'Store brands are worth a try,' Consumer Reports study finds

YONKERS, N.Y. Shoppers shouldn't overlook store brands if they are looking for quality and ways to save money, according to a new Consumer Reports study.

Consumer Reports' price study -- which appears in the publication's October issue -- evaluated five supermarket chains and compared store- and name-brand prices for 30 everyday items at five chains, collecting a total of 283 price quotes. Consumer Reports found the average savings with store brands was 30%, but shoppers saved as much as 52% on some items.

Consumer Reports said that 84% of Americans purchased store brands in the past year, and 93% of store-brand shoppers said they would keep buying as many store brands after the economy recovers. Nationwide, store brands accounted for almost 1-of-4 products sold in supermarkets and a record $55.5 billion in sales last year.

But while purchasing store brands garnered significant savings, many shoppers are reluctant to purchase them, questioning the quality of store brands. Consumer Reports said 17% of survey respondents believed "name-brand foods are more nutritious," although the study found that the nutrition content in both store- and name-brand products were almost the same.

"The study reaffirms that store brands are worth a try," said Tod Marks, senior projects editor for Consumer Reports. "For a family that spends $100 a week on groceries, the savings could add up to more than $1,500 a year."


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