Many of us figure store-branded food is second-rate compared with the well-known names. Consumer Reports magazine begs to differ. Its trained tasters compared store brands with big brands in 21 food categories and found that the generic tasted as good in 11 categories, better in three and not as tasty in seven.
Nutritionally there was no significant difference. Store brands often cost about 30 percent less, Consumer Reports says, in part because you're not paying for the national brands' research, marketing and fancy packaging. Also, some companies simultaneously manufacture the private labels and big-brand names.
Joan Rattner Heilman is a frequent contributor to the AARP Bulletin.