Despite this often the biscuits are better for you than the popular brands. Imitation Jaffa cakes have dark choc and a thinner layer of it meaning less calories, and store brand biscuits have less expensive fat & sugar and more cheap wholemeal flour. It really is win-win.
To celebrate this I've come up with a new feature where I pit a store brand against a heavy hitter from the world of the big brands. And I'm starting with my favourite food type in the world - Cereal.
Big Brand: Kellogs KRAVE
Store Brand: ASDA Choco Squares
Although I've chosen to start with this comparison it's actually quite a reversal on the norm in that I've been buying and loving the ASDA version of this cereal for about 3 years. There are a wide range of imitation brands in the Asda range, Coco-Pops, Shreddies - nothing is sacred - and on the whole for a pound a box they represent decent value. The king of this section has always been the Choco squares.
The content of these is essentially Nutella, making me think that they imitate a Euro cereal or one that is long forgotten in the UK (like Kellogg's Start which you can still get and is still basically fortified with stimulants & concentrated sugar). Kellogg's make a big play on not making cereals for anyone else - this means that both these cereals must be different factories and recipes and the ingredients do show differences. As with all imitation cereals I automatically thought that these were going to be the big new thing and popped a box into the trolley with the other cereals (I typically have more than 10 kinds at any given time - think 18 is the most I've had...) despite them costing twice the price of the Asda brand.
Cinabar's original KRAVE review is here.
Flavour-wise I was surprised. There is more of a hazelnut flavour to the Krave than the Chocos but the flavour is much sweet and less subtle. Also the bit is a lot softer, with less of the coating than the pictures on the box to the extent that you can see the filling through the sides. These are not bad things, but it does give the cereal a much lighter texture than the Chocos. By contrast they are a much heavier, crunchier cereal and rely on the chocolate of the filling for the flavour. It is a much smoother taste with less of an edge to it. I'd say that both have their plus points.
And now the final important part of the comparison - mascots.
The Chocos used to have a really nice purple box with some kind of mildly psychotic looking rodent on the box. I thought it was cool. Now they have gone with a generic bear/dog for all their cereal range. He may be doing the rock hand-sign, but he's clearly like the guy who runs the youth-club who isn't as cool as he thinks he is. Krave seem to have a masked version of one of the cereal as a tiny mascot hiding in the corner. I'm sure he's on a TV advert on a commercial channel I don't watch. He has an air of mystery and beckons from the box that he will protect us - even though his eyes are badly done and don't show any depth.
Overall the question is this: Two boxes of Chocos, or one box of Krave?
And I think that the Chocos edge it at 1:1 pricing, but at £2 for two boxes instead of £2.30 for one it's no contest. Unfashionable as bear/dog is, the kids keep coming back to him because he has the best value cereal.