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Are generically branded foods costing our health?

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#1 smtm

Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:05 PM

Tell me your thoughts.... do you think generically branded foods are costing our good health?

I question, are cheaper, generically branded foods costing our health? If you believe the reports from the National Heart Foundation, apparently we are all risking our health, by opting for cheaper generically branded foods. I certainly accept tough times have become a catalyst for many people to now consider generically branded foods. We all have to save where we can.

However I do seriously wonder if the National Heart Foundation is an objective source, since you need to pay for the Heart Foundation’s famous tick of approval. There is little chance, manufactures of cheaper generically branded foods would even consider the tick of approval, the cost would only increase the costs of manufacturer and dilute the generically brand foods market position. So it’s no surprise the Heart Foundation cannot provide a glowing report for generically brand foods.

But my doubt is founded on much more. I use to work at a major Australian based beverage manufacturer. They held several contracts for the production of generically branded foods on behalf of Coles and Safeway/ Woolworth’s. On some occasions it would cost more to change the formulation from the branded products to the formulation for the generically branded foods. Because of these production costs on some occasions, the company would continue to manufacturer the same formulation irrespective of whether the liquid went into a branded or generically branded bottle. Effectively the end customer would pay generically branded prices for branded products. So I have cause to question, are the claims made by the Heart Foundation designed to sway us to branded products?

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced any ill effects from the consumption of generically branded foods? Do you think there is a greater taste difference between brands, or is it comparable given the savings made?

Sonia Williams a mother of two, qualified accountant, author and founder of the free online magazine Show Mummy the Money www.showmummythemoney.com.au, designed to help mums, save, make and protect their money. This information is correct at time of writing. It is general advice only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information.

#2 Ducky*Fuzz

Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:12 PM

I'd be interested to know as well.  I have on occasion compared labels on these products. I think a few have had less preservatives than their branded counterparts, but mostly they are on par.

I recall something from the news, many moons ago, about some branded companies making the same generic product, just labelled differently.

Edited by ~*MESS*~, 19 April 2009 - 10:15 PM.

#3 *SYM*

Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:52 AM

I think you have to take it on a case by case basis - in most instances the generics are just rebrands of the well known ones.  So check the labels and most importantly, try to buy Australian.

#4 unamadre

Posted 21 April 2009 - 01:53 PM

I don't buy them, not so much because of the quality but moreso because Coles and Woolworths force manufactureres into generic contracts under threat of branded product deletion, thereby squeezing Australian manufacturers out of business and Australian jobs offshore. Coles and Woolworths are already too powerful and I'll be damned if I'll pay them money to engage in their anti-competitive practises.

#5 MsDemeanor

Posted 21 April 2009 - 01:56 PM

The National Heart Foundation charge products a $ amount to put their tick on their products so I am assuming that their "research" is not objective and is just causing people to err on the side of caution and buy the more $$ products which carry the tick.

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