As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, Which? has found households can save hundreds of pounds on food by ditching expensive brands like Heinz, Innocent and Kelloggs and opting for supermarket own-brands instead.
In a series of blind taste tests, the consumer champion has found that supermarket own-brands are not only cheaper when it comes to everyday essentials such as beans, orange juice and honey nut cornflakes, but sometimes they also taste better than their well-known branded counterparts.
Which? found that six out of the eight groceries tested show that, for those willing to swap to supermarkets’ own-brands, shoppers could save themselves hundreds of pounds a year without compromising on taste.
- Save over £70 a year on baked beans
Which? found Lidl’s budget-friendly Newgate baked beans (32p for 420g, 8p per 100g) are the best value option. They cost less than half the price of Heinz beans (£1 for 415g tin). For shoppers buying two tins a week, switching from Heinz to Lidl could save more than £70 a year.
- Save almost £100 a year on orange juice
Aldi’s The Juice Company Smooth Orange Juice is the best value option Which? tested – costing just £1.69 per 1.75L carton (10p per 100ml). Innocent orange juice was the priciest option (£3.60 for 1.35 litres, 27p per 100ml) and came in last place for taste. Overall, shoppers could save £99.32 a year by swapping expensive Innocent juice for Aldi’s budget option.
- Save £51.60 per year on Crunchy Nut Cereal
Pitted against Kelloggs’ Crunchy Nut cornflakes (£3 per 500g pack, 60p per 100g), Aldi’s Harvest Morn Honey Nut Crunchy Cornflakes is the best value cereal, costing only 85p per 500g pack, 17p per 100g and saving shoppers £2.15 per pack and £51.60 per year if they buy a box every two weeks.
- Save £9.90 per year on Crunchy Peanut butter
Testers compared popular peanut butter brands WholeEarth, Sun-Pat, and KP against supermarkets and again found Lidl’s Mister Choc Crunchy Peanut Butter is the best value pick, costing just 85p for 340g (25p per 100g). Sun-Pat, costing £2.50 per 400g jar (63p per 100g) was ranked near the bottom. Shoppers could save £1.65 per jar by switching to Lidl’s offering.
- Save £10.86 per year on chocolate hazelnut spread
Nutella’s popular spread, costing £2.90 per 350g jar, was beaten by Which?’s best value pick, Lidl’s Choco Nussa Spread, which scored highly on taste and costs only £1.09 per 400g jar. Opting for Lidl’s spread will save shoppers £1.81 per jar and £10.86 a year.
- Save £4.80 per year on Marmite
Branded Marmite sets shoppers back £2.49 per 250g jar (£1 per 100g), whereas Aldi’s Grandessa Mighty Yeast Extract was ranked at the top for taste and only costs £1.69 per 240g jar (70p per 100g), saving £4.80 per year.
While the top brands couldn’t always be beaten on taste, Which? found supermarkets offer great value alternatives.
- Save £3.85 on a jar of instant coffee
While Nescafe Original (up to £5.50 a jar, £2.75 per 100g) could not be beaten on taste, Aldi’s cheap instant coffee costs less than half as much per 100g, offering a potential saving of £3.85.
- Save £1.70 Tomato ketchup
Heinz Tomato Ketchup was a firm favourite in terms of taste, but sets shoppers back £2.30 for 460g (50p per 100g). Sainsbury’s Tomato Ketchup is the best value for money at 60p for 460g (13p per 100g), saving £1.70.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said:
“No one wants to overpay for basic groceries, especially when the cost of living crisis is putting huge pressure on household budgets. Shopping around and buying own-brand products is an easy way to save hundreds of pounds a year.
“Those prepared to switch to a cheaper supermarket for their regular shop will likely find some great value alternatives to their favourite brands – with many even beating their well-known rivals for taste in Which?’s tests.”
Notes to editors:
- Over the coming months, Which? will be highlighting free and useful money-saving advice every Monday to help consumers manage the ongoing cost of living crisis. The series will cover a range of topics, from how to save money on household bills, to childcare and travel.
- Which? taste-tested a range of everyday food items over recent months, pitting supermarket own-branded products against popular brands. Prices were correct at the time of testing.
- Each product category was tasted and rated by a panel of 60+ consumers who regularly buy and consume that product. The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK. The panelists rate each product in a fully rotated order and the taste tests are conducted blind, so they don’t know which brand they are trying. Each panelist has a private booth so they can’t discuss what they are tasting or be influenced by others.
Which? is the UK’s consumer champion, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone. Our research gets to the heart of consumer issues, our advice is impartial, and our rigorous product tests lead to expert recommendations. We’re the independent consumer voice that influences politicians and lawmakers, investigates, holds businesses to account and makes change happen. As an organisation we’re not for profit and all for making consumers more powerful.
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