Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Brand loyalty and the recession


Recommended Posts

The recession coupled with other financial issues has left me re-evaluating my grocery list. I have always had a great deal of brand loyalty which was not always based on logic. I once worked for a company that produced its own brand and a generic brand. I knew that the only difference was which labelling line the product was steered toward. Still I bought Robin Hood Flour, Reynolds aluminum wrap, as well as numerous other products based on my belief that brand does matter. I don't doubt that it still does for some things. But I have switched to a no-name aluminum wrap that costs less than half for the same quantity as Reynolds and generic flour that is always at least $2 cheaper per 2.5Kg bag. The difference is not detectable by me. I will be evaluating other products to try and determine when brand matters and when it simply doesn't. How about you? Have you loosened the bonds of loyalty?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, I can't say that I have. In fact, I've moved in the opposite direction, such as buying meats from a small local butcher shop that I figure is suffering due to other's cutbacks. Of course, my husband and I have not personally felt the recession pinch (he may yet, but I work for a bankruptcy attorney so I'm solid).

For the most part I made assessments years ago, when my fortunes were not as rosy, about which items where brand mattered and which items where it made no difference. For example, I buy generic mandarin oranges, but I'm not about to touch the "white baking chips" instead of real white chocolate.

I must say, though, in response to our increasingly distressed clients, I do watch the sales more closely and I clip coupons for items that I use. I'm also a hoarder, so I have taken advantage of mega sales that stores use to lure in shoppers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have very little brand loyalty. I love finding a good deal -- the thrill of a thrifty purchase makes my day.

Substituting generics for established brands is one way to save. My preference is to buy bulk and avoid processed factory foods as much as possible. I despise unnecessary packaging.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Peter, I have very little brand loyalty. Sometimes I'll feel some childhood nostolgia for Wonderbread, but mostly I just get what looks good at the time (and I buy mostly fresh, so not many brands there to contend with).

Edited to add:

Except when I go to the asian market. Then it's one brand on soy sauce, fish sauce, coconut vinegar, etc. I've tried various brands and found the ones I like. Now I don't stray on the staples..

Edited by Shamanjoe (log)

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Peter, I have very little brand loyalty. Sometimes I'll feel some childhood nostolgia for Wonderbread, but mostly I just get what looks good at the time (and I buy mostly fresh, so not many brands there to contend with).

Edited to add:

Except when I go to the asian market. Then it's one brand on soy sauce, fish sauce, coconut vinegar, etc. I've tried various brands and found the ones I like. Now I don't stray on the staples..

I am completely in Shamanjoe's camp. NO brand loyalty to except my Asian ingredients. OK- maybe I need to broaden my response a bit and include Worcestershire sauce, but that is about it. I buy very few processed products other than condiments. As for things like foil, paper towels, plastic wrap- I look for the best "bang for buck".

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am brand loyal on many items and when they are on sale I stock up. I also shop multiple stores and coupon clip. I try to fit those stores into my weekly errand running. One place where I find some favorites is Smart & Final. They have Peerless Coffee $12./2lbs., King Arthur Flour 10 lbs./7.99 w/ card, C&H sugar,dijon mustard, eggs, white vinegar in the jug, Roland red wine vinegar.

I have been buying cheaper food wraps unless I have a coupon. My zip top bags last a long time as I clean and re use them. I have yet to find a "good" soy sauce, I'll take suggestions for that. Most of my budgeting has been done at Costco where I will buy in large quantities, prepare sauces, chili, and stews and freeze versus cooking different protiens and sides every night like I use to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am generally not brand loyal, but there a re a few MUST haves;

Ketchup must be Heinz

Chocolate Syrup must be Hershey's

Red Beans must be Carmelia's

Mayo musst be Blue Plate

We do shop at Sam's so there are pleny of brand names (Zip Lock, Glad), but bought in bulk.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer to remain loyal within my 2-3 "preferred" brands for: food wrap, paper towels, canned tomato products, unbleached flour, ethnic ingredients, and rice (in my neighborhood, cheap rice = mush). WRT the tomatoes and the flour, my choice of brand is based on the lack of additives, moreso than on the resultant effect on my cooking.

Karen Dar Woon

Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer to remain loyal within my 2-3 "preferred" brands for: food wrap, paper towels, canned tomato products, unbleached flour, ethnic ingredients, and rice (in my neighborhood, cheap rice = mush). WRT the tomatoes and the flour, my choice of brand is based on the lack of additives, moreso than on the resultant effect on my cooking.

I was just confronted with the choice of a 10 lb. bag of generic, unbleached flour or unbleached, Gold Medal flour...I chose the Gold Medal which was at least one dollar more. I kept looking at that generic flour and imagining that it was filled with the sweepin's off the floor of a "real" flour factory. Would probably contain weird fibers and a stray hair or two. Why on earth would I want to talk myself, my fairly thrify, frugal self, into paying more?! Silly woman! So my question is, what do you mean by "additives"? Because we already see what *I* mean by additives. :laugh:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am brand loyal on many items and when they are on sale I stock up. I also shop multiple stores and coupon clip. I try to fit those stores into my weekly errand running. One place where I find some favorites is Smart & Final. They have Peerless Coffee $12./2lbs., King Arthur Flour 10 lbs./7.99 w/ card, C&H sugar,dijon mustard, eggs, white vinegar in the jug, Roland red wine vinegar.

I have been buying cheaper food wraps unless I have a coupon. My zip top bags last a long time as I clean and re use them. I have yet to find a "good" soy sauce, I'll take suggestions for that. Most of my budgeting has been done at Costco where I will buy in large quantities, prepare sauces, chili, and stews and freeze versus cooking different protiens and sides every night like I use to.

If you have a Publix grocery in your neighborhood, I STRONGLY suggest you try their own brand of soy sauce; it's not too salty and has a really good flavor. Ingredients are: water, soybeans, wheat, salt and a preservative.

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been buying more and more of Wegman's (northeastern US supermarket chain) store brand products: their petite-diced canned tomatoes for Del Monte, for instance (They have a house-brand canned San Marzano tomatoes, too!), and their foil rather than Reynolds wrap. Everyone has been happy, so far.

I'm loyal to: King Arthur flour and Tiparos fish sauce. And probably a couple other things I can't think of. But not many.

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there are only a couple of things I'm brand loyal to. Paper napkins. You get what you pay for. Keeping Heidi neat and tidy during a meal can use 4-5 bargain napkins. One Vanity Fair napkin. During the winter, when the tomatoes are crap, Salsa Lisa. No other brand comes close, and it's a local company.

Interesting at my Asian market -- it doesn't seem to matter what brand you buy, the prices are the same.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure that "brand loyal" is a really good term for how I feel about it. I mean, I don't feel what I personally would call "loyal," in that I have some sort of emotional attachment to which I'd be true, no matter what, like one would be "loyal" to an erring friend, for example.

I do have brand names that I prefer because of a particular quality - taste, feel, etc. But I'm always testing and checking and I dump even my dearest brand "friends" in a heartbeat when I find a superior product, or a comparable product at a cheaper price.

So is that "loyal"? I wouldn't think so if I knew that my friends were willing to dump me at the first sign of something better.

:biggrin:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure that "brand loyal" is a really good term for how I feel about it. I mean, I don't feel what I personally would call "loyal," in that I have some sort of emotional attachment to which I'd be true, no matter what, like one would be "loyal" to an erring friend, for example.

I do have brand names that I prefer because of a particular quality - taste, feel, etc. But I'm always testing and checking and I dump even my dearest brand "friends" in a heartbeat when I find a superior product, or a comparable product at a cheaper price.

So is that "loyal"? I wouldn't think so if I knew that my friends were willing to dump me at the first sign of something better.

:biggrin:

That's my understanding of brand loyalty. I think it's a merchandising term. Buy until it you find something you like better or can buy cheaper. I hope I don't treat my friends the same way I treat my brands! :shock:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure that "brand loyal" is a really good term for how I feel about it. I mean, I don't feel what I personally would call "loyal," in that I have some sort of emotional attachment to which I'd be true, no matter what, like one would be "loyal" to an erring friend, for example.

I do have brand names that I prefer because of a particular quality - taste, feel, etc. But I'm always testing and checking and I dump even my dearest brand "friends" in a heartbeat when I find a superior product, or a comparable product at a cheaper price.

So is that "loyal"? I wouldn't think so if I knew that my friends were willing to dump me at the first sign of something better.

:biggrin:

That's my understanding of brand loyalty. I think it's a merchandising term. Buy until it you find something you like better or can buy cheaper. I hope I don't treat my friends the same way I treat my brands! :shock:

I don't know... I'm certainly aware of some folks that do indeed feel a sort of "brand loyalty" for reasons other than quality or price. One friend said she still buys Durkee's Famous Sauce, even though they've changed the formula, because she wants to support the feeling of the "old south" and it's what her family always bought. She actually tries to find ways to use it up. Another friend buys Hellman's/Best Mayo because as a girl her grandma told her it really was "best," even though she confessed to me she likes another brand better. A third still buys the product of a company that her grandfather worked for for decades. Another just "likes the way the box looks" in her pantry, reminding her of her first marriage (she actually said that). It was for a cereal.

All sorts of emotional and nostalgic and not particularly rational reasons.

You're undoubtedly correct that "brand loyalty" is a merchandising term, so my personal definition of loyalty may not be relevant. But to me, it does involve some degree of sticking to something even though you well understand and acknowledge that something else may be superior.

______________________

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"You're undoubtedly correct that "brand loyalty" is a merchandising term, so my personal definition of loyalty may not be relevant. But to me, it does involve some degree of sticking to something even though you well understand and acknowledge that something else may be superior."

Jaymes, I respectfully disagree. An example for me was Gold Medal flour. Used it for years because my Mom did, then I started working at Trader Joe's and tried the King Arthur flour because everyone said that their baking products turned out far superior with it. I broke down and tried it and in my experience it was a solid recommendation. Same with Nestle Chocolate Chips, then I saw that the Trader Joe's chocolate was Calumbet (spell?) and tried them and they are excellent. Now of course TJ no longer has King Arthur and the chocolate chip private label has changed which makes me wonder if it is the same....

Edited because I am trying to use quote feature..

Edited by tirgoddess (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

You're undoubtedly correct that "brand loyalty" is a merchandising term, so my personal definition of loyalty may not be relevant. But to me, it does involve some degree of sticking to something even though you well understand and acknowledge that something else may be superior.

Jaymes, I respectfully disagree. An example for me was Gold Medal flour. Used it for years because my Mom did, then I started working at Trader Joe's and tried the King Arthur flour because everyone said that their baking products turned out far superior with it. I broke down and tried it and in my experience it was a solid recommendation. Same with Nestle Chocolate Chips, then I saw that the Trader Joe's chocolate was Calumbet (spell?) and tried them and they are excellent. Now of course TJ no longer has King Arthur and the chocolate chip private label has changed which makes me wonder if it is the same....

Well, then. Sounds to me like your answer to the question would be that you're not particularly "loyal" to your brands. And that you buy the best product for the best price that you can find available.

:biggrin:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are only two brands I can think of that I'm completely loyal to:

Duke's mayo (I have to ship it down but it's worth it)

Heinz ketchup (I'm not a ketchup person but my daughter uses a lot and Heinz is definitely the best)

I'm also partial to Edwards country ham, but I've never turned down a country ham of another brand. My husband is English and the baked beans have to be Heinz also.

I don't worry much about the paper products except for foil because the shops here only carry Reynolds wrap and a really poor off brand that tears if you look at it wrong. I stick to the Reynolds wrap.

Abigail Blake

Sugar Apple: Posts from the Caribbean

http://www.abigailblake.com/sugarapple

"Sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone." Big Night

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not particularly brand-loyal, except for ham and Velveeta. I don't use much Velveeta, but the generic or store-brand stuff doesn't quite measure up. I LOVE the Wilson's Black Forest ham you can get at Sam's, so when I buy it, I get a whole one and have them slice it. Then I vac-pack it at home in one-pound packages. I have to hide it so my SO doesn't eat it all in a week.

He is very brand-loyal when it comes to certain things: Gulden's spicy brown mustard, Axe deodorant, Colgate toothpaste, etc. I compensate by finding stuff on sale, on clearance and at surplus/salvage stores and Big Lots.

I don't buy a lot of prepared foods, other than condiments and that Velveeta stuff. And I try to buy local and/or organic produce and dairy whenever I can.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer to remain loyal within my 2-3 "preferred" brands for: food wrap, paper towels, canned tomato products, unbleached flour, ethnic ingredients, and rice (in my neighborhood, cheap rice = mush). WRT the tomatoes and the flour, my choice of brand is based on the lack of additives, moreso than on the resultant effect on my cooking.

I was just confronted with the choice of a 10 lb. bag of generic, unbleached flour or unbleached, Gold Medal flour...I chose the Gold Medal which was at least one dollar more. I kept looking at that generic flour and imagining that it was filled with the sweepin's off the floor of a "real" flour factory. Would probably contain weird fibers and a stray hair or two. Why on earth would I want to talk myself, my fairly thrify, frugal self, into paying more?! Silly woman! So my question is, what do you mean by "additives"? Because we already see what *I* mean by additives. :laugh:

:laugh:

possibly undesirable "additives" in flour: amylase, azodicarbonamide, ascorbic acid.

undesirable "additives" in tomato products: mostly, salt.

Karen Dar Woon

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brand loyalty might be when you will continue to buy a brand even if there is some alternative brand you know to be superior in quality or flavor. By that definition I'm totally brand disloyal. I do stick with some brands when I believe they have better taste, or are priced better or some combination of the two. Store brands, for the most part, I just don't trust. Blame Sears for that. They cheap down their store brands mercilessly. I bought a couple of their store brand tools once. Never again. The Sears guarantee wasn't worth the annoyance of using cheap tools.

I buy Hellmans mayo because I prefer it to any other I have had. At least so far. The moment some other mayo comes along I like better, should the price be tolerable, Hellmans is history.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are somethings that are just automatic while shopping like Hellmans Mayo or Heinz Ketchup, and Reynolds heavy duty foil but for most other products a cheaper alternative will get tried out. If the cheaper stuff is good it gets to stay on the list, and sometimes they are so similar you know they are co-packing with the "real" brand.

A sandwich bag that gets used once, Sugar, Cider or white Vinigar, Butter, hubby's American cheese can all be store brand if they are sale.

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Link to post
Share on other sites

I head directly to the "Clearance" bin! I also buy food at the "Dollar" stores! Many generic brands are made by the national brands. [A restaurant supply store owner told me that LamsonSharp label-engineered, made the Chinese Cleaver for Forschner/Victorinox. The other cleavers are identical in resemblance to LamsonSharp as well. LamsonSharp is also less expensive than Forschner/Victorinox at Cookware. Apparently, the other Chinese Cleaver might be made by ICEL.] :cool:

Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

-- The Princess Bride

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy -- Red Green

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had worked at a Publix supermarket several years ago. Publix' generic brand of foods, were comparable, if not, actually better than the national brands! I miss Publix and Meijer. :sad:

Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

-- The Princess Bride

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy -- Red Green

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several references to flour in this thread. If you don't have brand loyalty then I would suggest buying wheat and grinding you own. I buy it in 50lb bags, usually for around $40 and it keeps forever in a dry airtight container. Pre-ground flour has a fraction of the original nutritional value of the wheat it came from.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...