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Supermarket Brand Generic Soda Pop


Jason Perlow
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In a recent conversation with Louisiana forum host Mayhaw Man, we both came to the realization that local supermarket chains have some of the best classic soda flavors anywhere -- and usually the cheaper these are, the better.

In the NY Metro area I would say Grand Union and ShopRite have some pretty good generic soda, particularly their Orange, Grape and Black Cherry. I think the same contractor makes both.

Waldbaums used to have some really good soda as well but they don't have locations in NJ so I haven't bought any in a long time.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Jason is right on the money on this one. When I see someone in the store buying BOTTLES of soda at a couple of bucks a pop (pun intended :wink: ) I usually turn smugly away with my CheK Grape soda safely and proudly riding on top of my cart. I live in the South, and I will drink a Coke as fast as anybody, but sometimes coka just won't do the trick. I need some storebrand flavored soda and I need it quick.

I think that the reson for the store brand soda's deliciousness is that there are no "natural flavorings" to get in the way of all that scientifically perfect artificial flavoring and the super high level of carbonation in the soda.

I have enjoyed storebrands for a long time. I remember that A&P here in the South used to carry Cragmont Brand as their store brand and they had an awesome black cherry and a very good grape.

And another favorite is Sam's Choice Diet Cola. The problem with it is that I think they are cheating. The stuff does not taste like it has artificial flavorings in it whatsoever. Old Sam is pulling one over on us, I think.

And then, there is THE New Orleans Store Brand of all time-Big Shot. While not a classic store brand, you can bet that just about all of the time Big Shot is going to be the cheapest soda on the shelf. Not only do they have a handsome and historically important New Orleans type logo of a bigshot (this is the #2 guy in the Zulu Mardi Gras Krewe and the name Big Shot, including his overdone wardrobe, bowler, and big ass cigar hanging out of his mouth was originally intended to make fun of traditional New Orleans establishment when the parade first started). Big shot makes an incredible array of flavors. My favorites include Pineapple, an awesome red creme soda, grape, and a pretty orangy orange (it makes an excellent float, that orange soda-almost as good as Grapette and Ice Cream when I was a kid).

Anyway, enough of this drivel. Jason's right. You can buy more expensive, but you can't buy better.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh, man... I fondly remember the National brand root beer. Best bargain root beer ever on the market. One of the best period. I remember stocking up for spring break, in addition to the multiple cases of corn flakes in a can, there was always a couple of cases of that root beer. Good for what ails ya the next morning...

How I miss those...

Would Shasta count as a generic? I know it's not strictly a store brand, but it's usually priced between store brand and name brand....

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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  • 2 months later...
Waldbaums used to have some really good soda as well but they don't have locations in NJ so I haven't bought any in a long time.

Now that Waldbaums is owned by A&P they both carry the same generic A&P brands, "Master Choice" and "America's Choice;" so you can get the current "Waldbaums" generic in A&P (and also Food Emporium, Super Fresh, and Food Basics, the other A&P monikers in NJ.)

A&P owned supermarkets in NJ

A&P Brands

Gustatory illiterati in an illuminati land.
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i dont know if there still around but Franks was the best in Philly with Black Cherry Wishniak,Tahitian Treat,Vanilla Creme and a slew of other tasty soda,s,I can remember as a lil kid getting up early on Saturday,s and heading down the street to the local Supermarket to carry grocery bags to customer,s cars and local,s houses. Then Heading over to the Greek Pizza joint to enjoy a Small and a Franks Black Cherry Wishniak- :wub: with my earnings-Fond Memory,s indeed

Dave s

P.S. im sure Holly remembers the slogan"Is it Franks?....Thanks!

"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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i dont know if there still around but Franks was the best in Philly with Black Cherry Wishniak,Tahitian Treat,Vanilla Creme  and a slew of other tasty soda,s,I can remember as a lil kid getting up early on Saturday,s and heading down the street to the local Supermarket to carry grocery bags to customer,s cars and local,s houses. Then Heading over to the Greek Pizza joint to enjoy a Small and a Franks Black Cherry Wishniak- :wub: with my earnings-Fond Memory,s indeed

                                  Dave s

                    P.S. im sure Holly remembers the slogan"Is it Franks?....Thanks!

Some company in Elizabeth, NJ, bought the Frank's trademarks about a decade ago, but I believe that firm has either gone belly-up or been sold.

But I could have sworn I was in a store not too long ago and saw a bottle of Black Cherry Wishniak soda bearing the Canada Dry logo. (Canada Dry bottled Tahitian Treat out in my part of the country.)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Acme brand Cola is great stuff. It has a bizarre nutmeggy flavor that just sits in the back of your mouth, and makes it almost tastier to drink at room temperature than cold, although it is very good cold too.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I think that the reson for the store brand soda's deliciousness is that there are no "natural flavorings" to get in the way of all that scientifically perfect artificial flavoring and the super high level of carbonation in the soda.

:laugh: You may be exactly right! Although I just looked at a can of the grapefruit Hill Country Faire store brand from HEB, a fav of ours, and it says (OMG!) Naturally Flavored. :shock::laugh:

HEB in TX carries a great cheap store brand of sodas. We particularly like the golden cream soda, grapefruit as noted, and gingerale; the black cherry isn't bad either. Randall's (Safeway) also does good store pops.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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  • 2 months later...

Target has a house brand I just spotted for the first time today (with the boring name "Market Pantry"). I tried a flavor called "Dr. Spice", which is NOT Dr. Pepper-like but is actually close to Pepsi Holiday Spice. Cheap stuff too--it was a fairly ridiculous $1.79 for a 12 pack.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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  • 4 weeks later...

In Canada, the best grapefruit soda is "Our Compliments", IGA's store brand. It's very tangy and has a real grapefruit taste.

It beats the President's choice grapefruit soda by a mile. Theirs is too sweet and artificial-tasting. My husband says that the diet version is also good; I don't know about this, because I don't do artificial sweeteners.

It's also low in sodium and has no caffeine, which is great because my husband needs to limit both.

And it makes a good mixer for vodka or rum when out at the cottage.

:wub:

I don't mind the rat race, but I'd like more cheese.

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Ha ha Saskanuck, I've never tried the IGA brand but have to stand up for the really big boys on this one. My vote goes to Safeway Select grapefruit, or pamplemousse as it is more affectionately known around here (French labelling for the Yanks scratching their heads right now). There are only three types of pop I can stand to drink in my old age :raz: - Coke, Canada Dry ginger ale, and Safeway pamplemousse. All are not too sweet (my main complaint with pop) and very fizzy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used to buy Grapefruit soda at Genuardi's (a subsidiary of Safeway, so it was Safeway's store brand- whatever that was) but they closed the store in NJ. Oddly, they didn't (or couldn't) cancel their billboard accounts, so the area still has Genuardi billboard ads.

Wegman's is about the only source I've found for Cranbury soda in NJ (it seems to be a NYS/NE flavor) but they are often out of it and the don't carry it in cans, only 2 liter bottles.

I like the Black Cherry, Lime and the Strawberry sodas at Whole Foods (365 brand) AND they're made with cane sugar. Whole Foods also carries Blue Sky soda (not a store brand- out of Arizona)- so that's been my only Grapefruit soda source lately- but it doesn't seem to move for them- the date code SEEMED to be from 2004.

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Central Market Blood Orange Soda - that is if they have it in stock. I had to buy a case just to taste the stuff.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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