Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Wal-Mart vs. Name Brand Oddities

View Full Version : Wal-Mart vs. Name Brand Oddities

01-27-2008, 12:51 AM
Hey all,

Just posting this because I found it extremely strange!

The past couple of times I've been to Wal-Mart to do some grocery shopping, I've been looking over nutrition labels and ingredients in comparison to name brands. This stemmed from me going down the processed junk aisles (which I hardly ever do) because I wanted to buy some sort of sweet treat that I wouldn't be tempted to eat the whole bag/box of under the condition that it not contain any hydrogenated oils, which I figured would severely limit my choices. Ginger snaps caught my eye. I picked up the Wal-Mart brand (Great Value) and I looked at the ingredients and to my shock, I found no trans fats of any sort. I picked up the name brand and found that it did contain them. Moved along to the breakfast row, my curiosity peaked, and picked up Pop-Tarts, which I knew to contain trans fats. Same thing happened. The store brand was free of them whereas the name brand had them. Onto the fruit and cream flavored oatmeals. Same deal.

Does anyone else find this extremely surprising? I would think they'd be the same or that the store brand would have worse ingredients? I'm definitely not complaining, but just found it strange. :lol:

its my time
01-27-2008, 12:56 AM
lol, well if your anything like me I think the name brands tast better and I would say the reason for it is cause it has more of those bad things in it in order 2 make it tast better, lol, thats just me I don't know for sure though, lol would be courious 2 know the real reason, lol

01-27-2008, 01:38 AM
Its great, I'll definitely shop there more often. They should advertise that!

01-27-2008, 03:11 AM
Many store brands are actually the exact same product as a brand name with a different label. Literally the food manufacturer changes the label (sometimes the container, is even still the same). In those cases the ingredient list would be identical. I've often found this to be true, where all of the nutrition stats and ingredients are identical. Kroger mayonaise, for example, at least used to be Hellman's/Best Foods (different name in different regions of the country). On the label it actually said "made for Kroger by Best Foods, International)" or something to the effect.

The Walmart store brand is completely independent, I believe. The biggest cost to name brand companies is generally advertising, so it's ironic but the money not spent on advertising and label design can go into better ingredients.

It does show you have to read and understand those ingredient labels, because I think the natural inclination is to assume that a name brand is a different, and probably superior product, but it's not necessarily true.

01-27-2008, 06:25 AM
I've noticed this with a few things from the walmart brand, it's pretty surprising but nice nonetheless. I've also come across the fact that a few store brands are just generally better in other ways- for instance, I came across off-brand zero calorie flavor packets for water at Wal-Mart that are similar to Crystal Lite. But, there is a much larger selection of flavors that, in my opinion, taste a lot better than Crystal Lite. It's also a fraction of the price. So, just goes to show that name brand does not always = better.

01-27-2008, 12:26 PM
I'll be danged, you're right. I've got a box of the Great Value brand toaster pastries and a box of Pop Tarts. The Pop Tarts contain hydrogenated oils whereas the Great Value brand does not. Great Value brand is also lower in overall fat.


Well so much for buying Pop Tarts now. Thank you SO MUCH for pointing that out because I buy these for my son. Although I must admit I'm a little embarrassed with myself because I'm usually an avid label-reader. I mean, I read (almost, LOL) everything. It just didn't dawn on me that Pop Tarts would contain hydrogenated oils (even the "low fat" Pop Tarts have them) although it shouldn't surprise me, it's a packaged 'baked' good.

I guess I don't pay as close attention as I thought I did. I'm glad somebody else is! :lol:

01-27-2008, 01:00 PM
LLV, Maybe I was just REALLY bored and trying to stay in Wal-Mart browsing as long as possible. :lol: I usually read everything as well, but I did make a slip up once with the Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese. I *should* have suspected that a product like that could have trans fats, but the lettering or something (it was red on white and a little bit hard to read) on the nutrition label didn't cause a blip on my radar. Needless to say it has 2g of trans fats per serving! :yikes:

01-27-2008, 04:32 PM
Well, how about that? Thanks for sharing. I am a label reader, too, but missed this one.

01-27-2008, 06:29 PM
wow walmart rocks! lol

01-27-2008, 08:06 PM
i love wally world aka wal mart

01-29-2008, 03:05 PM
LLV, Maybe I was just REALLY bored and trying to stay in Wal-Mart browsing as long as possible. :lol:

Hey, your boredom gave us some good info :D

This is sort of off-topic, however I guess the same principle, but Kroger brand snacks should be avoided. Their tortilla chips, their potato chips, their cheese puffs, etc, all contain trans fats. You'll find partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list on just about any snack of theirs.

Don't buy 'em. If you gotta have the occasional snack, you're better off with Doritos or Tostitos or the baked versions of these. Or, if you're one of the lucky ones whose gut isn't bothered by Olestra, get the "light" or "fat-free" types of chips. But watch out for those Kroger products. It's in LOTS of their stuff, not just the snacks.

01-30-2008, 08:21 AM
i always try to stick with the store brand products, from walmart, to food lion to bi-lo. its cheaper on my budget and from the looks of this post, healthier for me.

thanks for the tips

01-30-2008, 08:57 AM
i always try to stick with the store brand products, from walmart, to food lion to bi-lo. its cheaper on my budget and from the looks of this post, healthier for me.

In some cases, yes, but not all.

Keep an eye on those labels.

01-30-2008, 11:00 AM
I agree about thr trans-fat in some Kroger products.

What I hate is that almost all flavored chips, doritos, some chex-mix, etc. have monosodium glutamate in them.

(not that I should be eating those anyways!)