Saturday, 19 June 2010

Save hundreds of pounds a year by switching brands?

Martin Isark has an enviable job. 
He’s a professional food and drink taster. He also runs a website called where you can compare the cost of 2,000 of own-brand products from the main supermarkets with their branded rivals.

The Times featured Martin’s website today and it also appeared in an online article from the Mail recently from which I quote:

“Aldi's chocolate digestives, for instance, which cost 49p a pack, score ten out of ten and are as good as McVities, which cost about £1.30. 
Likewise, Marks and Spencer's Organic 24 Whole Grain Wheat Bisks cost £1.69 and are as good as Organic Weetabix, which costs around £2.27.
And not just with food  -  washing powders, dishwasher tablets and toiletries are worth trying, too. You could save literally hundreds of pounds a year with some simple changes.”

If you’ve the time you could try a blind tasting. Martin swears that most people can’t tell any difference in taste and quality between the top brand of sugar, chocolate biscuits and cornflakes and their supermarket counterparts. He even says that Lidl’s chocolate is better than Green and Blacks. And half the price.

Are we being conned?

I bought some beautifully wrapped 'artisan' Taleggio cheese from Waitrose last week and paid nearly a fiver for a piece barely fit for the mouse trap. 
Blindfolded I swear it tasted uncannily like a Dairy Lea cheese triangle (price 92p for 8). 

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