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8 Popular Generic Foods You Should Always Say Pass To

How many generic foods do you get?

Even though grocery store prices have skyrocketed lately, several options are still available for each product as you stroll down the store aisle. There are plenty of options available to meet various dietary restrictions and budgets. However, this variety also raises some important questions that many people have when they’re shopping: When is it more advantageous to buy a name-brand product instead of a generic one? Are they really that different from each other, aside from the price?

My colleagues and I were curious about a specific topic, so we decided to take on a challenge together. We visited various grocery stores and compared generic foods to name-brand ones in order to determine the best options. We carefully considered factors such as price, quality, and taste, and we look forward to sharing our findings with you.

If you want to know which generic foods we think you should skip, keep reading! Don’t forget to let us know if you agree with us once you’ve finished. Without further ado, here are the generic foods that aren’t worth the hype:

generic food
Photo by Nadezhda Nesterova from

1. Ice cream

One of my favorite sweet treats is ice cream, and I prefer to indulge in a fancier one rather than getting a generic one that won’t satisfy my craving. After trying generic ice cream from many grocery stores in my city, I can safely say that my favorite ones will always be the name-brand ones. I love the macadamia-nut-flavored one from HD or the vanilla ones from Dairy Queen, and a generic food won’t give me the same effect.

I’m willing to pay the extra buck because I prefer to indulge in something flavorful, and made with high-quality ingredients. If you’re like me, I think it’s worth paying a little extra for a divine treat from brands like Turkey Hill and Breyers.

2. Olive oil

Another generic food my colleagues and I prefer to say pass to is olive oil. The reason why we choose to stick to name-brand ones is because we love the potent taste that’s obtained thanks to high-quality olives. One of my friends loves the California Olive Ranch version, and he’s lucky because it’s often on sale.

He always repurchases this item because it’s budget-friendly, so he doesn’t mind cooking with it, but it’s also flavorful enough to use in salad dressings or as a finishing oil for an extra fat source. In my opinion, if you use olive oil every few weeks, saying pass to a generic food and sticking to a better product is worth it.

3. Chips

I have both a savory and a sweet tooth and since many generic foods aren’t as flavorful as named-brand ones, when it comes to chips, I prefer Lay’s. I love the crunchiness and the strong flavor, and I don’t like eating chips that feel like they’re laden with grease.

Even though generic foods are more budget-friendly compared to name-brand ones, you don’t purchase chips every day, and a savory treat that tastes exactly as you imagined it to won’t draw a hole in your budget.

generic food
Photo by barmalini from

4. Cheese

Whether you love mozzarella or cheddar, not many generic foods have a fabulous taste. Even though some products have a good flavor, they’re not as strong as name-brand ones, and the texture isn’t always great either. I would usually get Cabot cheese because I enjoy the creamy texture, the high-quality ingredients, and the rich flavor that makes everything better.

Another thing I love about Cabot is that it’s a Vermont-based company, and I enjoy shopping locally. Moreover, Cabot farmers are part of a co-op, so you support their work and products regardless of the place you buy their cheese.

5. Flour

The next time you find yourself in the baking aisle and have no idea what flour to get, my colleagues strongly recommend you stay away from generic foods and instead get King Arthur flour. They love this Vermont-based company thanks to the fact that this flour contains no bleach, artificial preservatives, or bromate.

Since many of the products we find today in grocery stores contain artificial ingredients that make the item last longer, I love using foods that are as natural as possible, although they cost an extra buck. Even if you pay more for this product than for generic foods, keep in mind that your baked goods will taste better and will be healthier for you and your family.

6. Condiments

My colleagues and I have different opinions when it comes to condiments. We prefer different flavors and brands, but the thing we agreed on is that condiments are part of the generic foods we stay away from.

Whether we talk about ketchup, mustard, or mayo, name-brand ones are tastier and richer in flavor. They probably contain some real ingredients too, not just artificial flavors and chemicals. My favorite mayo, for instance, is from Hellmann’s, and I always stick to it because it tastes good and I love it in my coleslaw salads. As for ketchup and mustard, I love Heinz and Grey Poupons.

Do you have any generic foods you don’t like or don’t buy often? Let us know in the comments below, because everyone has a different opinion.

7. Coffee

We’re big coffee lovers at the office, and if you’re like us and can’t fully wake up until you have a cup of joy in your hand, you probably understand us. As much as we like to save money and get more things with less, coffee is one of the generic foods we never buy.

Different researchers ranked packaged coffee among the top seven most often contaminated foods. Since this product is frequently imported, producers are more likely to add less expensive fillers like soybeans, corn, or even twigs to increase the weight of the ground beans. Besides that, sticking to a delicious name-brand coffee will make your taste buds happier and help you be more excited about a new day.

generic food
Photo by New Africa from

8. Yogurt

I’m a big yogurt fan, and I like mine to be creamy, taste good, pair well with my fruits, nuts, and seeds, and not contain artificial ingredients or sugar. While many generic foods taste absolutely great (if you’d like an article where we talk about generic foods you should always get, let us know in the comments), this is a personal choice, and it’s all about your taste.

My colleagues and I typically choose flavorful products with a stunning texture. The reason why we try to avoid certain generic foods, such as yogurt, is because they might sneak in additives or extra sugar, and that’s not something we want in our meals. To make sure you don’t get any artificial ingredients, check out the label.


As we’ve already said throughout this article, everyone has different tastes when it comes to eating habits, and this post was only to share our thoughts, not to tell you what you should get or not. Regardless of whether you choose to get generic foods or brand-name products, make sure you always get the best deal, check out the label for nutritional information, and opt for items that will fuel your body and give you energy.

If you enjoyed reading this article and you’d like to check out something else from The Lasting Health, here’s a good post for you: 10 Dollar Tree Foods That Are Good for Your Health (Nutritionists Say)

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