Today So Good introduces a new weekly So Good feature: Brand vs. Generic.  Starting this week, and every Tuesday in the future, we’ll have a quick run-down of the pros and cons of buying name brand name versus store-brand or “generic” versions of a wide variety of products.  The goal of this column? Start a debate/discussion about which products are just fine to buy generic, and which products you are better off opting for the brand name.

First up: potato chips.

Pro’s of Generic: They’re cheaper. Much cheaper. I mean that’s why people mostly buy generic brand right? Also, it’s potato chips, not a gourmet meal that requires extensive attention to ingredient quality and flavor balance. If they’re fried, crunchy and salty, they should taste just fine.

Cons of Generic: They’re gross. I mean, obviously not all generic brand products are gross, some of them are just fine, hence the purpose of this new So Good column. But how good are generic brand potato chips really? There have been plenty of times I’ve bought a store-brand product and thought it was just fine or in some cases as good or even better than a brand-name. Have you ever purchased a store-bought or generic brand of potato chips and said “huh, this is just as good as Lays/Cape Cod/Kettle?” If you’re anything like me, the answer is never. I mean NEVER. Anytime I’ve ever bought store-brand potato chips I find them disappointing and mediocre. If you know of a cheap, generic brand potato chips that can rival the brand names, let me know, because I haven’t found them.

Final Thoughts: If you enjoy potato chips, don’t mess around, let yourself actually enjoy the perfect balance of salt, flavor and crunchiness that this snack should be delivering.

So Good’s Verdict: Brand name.

What say you So Good readers? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments

[poll id=”125″]

8 Responses

  1. Sam

    Innocent steak dinner, Festival Foods brand potato chips, soggy, cast a pall over the entire evening, will never go back to generic.

  2. Peggy

    Definitely a lover of Kettle Brand chips… but I can’t say that we don’t indulge in an occasional grocery brand chip. Not as delicious, by far, but sometimes when you’re on a budget, sacrifices must be made. Or hell.. even homemade chips are better than brand most of the time =)

  3. Cynthia

    So I’m pretty cheap, and will buy store brand chips regularly, but when I’m really craving a certain type of chip, I will indulge in the Brand name chip, because, except for maybe the thin potato chips (which all taste the same), Brand is better.

  4. danielle

    Well – I think this definitely depends on what store brand you are buying. I’ve come to discover that two of my favorite types of potato chips are Wegman’s store brand and Target’s Archer Farms – in fact, pretty much anything Archer Farm is fantastic.

  5. red

    Tom’s store brand vinegar n salt chips are way better than Lay’s or Cape Cod’s salt n vinegar chips anyday.

  6. Eick

    @sloth Not really. I love second rate snacks, but they tend to compare one primary name-brand product (i.e. Cheez-its) to a lesser known imitator (i.e. Cheese Nips).

    The goal of this column is not to review one individual brand name product vs. one individual generic brand product, but rather explore the question of buying brand name vs. generic.

    When is it ok to ditch brand names for cost savings and when are you better off sticking with the brand name? The answer changes depending on the type of product in question.


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