You’re shopping for groceries, and like any smart shopper, you’re comparing prices.
A jar of Jif peanut butter costs $2.48, the one from Skippy costs $2.42, and then there’s Great Value. That one is only $1.32.
Everyone has heard of Jif and Skippy, but Great Value doesn’t have the same name recognition.
Is Great Value a good brand? How can it be so much cheaper than the others?
If you’ve ever wondered about Great Value or any other store brand, like Equate or Kirkland, this article is for you. We’ll look at what Great Value is, whether you should buy it, and what Great Value brand products are the best.
What is the Great Value brand?
Great Value is a private-label brand sold at Walmart.
That means the products are manufactured by third parties but branded Great Value and sold exclusively at Walmart. Private-label products make a lot of money for Walmart. In the consumer packaged goods (CPG) category, 19% of sales are from Great Value and other Walmart private-label brands.
Launched in 1993, Great Value is Walmart’s biggest private brand, earning more than $27 billion a year in sales.
What’s the difference between Great Value and name brands?
Great Value products are similar to name-brand products. Many are even made by the same manufacturers. But there are two major differences.
First, Great Value brand products can only be found at Walmart. Second — and most important for most shoppers — Great Value products are generally cheaper than name brand products.
Where are Great Value brand products manufactured?
Great Value products are made by third-party manufacturers — often the same manufacturers that make products for other major brands.
The products aren’t all manufactured by the same company, and it’s not always clear who the manufacturer is.
Here are a few that we do know:
- The Great Value peanut butter we mentioned earlier is made by ConAgra, the same company that makes Peter Pan peanut butter.
- Great Value bread and coffee is made by Sara Lee.
If you think a Great Value product looks or tastes exactly like your favorite name brand product, it might just come from the same production line.
Is Walmart getting rid of Great Value?
The rumor mill occasionally claims that Walmart plans to eliminate Great Value brand products. While individual items may be dropped sometimes, there’s no evidence that Walmart wants to scrap the Great Value brand altogether.
Is Great Value a good brand?
As we mentioned above, Great Value and other private-label products are often made by the same manufacturers as name-brand products. They may even be identical items in different packaging.
In other words, you don’t have to worry about generic brands being of lower quality.
So why are they so cheap?
When you buy a name-brand product, you’re paying for name recognition. The parent companies of national brands invest a lot in research, development, and advertising. Store brands usually don’t, so they can charge less.
You shouldn’t hesitate to buy Great Value products just because they’re a generic brand.
9 top Great Value brand products
Most Great Value products are of decent quality and comparable to name brands. Some especially popular products have a reputation for being better than the national brand products.
Let’s look at nine Great Value products you should be buying.
Great Value Milk
It’s increasingly common for consumers to use shopping list apps to plan their purchases. An analysis of these apps found that Great Value milk is the most popular item that shoppers plan to buy.
That’s not surprising — skipping the name-brand version of everyday food staples can be a big money saver.
Great Value Mac and Cheese
Fans of Great Value Mac and Cheese think it’s even better than the famous brands like Kraft and Velveeta.
Need more evidence? When reporters at cleveland.com did a taste test of 122 varieties of mac and cheese, two Great Value flavors made the top 15.
Great Value Coffee Pods
The convenience of coffee pods isn’t always worth the price, but Great Value’s pods are both affordable and tasty. They come in classic types like French roast and fun flavors like pumpkin spice and donut shop.
Great Value Paper Towels
Great Value offers more than food products. Its Great Value Ultra Strong paper towels perform well and are typically less than half the price of brands like Brawny.
“Today’s Parent” reviewed the paper towels, saying that one sheet held over seven teaspoons of water without dripping, making it the most absorbent paper towel they tested.
Great Value Toaster Pastries
The Great Value answer to Pop-Tarts has a lot of enthusiastic fans. Satisfied consumers point to the doughier crust and thick filling as reasons to buy Great Value toaster pastries instead of Pop-Tarts.
Best-selling flavors include frosted cherry and frosted cookies and cream.
Great Value Cereals
If there’s a popular cereal you love, you can probably find a store-brand version that costs less.
For example, instead of Honey Nut Cheerios, you could buy Great Value Honey Nut O’s, and instead of Rice Crispies, you could get Great Value Rice Crisps.
Great Value Chips
Great Value sells a wide variety of delicious chips for snacking. Most are comparable to a particular name brand product. For example, Great Value Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips taste like Doritos.
Great Value Flour
There’s no reason to pay for name recognition on basic baking supplies like flour or sugar. Great Value products work just as well and cost less. Five pounds of all-purpose flour from Great Value usually costs less than half of what flour from brand names like Gold Medal cost.
Great Value Trail Mix
From tropical to Tex-Mex, Great Value has a trail mix flavor for everyone. Trail mix is another Great Value product that many people think is better than the name-brand alternatives.
Other private-label brands like Great Value
Great Value isn’t the only store brand you should consider buying.
Private labels are a big part of shopping. In grocery stores, they make up 21% of CPGs. In value grocery stores, the majority of CPGs are private label.
The list below covers just a few private labels with high-quality, affordable items.
Sam’s Choice is another of Walmart’s brands. However, Walmart has prioritized Great Value, so many Sam’s Choice products have switched over. For example, Sam’s Choice brand sodas (like Mountain Lightning and Dr. Thunder) have now become Great Value.
Equate is also a Walmart private label, but it focuses on pharmacy and health items. Equate used to be an independent brand but is now sold exclusively at Walmart.
Kirkland is a Costco store brand. Like Great Value and other private labels, some Kirkland products are manufactured by recognizable brands.
With Kirkland, that’s not always a secret. For example, the Kirkland coffee packaging boasts that it’s roasted by Starbucks. Kirkland Cranberry Juice bears the Ocean Spray label.
Simply Nature is a store brand from Aldi. It promises that all Simply Nature products are organic or non-GMO verified.
In 2020, 80 Simply Nature foods earned the Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem.
365 by Whole Foods Market
365 is a brand sold by Whole Foods, which Amazon owns. The brand was originally called 365 Everyday Value.
The 365 brand is concerned with both health and ethics. Some of its products include fair trade coffee and cage-free eggs.
Target loves its private-label brands. The retailer has 48 store brands across categories that include food, clothing, electronics, and home goods.
Great Value may not be considered a name-brand, but it’s a successful brand in its own right. Buying Great Value products is an excellent way to save money without sacrificing quality.
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