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Store vs Brand Name Milk


DanM
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There is a myriad of choices at the grocery store for milk ranging from store, retail and supposedly premium brand milks. The prices can range from $2.50-$6 per gallon. Is there any real difference in quality, price, flavor, etc between the different brands?

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Look carefully at the store-brand milk. It will list a pasteurizer, which will likely be the same as one of the "brand" milks. They're not any different, really, just in different packaging and possible less expensive.

On the other "premium" milks you might notice a difference in flavour - that will be down to what they feed their cows.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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anyone else notice a difference in taste between milk in plastic vs waxed paper cartons? I prefer paper cartons, but since that was what I had growing up, not sure if it's a significant difference to others.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Here the quality is essentially the same, although we prefer Riverina brand milk. As a rule, we avoid store brand milk because of the strong arm tactics used to drive prices down, which only ends up hurting the farmers.

Here is an excerpt from a senate report:

http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/economics_ctte/dairy_industry_09/report/c03.pdf

Here are some newspaper articles:

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/milking-the-price-war-is-froth-and-trouble-for-coffee-lovers-20110307-1bl9o.html

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/price-war-could-spell-the-end-of-fresh-milk-on-supermarket-shelves-20110405-1d1tr.html

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I'm trying to understand the OP's question. Is it:

"Is there any difference between types of milk such as organic, homogenised, pasteurised, UHT, different breeds, etc. or are they all pretty much the same?"

or is it

"Is it true that sometimes store brands are actually the same product as fancy expensive brands?"

If it's the former, I say hell yes there's a difference and all milk is not made equal. If it's the latter, I'll say that certainly it's true for products other than milk so I suspect it is sometimes true for milk too.

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Why not just do a simple double blind experiment and find out? It would be cheap to do and you could tell if, for *your* palate, you could taste the difference. I would do a square test: Buy multiple milks, have someone else pour out two samples of each and label them randomly. Your task is then to arrange them in order of most tasty to least tasty. If you put two samples of the same milk next to each other, that means there's a clear separation in quality, if the two samples end up at different points, that means psychological and statistical variance is responsible for the perceived taste difference.

PS: I am a guy.

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Yes.. There is a difference in taste between the cheap store brands, the more expensive organic store brands, and other premium brands (organize or not) that are sold by lots of retailers.

The cheap store brands just don't taste as rich. Though I do buy them regularly due to cost.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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