Supermarket Savers vs Big Brands

To be totally honest, I have always looked at supermarket ‘Saver’ labels with a lot of suspicion. How can they make food of the the same quality as the far more expensive labels for sometimes only a fraction of the price? There must be a huge difference in the quality surely – it can’t just be that the difference boils down to simply profit margins, can it?

Watching the new BBC1 series ‘Eat Well For Less’ really made me think and so, putting all prejudices aside, I went along to my nearest large supermarket (which happens to be Morrison’s) and picked up a few items for a taste test.

Now, I didn’t realise how strong my reaction to a basket full of ‘Saver’ label foods in my basket would be – I felt very self concious as my shopping made it’s way down the conveyor belt! I felt I was being judged by what I was buying, as if it wasn’t through choice but instead through necessity…all in my own head of course and soon dispelled – this is an experiment and one I am genuinely looking forward to!

The selection of groceries I bought were things I felt would be easy to tell the difference with – I wasn’t going to make this easy on the ‘Saver’ brands! Would the cornflakes be as crispy, the salad cream as tangy or the tomato ketchup as tasty?

Being of quite an impatient nature (!) as soon as I got home I had the tops off the bottles of salad cream and tomato ketchup and tasted a little of each – to be brutally honest I wasn’t overwhelmed by the flavours, they were OK but just that…OK.

So to really put them to the test I put a little of the Saver brand onto a plate along with a little of my normal (far more expensive) brand. My husband then gave me a little of each on a spoon while I closed my eyes…no peeking!

Starting off with the tomato sauce, straight away I felt I just knew this was my normal brand, it was thick and it did have a taste of tomato. When I was given the second taster in my mind it confirmed what I thought. the second one had little flavour and was too sweet…they were relying on sugar to give it flavour.  So I had a definite winner on this one….the first one I tasted was easily tastier than the second. What I wasn’t prepared for was that in fact the first one was the ‘Saver’ brand!!!

Really??? I doubted my husband for mixing them up so I tasted again with my eyes wide open and the result was indeed that the ‘Saver’ brand really was a much better flavour.

Well, it turns out that there is something in this so next I move onto the salad cream and blind taste that. The same result! But this time when I tasted my normal brand alongside the cheaper one I found that I actually didn’t like my normal brand at all – totally amazing.

I don’t expect everything to be better and I do think some things are worth paying more for so, rather than go through a handful of items in this post,  I am starting a whole page dedicated to comparing cheaper ‘Saver’ brands to the usual much higher priced ones to give an idea of which ones are worth changing to. 

Now, not everyone will agree with my conclusions, we all have our own ideas on what tastes nice and what doesn’t but hopefully it will be a confidence booster to try some of these products and make up your own mind about them – and start saving money on those ever increasing shopping bills!

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