The nation’s leading consumer advocacy group continues to be beat the drum for retailers’ private brands, even though results of its recent research are less than favorable. As the economy declined in recent years, Consumer Reports increased its support of the store brand industry with regular features documenting the savings shoppers could realize by switching to store brands. The most recent example can be found in the October issue where the publication notes, “In our latest taste-off, store brand foods were often at least as good.” To arrive at that lukewarm conclusion of occasional comparability, the magazine used trained tasters to evaluate 21 pairs of staple food items. National brands won seven times, private brands won three times and in 11 other instances it was a tie.
Target scored a tie and a loss. Market Pantry Ketchup was among those items that tied with market leader Heinz, although the evaluation makes it clear that the two have very different tastes. “Heinz is spicier, with distinct Worcestershire notes. Market Pant