservatives and additives, so I’m not a big fan. On the other hand, a patient and knowledgable couponer could easily obtain name brands at the same price as store generics with stacking deals. But in a pinch, it’s good to know what products are equivalent in quality to store brands, since many times, the only real difference may be price and more attractive packaging.

  43. Jill

    Not sure if it’s true, but my husband worked with an ex-Aldi mgr who said their Millville cereal products were actually General Mills…makes sense to me!

  44. Marylynn

    Well, this has been a most interesting discussion. From my personal experience, I had a “factory” job one summer during college. It produced an industrial product and to save my legal butt, I will not name it here, since it’s still being sold. As the product began it’s run, one set of cans and labels were used. As the run came to an end, different cans and labels were used to package the end of the run. Same product? Yes. Same quality? No way! The end of the run was thicker and would often result in a gunked up can with a spray nozzle that got clogged. The product all did not work as well.
    So, I could make the claim that it was the same product, from the same manufacturer, even from the same vat, but the quality was not nearly as good. Buyer Beware!

  45. Jenny

    We have noticed that the Kirkland batteries leak faster than any other brand. We had to stop buying them. The Duracell batteries we buy are fine. So odd!

    • Ashley

      Yes, the Kirkland batteries leak quickly. We had to take them out of my son’s toys. I was sad, they were a great price!

  46. Sharon

    My brother-in-law works for Kimberly Clark and they make the Kirkland diapers. He said their standards are higher than KC’s Huggies brand.

  47. Karen Kapano

    I read this last time it was posted and tried the Kirkland Moisture Shampoo and conditioner. It is amazing! It’s rich and creamy,
    plenty of lather. The conditioner is great! Both have made my color treated, highlighted hair soft, shiny and manageable. I am definitely stocking up on these!

  48. Becki

    I have to disagree on one point.I am disgusted with Kirkland batteries and will never buy them. I have several items that the Kirkland battery has leaked into them, wrecking the item. Whereas the same item placed in the same location was not damaged by using Duracell batteries. Kirkland batteries leak! I have mentioned this on social media in as many places as possible in an attempt to save other people from our disastrous experience with Kirkland batteries

  49. Ali Reusing

    I’m trying to find the real name of the generic coffee that Giant Food sells for their k-cup coffees. Does anyone know?? We like the flavor.

    Also looking for a Cuban k-cup coffee in generic or name brand. Thanks.

  50. kait

    Something that I found *very* interesting from when I worked at Walgreens years ago – the store makes a higher profit off of the store brand products than they do off selling name brands.

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