Supermarket house brands used to have the reputation of being inferior to regular branded products. But these days I’ll often consciously pick a supermarket brand – not just because they’re cheaper, but also because the quality is better.
The experts in consumer advocacy, CHOICE has compared a number of supermarket house brand products (also known as private labels or own brands) from ten categories across supermarket giants Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi, to find out what you should be adding to your shopping trolley.
“House brand products have really improved in quality recently, and often score well in our testing,” said CHOICE Food Editor, Rachel Clemons. “They’re a good option if you’re looking to save a bit of money on your grocery bill, as they’re usually a fraction of the price of more premium products.”
Highest Scoring Supermarket House Brands
The CHOICE team compared over 70 products and analysed ten CHOICE supermarket food reviews to find the highest scoring house brand for Aldi, Coles, and Woolworths.
“Aldi is the clear winner when it comes to house brand products,” said Clemons. “The supermarket won by a landslide, coming out with six wins across the ten categories we analysed.”
“Aldi scored first place when it came to butter, tea bags, tomato sauce, and pesto. It also tied for first place in the strawberry jam and premium ice cream categories.”
Who Are The Losers?
And when it comes to the worst supermarket house brands – Woolworths and Coles actually come in tie for second place, with three wins apiece.
Find out which supermarket house brands come up tops and bottom
Premium ice cream
Equal 1st: Aldi Monarc Indulge Vanilla Opulence
Equal 1st: Woolworths Vanilla Bean
2nd: Coles Vanilla Bean
These budget brands beat well-known brands like Maggie Beer, Haagen-Dazs and Weis and came tie with popular brand Connoisseur. And at around half the price, it means you can eat more ice cream for less. Winning!
1st: Aldi Beautifully Butterfully unsalted butter
2nd: Coles Australian butter
3rd: Woolworths Macro Certified Organic Salted Butter
The CHOICE tests found Aldi does butter better – and cheaper, scoring and impressive 83%.
But best to avoid Woolies’ Essentials butter, which scraped down at the bottom with a pitiful score of just 58%.
Equal 1st: Aldi Grandessa Signature Jam
Equal 1st: Woolworths Essentials Jam
2nd: Coles Jam
Both of these supermarket house brands of jam scored only one point behind winner Beerenberg.
Woolies is the best bet here as it’s almost half the price of Aldi’s per 100 grams. But the Aldi one has more fruit but also more sugar.
The jam not to pick though is Aldi’s Grandessa Strawberry Conserve, which scored an abysmal 36%.
The Coles jam didn’t rate with only a 62% score, but it did beat Cottee’s and St Dalfour.
1st: Coles Fairtrade Organic Freeze Dried Coffee
2nd: Woolworths Freeze Dried Classic Coffee
3rd: Alcafe Aldi Classic Gold
Coles’ $4 coffee won by a landslide – taking out the best house brand and tastiest coffee overall.
1st: Aldi Diplomat tea cup bags
2nd: Coles cup tea bags
3rd: Woolworths Essentials tea bags
This was a close contest with one or two percentage points separating these supermarket house brands.
1st: Coles Gluten Free
2nd: Aldi Baker’s Life
3rd: Woolworths Country White
In a massive surprise, Coles came out tops with a gluten-free bread – wow! Who says Gluten-free means flavour-free?
1st: Aldi Colway tomato sauce
2nd: Woolworths tomato sauce
3rd: Coles tomato sauce
Aldi’s Colway tomato sauce was not only the cheapest but also the best out of the supermarket house brands.
Interestingly, it was another budget buy, IGA’s Community Co’s Squeeze Of Tomato Sauce, that topped the test.
1st: Coles Australian Mozzarella Cheese
2nd: Woolworths Australian Mozzarella
3rd: Aldi Westacre Tasty Light
Coles topped with the cheese ranks while Aldi’s limped into last place, but still beat many other popular varieties from Coon and Bega.
1st: Woolworths Chewy Choc Drizzle
2nd: Coles Choc Chip
3rd: Aldi Hillcrest Chewy Choc Squiggle
Woolies’ muesli bar topped the best supermarket house brands ranking only one percentage point behind winner Uncle Toby’s.
Aldi’s muesli bars did OK in terms of price but bombed when it came to taste.
1st: Aldi Remano
2nd: Coles Basil Pesto
3rd: Woolworths Basil Pesto
All of the supermarket house brands in this test came up kinda average.
Aldi was the pick of the average bunch, scoring 63% and equal-fourth overall in our blind taste test of 13 brands.
Woolies scored an embarrassing 32% – avoid this one
See the full results at www.choice.com.au/housebrands
Do you agree with the results of the best and worst supermarket house brands? Which are your favourite supermarket house brands? Tell us in the comments below.