Store labels often taste better than national brands, study finds

(CBS News) Ever wondered if that store brand -- often priced several cents or even dollars less than other brands -- tastes just as good as the national labels? Consumer Reports did -- and found that in taste tests, 33 out of 57 store brand products studied were just as good, or better, than the big-name brands.

Consumer Reports: Store brands to savor

But it's important to define terms, according to Tod Marks, senior editor for Consumer Reports. Store brands are not generic products. He said on "CBS This Morning," "Generics were kind of a byproduct, these cheap, no-frills products that were knockoffs in the 1970s during the era of double-digit inflation. They really gave store brands a black eye that took years from recover from because they were really, frankly, not very good in quality."

A store brand, however, is the store's own private label, such as America's Choice from A&P and Great Value from Walmart, that are designed to compete with the national brands. He added, "There are also multiple tiers of brands: good, better, best that you'll find in some stores -- they ... (can actually) exceed those quality specifications or give unique products."

In the blind taste tests, conducted by Consumer Reports' expert tasters, researchers found at least one store brand from the national grocers Costco, Kmart, Sam's Club, Target, Trader Joe's, Walmart, and Whole Foods that was equal in quality to the big name.

Marks said, "The findings were quite astounding ... [and the store brand] could save you upwards of 15 to 30 percent. At Sam's Club, the pricing is remarkable. Most average more than 50 percent, some 60 percent."

For a closer look at the taste testing research, watch the video above.