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Own brands as nutritious as big-name brands

31st May 2011

Researchers have said supermarket own brand products have as much nutritional value as more expensive brand names.

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According to a study carried out by scientists at the University of Ulster, consumers can spend less on their shopping and still get the same benefits.

Professor Barbara Livingstone, who was in charge of supervising the study by honours student Gemma Faulkner, said: "It is important these days when the price of food is going through the roof for people who might feel guilty about buying own brands to know they are not nutritionally inferior."

The researchers purchased own brand products from six supermarkets; Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Waitrose, Lidl and Marks & Spencer.

The 32 items bought by the team included chicken, fish, bread, chips, baked beans, tomato ketchup, beef burgers, sausages, fruit pies and dairy products.

They also bought brand name versions of all the food and compared their nutritional values, carrying out an analysis of fat, sugar, salt and calories.

They found while meat and poultry dishes were superior nutritionally from the big brands, dairy products were better from the own brand labels.

However, most of the products had close to, or exactly the same, nutritional content.

John Noble, of the British Brands Group, which represents manufacturers of branded goods, said consumer preferences were decided by a number of factors.

He added: "Healthy eating is one, the product that they are most familiar with might be another."

"It might be that they buy particular products because they are widely available. Taste is also a factor."

 

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