Grocery Shopping
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Over 30 Store-Brand Foods That Deliver Quality and Savings

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Grocery Shopping
Hispanolistic/istockphoto

Higher on the Food Chain

It's common knowledge that buying store brands can add up to big savings at the grocery, but some customers resist — after all, what if the taste just doesn't measure up? Fear not, because many store-brand foods have beaten their name-brand competitors in blind taste tests or amassed significant customer testimonials. Savvy shoppers will find tasty store-brand picks no matter where they shop, but this list of more than 30 store-brand products is especially full of items from Costco, Kroger, Target, Trader Joe's, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

Related: 19 Store-Brand Products With Cult Followings From Costco, Walmart, and More

Kirkland Plain Bagels
Instacart

Kirkland Signature Plain Bagels (Costco)

Costco's Kirkland Signature brand earns praise consistently for taste and value. The bagels are no exception: Consumer Reports says they're equal in quality to fresh bagels from Dunkin' Donuts and cost less per serving. 


Related: 23 Costco Foods With Cult Followings

365 Mild Cheddar Cheese
Amazon

365 Everyday Value Shredded Cheese (Whole Foods)

Testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute picked the mild cheddar from this Whole Foods store brand over nine name brands, including Kraft, Sargento, Crystal Farms, and Organic Valley. Judges praised the cheese for spot-on texture and flavor.



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Gianteagle

Giant Eagle Chicken Broth

Giant Eagle's chicken broth bests name-brand Swanson in taste and price, according to Consumer Reports. The store brand was cheaper by 14 cents a serving at the time of testing and earned praise for a pleasant, mild taste that contrasted with the processed taste of Swanson.


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Great Value Shredded Mozzarella
Walmart

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (Walmart, Sam's Club)

Shredded mozzarella cheeses from Walmart's Great Value and Sam's Club store brands are as fresh and tasty as Sargento, according to Consumer Reports taste testers. Judges said the main difference was texture: Sam's Club was firmer, while Great Value was a bit more crumbly. 


Related: I Tried Walmart's Grocery Pickup and This Is What Happened

Great Value Vanilla Ice Cream
Walmart

Vanilla Ice Cream (Walmart, Trader Joe's)

Walmart's Great Value brand is the cheapest among a few store-brand vanilla ice creams that Cheapism testers considered nearly as good as Breyer's. Trader Joe's French Vanilla Ice Cream has been a standout in other blind taste tests, besting the likes of Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs. 


Related: The Swankiest Foods You Can Get at Walmart and Target

Kroger Ice Cream Sandwich
Kroger

Kroger Ice Cream Sammies

If you want a cheap ice cream treat without compromising on taste, head to Kroger. Cheapism taste testers say the store-brand ice cream sandwiches have a pleasantly crunchy cookie shell and a creamy, sweet filling. Judges rated the Kroger brand over pricier ice cream sandwiches from Klondike and Nestlé.


Related: Taste Test: Which Ice Cream Sandwich is the Best?

Safeway Signature Salsa
Safeway
Target Market Pantry Ketchup
Target

Ketchup (Target, Sam's Club)

Target's Market Pantry Ketchup is "remarkably similar" to Heinz for about half the price, according to Consumer Reports. Testers also liked Sam's Club ketchup, which they note is a bit less spicy.

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Olga Popova/shutterstock

Trader Joe's Cottage Cheese

All four judges in a Tampa Bay Times taste test said they would buy Trader Joe's Cottage Cheese, which they praise for ideal texture and well-balanced flavor. It bested pricier options including Horizon Organic, Daisy, and Breakstone in an evaluation of 10 brands.

Publix Chocolate Chips
Publix

Publix Chocolate Chips

The baking aisle is a great place to save with store brands, and chocolate chips are no exception. Testers with the Tampa Bay Times preferred Publix and Trader Joe's chocolate chips to much more expensive ones from Ghirardelli. The store brands were also judged far superior to Nestlé Toll House and Hershey's chocolate chips.

Related: 36 Common Substitutes for Cooking and Baking Ingredients

365 Mayo
Amazon

Mayonnaise (Whole Foods, Walmart, Costco and Target)

More than one brand fared just as well as Hellmann's in a Consumer Reports taste test. Experts say the mayo from 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods), Great Value (Walmart), and Market Pantry (Target) would be hard to tell apart from Hellmann's on a sandwich.

Safeway Five Cheese Pizza
Safeway

Signature Select Five Cheese Pizza (Safeway)

Pining for a quick and easy dinner? This store-brand frozen pizza from Safeway finished best, beating out Trader Joe's (and way ahead of Red Baron and Totino's) in a Cheapism taste test. The brand made frozen feel "like an authentic pizza experience," especially compared with other choices.


Related: We Tasted 13 Frozen Pizzas and This Is the Best

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Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Apple Cider

Trader Joe's Apple Cider was a runaway winner over Musselman's, Zeigler's, Murray's, and Martinelli's in a Tampa Bay Times taste test. Judges loved the extra spices and strong apple taste. It's worth noting that second-place Musselman's was just a dollar more for a bottle double the size of the Trader Joe's cider.

Kirkland Frozen Shrimp
Instacart

Kirkland Signature Frozen Shrimp (Costco)

Costco's Kirkland Signature Frozen Shrimp are firmer and less watery than Tastee Choice name-brand shrimp, Consumer Reports testers say. They also liked the Trader Joe's and Whole Foods versions but concluded that the Kirkland shrimp represent the best value among the store brands. 


Related: Costco's 28 Best Buys for Packing Your Freezer

365 Trail Mix
Amazon

Store-Brand Trail Mix (Whole Foods, Costco, Sam's Club)

Consumer Reports testers say 365 Everyday Value Chocolate Cherry Carnival Trail Mix from Whole Foods is even better than Planters Nut & Chocolate trail mix, but it's still pricey. They also recommend Kirkland Signature trail mix from Costco, as well as the trail mix from Sam's Club for consumers seeking a better value.

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Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Cheapism taste testers have praised these Trader Joe's tortilla chips for a crisp texture, spot-on flavor, and organic ingredients. They are a bright spot among Trader Joe's other chips, which testers found underwhelming.


Related: The Best Snacks at Trader Joe's

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Walmart

Great Value Flour (Walmart)

Experts agree that there's little reason to buy name-brand pantry staples such as flour. A large panel of taste testers organized by The Krazy Coupon Lady reinforces that advice, picking cookies baked with Walmart's Great Value Flour over the Gold Medal brand.

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Target

Market Pantry Orange Juice (Target)

The Krazy Coupon Lady recommends store-brand refrigerated beverages, because regional production means they are often fresher than name brands. Accordingly, testers gave a slight edge to Target's Market Pantry Orange Juice over name-brand Simply Orange.

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Walmart

Great Value Baking Soda (Walmart)

Only the most discerning palates will be able to determine any difference among baking sodas. The Krazy Coupon Lady recommends Walmart's cheaper Great Value baking soda over Arm & Hammer, unless you just must have that orange box.

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Target

Market Pantry Graham Crackers (Target)

Honey Maid is a staple in the cracker aisle, but it might not be worth the price premium. The Krazy Coupon Lady's testers picked Target's Market Pantry honey graham crackers over Honey Maid crackers by a wide margin.

Kroger Cocoa Puffed Cereal
Kroger

Kroger Cocoa Puffed and Crisp Berry Crunch Cereal

Taste testers with Thrillist pitted six name-brand cereals against their Kroger store-brand counterparts. In two cases, the Kroger cereals come out on top: Kroger's Cocoa Puffed Cereal "tastes exactly the same" as General Mills' Cocoa Puffs, testers said, and the Crisp Berry Crunch was deemed a good alternative to Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries from Quaker Oats.


Related: 30 Things You Didn't Know About Your Favorite Childhood Cereals

Kroger Honey Nut Toasted Oats
Kroger

Kroger Honey Nut Toasted Oats

Kroger has another winning cereal in its Honey Nut Toasted Oats, according to taste testers for the Arizona Republic. Though testers still preferred General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios, the edge was so slight that many consumers might prefer to save some money by buying the Kroger brand.

Malt-o-Meal Mini Spooners
Amazon

Malt-O-Meal Mini Spooners (Walmart)

Fans of Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats might want to pick up some Malt-o-Meal Mini Spooners for a lower price the next time they're shopping at Walmart. Several reviewers say they taste identical to Kellogg's, and they appreciate the much lower price tag.

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Target

Market Pantry Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix (Target)

While Hungry Jack prevailed in a Good Housekeeping pancake test, Target's Market Pantry brand was a well-reviewed, cheap alternative, because of its sponginess and flavor. Testers were divided on the mixture's slightly nutty aftertaste, however.

365 Cashews
Amazon

Cashews (Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Sam's, Walmart, Costco, Kmart, Target)

Which store brands are better for cashews? According to Consumer Reports, just about all of them — Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco, Kmart, and Target — are superior to Emerald Whole Cashews, which weren't as fresh in a taste test. 


Related: 40 Low-Carb Snacks from Trader Joe's You'll Actually Enjoy

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Walmart

Great Value Hard Taco Shells (Walmart)

Walmart's Great Value taco shells edged pricier name-brand offerings from Taco Bell, Old El Paso, Ortega, and other brands in a Tampa Bay Times taste test. Judges praised the shells' texture and well-balanced flavor compared with competing name brands.

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Walmart

Great Value Strawberry Gelatin (Walmart)

Gelatin isn't expensive to begin with, but buyers can save even more with a store brand. Walmart's Great Value brand beat Jell-O, Kool-Aid, and other gelatins in a Tampa Bay Times taste test, earning praise for a fruity, well-balanced flavor. 


Related: 22 Things You Didn't Know About Jell-O

Kroger Heritage Farms Hot Dogs
Kroger

Kroger Heritage Farm Beef Hot Dogs

For Cheapism taste testers, Kroger's Heritage Farm Beef Hot Dogs were better than Ball Park and a sold runner-up to the pricier Oscar Meyer Classic Beef Franks. Judges said the Kroger hot dogs were flavorful, with a good balance of smoke and salt, although some reported a grainy texture.

Publix New England Clam Chowder
Publix

Publix New England Style Clam Chowder

Judges with the Tampa Bay Times call this store-brand soup "a good clam chowder for beginners," because it has a more subtle clam flavor than other choices. The soup, while on the thin side, beat out name-brand competitors including Progresso, Campbell's, and Wolfgang Puck in a blind taste test.

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Amazon

Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Almond Butter

For true almond lovers, the nutty flavor shines through in this Trader Joe's almond butter, according to taste testers with The Kitchn. It also earned praise for being creamy and easy to spread. Jif, meanwhile, lacked the same intense almond flavor.

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Walgreens

Nice Refreshing Cola (Walgreens)

A panel of Thrillist tasters preferred this Walgreens soda over several other brands, including venerable Coca-Cola. Although Pepsi still took top honors, testers gave this store brand the runner-up spot, because they liked the slight vanilla taste.

Whole Foods Original Hummus
Amazon

Whole Foods Original Hummus

A panel of Food Network testers gave Whole Foods' Original Hummus the runner-up spot in a blind taste test of six brands. It earned praise for a thick, creamy consistency and strong notes of garlic and lemon. The winning brand, Grandma's, was double the cost.

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Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Pork Gyoza Potstickers

These Trader Joe's frozen pork dumplings stood out in a taste test conducted by Serious Eats, nabbing one of the top three spots out of nine brands tested. Judges liked the firm skin and well-balanced filling, although some cautioned that these are slightly sweet for pork dumplings.

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Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's TJ's Bold & Smoky Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce

Trader Joe's barbecue sauce tied Bull's Eye in a Serious Eats taste test of 16 widely available brands. Judges said the TJ's sauce was a "touch less sweet" than Bull's Eye, but well-balanced and smooth. They don't recommend Trader Joe's All-Natural Barbecue Sauce, however.