'Consumer Reports' and My Mom Are Wrong About Generics

Julie Ryan Evans

Kraft Macroni and CheeseSo Consumer Reports says generic brands taste as good as brand name products, just like my mother always professed when I complained that I wanted Hostess Hos Hos and Fritos, not any old corn chips.

I don't believe either of them.

Consumer Reports tested 21 products and found at least 14 of them tasted as good, if not better than their brand name counterparts. They also pointed out that a family could save as much as $1,500 a year by switching to some store brands.

Impressive, but there are some things you just don't mess with ... if you want them to still taste good.

Here are seven sacred foods I'd never go generic on:

Mac and Cheese Sure it's not the most nutritious choice, but when I eat it, when I want the real good, comforting stuff, it's got to be Kraft in the blue box. It's creamier, richer, and has a certain flavor I've never found duplicated. And I add real butter too, so there.

Ketchup I did go with some store brands for a while because I wanted it to be organic, but none ever tasted as good as Heinz. Some were too sweet or not thick enough, none was just right. Now that they have an organic version of Heinz, I'm back to my favorite.

Diet Soda There are no words for how disappointing and dreary I find a can of generic soda of any flavor, particular cola. It's my vice, and it's got to be Diet Coke.

Wine Oh, I tried Trader Joe's two-buck Chuck and tried to will myself to like it, but the headache the next morning just compounded the fact that it tasted really awful. I'm not loyal to any particular brand of wine (though I'll never turn down a glass of La Crema); I'll try most. But it's got to be a name brand. I want to know whose feet have stomped my grapes.

Vanilla Ice Cream It's pretty hard to mess up ice cream, and I've met very few I wouldn't eat (booger-flavored was one, however), but when I want the best vanilla ice cream, it's got to be Breyers Vanilla Bean -- one of the most perfectly simple desserts ever. Homemade is the only better version I've ever found.

Flavored Tortilla Chips No other artificially orange-colored triangular chips will do. If I'm going to endanger my health with such junk food, I'm going to do it with Doritos.

Which foods will you not buy generic?

Image via amazon.com





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