Do you have strong feelings of loyalty towards certain brands? Generally, I don’t. For many products, I’m happy buying whatever is cheapest at the moment. That often consists of store brands, like Wegmans pasta sauces, or ice cream, or… cat food.

We’re 2 for 2 in recall roulette this year. First, there was the peanut butter, and now cat food. Don’t worry, Isis is fine. In fact, his complete disinterest in wet cat food (except for the gravy) probably helped keep him from getting sick. What I really find interesting from these recalls is how a single producer is making essentially the same product for a huge list of different vendors, and that people are willing to pay a premium for the same product with a different label on it.

Look at the list of cat foods on the recall list – there are 42 of them, from Tops and Wegmans’ brands to the premium brands like “Nutro Max Gourmet Classics”. It’s not uncommon to see name brand products costing 100% more than it’s corresponding store brand version. That’s a big price to pay for a label.

All products are certainly not created equal, and you can’t just blindly buy any one product over another. However, these recalls should certainly make you think next time before you reach for that brand favorite on the shelf. Perhaps the cheaper version is just as good. I might even be the same product.

Similar Posts


  1. I always buy the store brand cream cheese… because I’m not a fan of Philly’s. It’s the same stuff everywhere I’ve ever gotten it from, and I just like it better.

    On a totally unrelated note, you guys really have to get out to Colorado to ski. :):)

    I’ve been every year for the last 5 years now. Telluride is gorgeous, but the handful of resorts in Summit County are great too. Arapahoe Basin and Copper are my favorites there.

    And this is a long shot, but if you ever want to get a group together and rent a nice condo sometime, somewhere, give a shout 🙂

  2. I have a loyalty to Pepsi (over Coke) and I can tell you that it most definitely is not producing the watered down crap that Tops and Wegmans sell with their name on it. However, things like ice cream, well ice cream is ice cream IMO but I do remember a store clerk telling my mother when I was a kid that Bison makes the chip dip that is sold with a store name on it.

  3. While in college, I worked at a soap factory that made powdered laundry detergents, air sprays, dish soaps and powder. The line would shut down only to change the labels or the containers (not ingredients). Same hoppers filling different boxes. It was all the same stuff for about 20 different labels.

    Look at stereo components – NEC makes products that sell as Panasonic and a dozen or so other labels.

    Another example is the store brands with the same ingredients, like cough syrup, aspirin or bottled water. My headache can’t tell the difference between Walgreens “pain releiver” and Exederin – but my wallet can.

    It’s a bit different with some food and drink items. Diet Pepsi and Heinz beat “diet W” and “tomato catsup” store brands. I also prefer ketchup to catsup if it makes any difference.

Leave a Reply