How much Pams is in your pantry? Homebrand can save you heaps
When I was young, we saw home brands such as Pams and No Frills as the killjoy of the supermarket. Lurking on the shelves, waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the trolley and ruin your meal, if not your day. Pams – yucky! No Frills – disgusting! “Muuuu-uuuum! Why would you do this to us?!”
My aversion to home brands started with a bad can of baked beans (it tasted like liquid detergent), and that’s a tough thing to recover from. I always saw home brand products as substandard, something that wouldn’t work as well as the ‘real’ thing.
Times have changed and as a moderately sensible adult I now realise just how much money home brand products can slice off your weekly food bill. I’m a home brand fiend, but I don’t even come close to some people I know, including one woman who uses the men’s shaving foam to shave her legs.
So it’s good news to hear that it’s been academically proven that smart people buy home brand products. In a 2014 paper Do pharmacists buy Bayer? Informed shoppers and the brand premium, researchers found that ‘informed’ shoppers are more likely than regular consumers to take advantage of home brand products. Unbelievably, if US consumers switched to home brand products whenever possible, they would collectively spend US$44b less annually.
And right here in New Zealand, when Countdown dropped the price of its Homebrand bread to $1 a loaf, Kiwi consumers saved $9 million in a year.
When it comes down to it, home brand is the best deal a shopper can get. Let’s look at five staple products in most Kiwi kitchens and what the price difference is.
- 3kg bag of white sugar. I can hear the sirens of the paleo police screaming in the distance. Woolworths Essentials, $5. Chelsea White Sugar, $7.39. Pams White Sugar, $5.39. Save $2.39.
- 1.25-1.5kg bag of plain flour. All the better for making those scones. Woolworths Essentials 1.5kg plain flour, $1.79. Champion Standard Flour 1.5kg, $3.29. Edmonds Standard Flour 1.25kg, $3. Pams Pure Plain Flour 1.5kg, $1.79. Save $1.50.
- 1 x 400g tin of diced tomatoes. Bolognaise here we come! Pams Diced Plain Tomatoes, $1.10. Homebrand Diced Tomatoes, $0.80. Select Diced Tomatoes, $1.10. Watties Chopped Tomatoes, $2.09. Delmaine Crushed Tomatoes, $1.89. Save $1.29.
- 2 litre blue top milk. Hello, ‘value add’. Signature Range, $3.70. Anchor Milk, $4.22. Fresh Valley A2, $4.90. Homebrand, $3.19. And the real sinner: Lewis Road Creamery Hipster Milk, 1.5 litres including pretty packaging for $5.50. Save $2.31.
- 570-580g tomato sauce. Fun for the whole family! Greggs 570g, $3.60. Homebrand 575g, $1.60. Watties refill can 575g, $3.39. Delmaine 580g, $3.99. Save $2.39.
If you bought the cheapest of each one of these instead of the most expensive fancy-pants brand option, you’d save nearly $9.88 just on these five products alone – an average of nearly $2 per product. Buy five home brand products every week and in a year you’d have $513 left over in your fun fund. Let me repeat: you’d have $513 extra in your pocket.
Think home brand products only come in the staple categories? Think again. We scouted around and found home brand products for all of these odd things and more: Chocolate Bavarian dessert, 4 litres of motor oil, denture cleaning tablets, glacé cherries, chocolate spread, chest rub ointment, garden bark and fish food granules. Put all those together and you’ve got a party people will be talking about for years to come.
So go for it. Fill your boots. Take the home brand challenge, and own that $513.
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