Store brands are gaining popularity among consumers. They reached a record $199 billion in sales across all major retail channels in 2021, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.
“It’s affirmation that retailer brands are an important piece of the U.S. grocery business, especially in these challenging times,” PLMA President Peggy Davies wrote in the group’s 2022 report. “We believe store brands will be a key consumer ally during this current inflationary period and going forward by providing high-quality, high-value products in every category.”
But are store brands just as good as name brands? If you spend very much time online, you’ve likely seen comments about name-brand products and their store-brand counterparts often being the exact same product but with different packaging and prices. While that’s sometimes true, it’s not always the case, according to the PLMA.
While GOBankingRates can’t confirm that the following products are actually name-brand products with store-brand labels, retail and shopping experts have confirmed that, in their eyes, these are Walmart items that are truly just as good as the name brands.
Comparing ingredients between store brands and name brands is one way to find out if the store-brand product you’re interested in buying will measure up.
Tiara Rea-Palmer, deal expert at CouponFollow, said that Equate goods are comparable to other skincare brands. “Their lotion, for example, has the same or similar ingredients as top brands like Eucerin, CeraVe and Aveeno.”
Equate Medications and Supplements
“Their medications are FDA-regulated and must contain the same active ingredients as name-brand medications, so they’re safe, effective and cheaper,” Rea-Palmer said. “General health and wellness items made by Equate, such as their aspirin and even their vitamins and supplements, work just as well as their brand-name counterparts and are an inexpensive way to make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked up.”
As an example, Equate ibuprofen is 2 cents per tablet, whereas Advil will cost you 13.6 cents per tablet.
Parent’s Choice Baby Goods
“The Parent’s Choice brand is an excellent alternative for baby goods,” Rea-Palmer said. “Their diapers stand up to the kid tests and are comfortable for babies, their formulas have the same ingredients as name brands, and their accessories and toys are perhaps a bit cheaply made, but they’ll last for as long as a baby needs them. For example, the Parent’s Choice diapers are 23.6 cents each, and Pampers are 44.1 cents each.”
Great Value Original Saltine Crackers
“These soup-toppers from Walmart’s Great Value brand are very similar to name-brand offerings like Premium Original Saltine Crackers, but a whole lot cheaper,” said consumer analyst Katie Roberts with DealNews. “We saw a 16-ounce box of the Great Value crackers for $1.32, while the same-size package of Premium crackers at Walmart cost $3.58 — that’s almost three times the price! What’s more, the Great Value crackers have garnered over 1,600 customer reviews on Walmart’s site and have an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.”
Ozark Trail 30-Ounce Double-Wall Vacuum-Sealed Tumbler
“This tumbler from Walmart is a good option for shoppers who want a product that’s similar to the Yeti, but doesn’t have Yeti prices,” Roberts said. “While we saw a 30-ounce Ozark Trail tumbler costing up to $18.08, the 30-ounce tumbler from Yeti was retailing for more than twice as much, at $44.98. The Ozark Trail tumbler has also received a lot of love from consumers in the form of 3,600-plus product reviews and an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. Many reviews also note that the Walmart-brand tumbler is just as good as the Yeti one — or is a great alternative to it.”
Great Value Potato Chips
“You would be surprised how good Great Value potato chips are when compared to more expensive brand-name versions,” said shopping advisor Rose Wismans of FudgeMyLife.org. “Made with no artificial flavors and colors, these chips are always fresh, have a great crunch and come in a variety of flavors.
“You also get more for your money with Great Value chips. For a 13-ounce Walmart brand bag of plain chips, it is around $3.12. A 13-ounce bag of Lays potato chips is almost $5.”
Great Value 100% Arabica Donut Shop Coffee Pods
“Walmart’s Great Value brand offers 100% Arabica Donut Shop Coffee Pods (96 count) at $25.98, giving you the best value for its taste, flavor and convenience,” said Nunzio Ross, CEO of Majesty Coffee. “While it can be more expensive to buy coffee pods than ground coffee, this well-priced big box is worth it if you are going for a new experience and flavor with your coffee in the morning. Comparing it to other name brands, it only costs about 60 cents per pod over McCafe and Starbucks, which can reach upwards of 69 cents each.”
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Disclaimer: Prices are accurate as of February 16, 2023, and are subject to change.