As we know, distributor brands or “white brands” are less expensive. But does that mean that they are of lower quality? According to Test Achats, no. The association has tested more than 1,500 products, and white labels are on average of better quality. Explanations and examples.
In the fresh section, they rub shoulders. On one side: buffalo mozzarella from a major brand. On the other: that of a private label. To know which one to choose: we ask Lorenzo, an Italian. “By reflex, I would choose the big brand, but I would tend to want to try the one that is unknown and maybe it costs half the price”he confides.
According to Test-Achats, in any case, it is the private label that wins this duel. The consumer protection association tested 1,534 products. Average: “Sub-brand” products are of higher quality than more well-known brands. An observation that is not always obvious in stores.
To compare: Test-Achats looks in particular at the list of ingredients. For mozzarella, they are identical.
“All of our tests are product-specific. For mozzarella, five things are tested: labelling, composition, taste, authenticity and microbiology,” explains Lisa Mailleux, spokesperson for Test Achats.
Second example, in another store. On one side: spaghetti from a major brand. On the other: private label organic spaghetti. “If the pasta of a very good brand is on sale, I will take it. But the brand does not always determine the quality”says a customer.
It is sometimes rather a question of reputation, since in terms of quality, organic under-brand spaghetti wins this duel, according to Test-Achats.
The game continues even outside the food aisles. For a detergent, for example: the private label wins hands down. For some products, the biggest difference will indeed be the price.
Comparison of around 1,500 products
The consumer organization has therefore carried out over the past five years the comparison of approximately 1,500 products from distributors and brands. It shows that, in addition to a price difference of 51%, the quality of distributor products is slightly higher than that of branded products.
To reach this conclusion, the organization reviewed the tests conducted over the past five years. These are a total of 92 tests (38 in food, 30 hygiene products and 24 maintenance products) and a total of 1,534 products (731 food, 427 hygiene and 376 maintenance). It therefore emerges from this analysis that the quality of private label products (68/100) is superior to that of (inter)national brand products (62/100).