Nut bars are an increasingly popular food item across the supermarkets.
Nut bars are an increasingly popular food item across the supermarkets.

Supermarket home brands rated for value

OFTEN when we think of discount supermarkets we also think lesser quality.

When we do not recognise the brands, and are unfamiliar with the packaging we assume that the products found in the larger supermarket chains must be better, because they often cost more.

What if I was to tell you that this simply was not the case? In many cases the discount brands are not only cheaper but also better nutritionally.

Or in some cases it is exactly the same product being sold in different packaging.

Well this is the case with a number of our favourite grocery items and knowing can save you hundreds of dollars in shopping bills over the course of a year.

MULTIGRAIN BREAD

You’re better off paying a bit more at Coles and getting something with less sugar.
You’re better off paying a bit more at Coles and getting something with less sugar.

.

Aldi bread is the cheapest, but it has a lot more sugar.
Aldi bread is the cheapest, but it has a lot more sugar.

Bread, like milk continues to have cheaper and cheaper options for supermarket shoppers and you can find some home brand loaves for less than $1 a loaf.

When we compared the multigrain loaves at Aldi, Coles and Woolworths, the Aldi loaf contained added sugar, which is unusually in a bread giving it 4 per cent sugars compared to both the Coles and Woolworths loaves which contained just 2.5 per cent overall sugars.

The wholegrain content of the Aldi loaf was slightly higher at 20 per cent than the Coles loaf which contained 17 per cent wholegrains.

For less sugar in your loaf though you do pay more with the Coles and Woollies loaves found between $1.50-$2.00 per loaf and Aldi $1.49 per loaf.

MILK

But there is virtually no difference between full cream milk in any of the supermarkets.
But there is virtually no difference between full cream milk in any of the supermarkets.

.

You pay more for cows on the bottle.
You pay more for cows on the bottle.

Milk, is milk, is milk. While some varieties of milk may contain added vitamins, or are fortified with extra calcium, plain full cream milk does not differ between supermarket brands nutritionally and Aldi retails slightly cheaper than both Woolworths and Coles.

CHEESE

All sliced cheese is very similar nutritionally, although it might taste slightly different.
All sliced cheese is very similar nutritionally, although it might taste slightly different.

When you are considering your plain sliced cheddar, the truth is that there is little to no difference between the nutrition of Aldi and supermarket brand cheeses. This suggests that the cheese may actually be the exact same product, repackaged.

Cheese, is cheese, is cheese and while slightly different cheeses will yield different flavours, overall the nutritional profile is the same. Except at Aldi your packet of cheese slices is cheaper than the same sized product at Woolworths and Coles.

TOMATO SAUCE

While Coles and Woolies probably stock more varieties of sauce, their home brand versions are the same as Aldi’s.
While Coles and Woolies probably stock more varieties of sauce, their home brand versions are the same as Aldi’s.

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Aldi’s tomato sauce is virtually identical to Coles and Woolies options.
Aldi’s tomato sauce is virtually identical to Coles and Woolies options.

A popular family favourite â€" while there are lower salt and sugar varieties of tomato sauce of mainstream brands, when it comes to supermarket brands, the nutrition of the home brand tomato sauces are virtually identical.

SAUSAGES

It’s usually worth paying a bit more for meat for the leaner cuts, but surprisingly, Aldi sausages are the leanest and highest in protein.
It’s usually worth paying a bit more for meat for the leaner cuts, but surprisingly, Aldi sausages are the leanest and highest in protein.

When it comes to your meat, the truth is that spending extra on the wide range of extra trim and lean cuts found largely at Woolworths and of some Coles cuts is ideal nutritionally. When though we consider the family favourite a basic packet of sausages you are getting an extra 5 per cent meat in your Aldi sausages which means overall the sausages are lower in fat and higher and protein.

MUESLI

Coles muesli contains much more fruit than the other brands.
Coles muesli contains much more fruit than the other brands.

The number of breakfast cereals in any breakfast cereal aisle is confusing to say the least. A closer look at the labels of home brand fruit mueslis show that while the Aldi brand is lower in overall sugars, this is largely as it has a lower overall fruit content than both the Coles and Woolworths muesli with Aldi containing 11.7 per cent fruit, Coles 35 per cent fruit and Woolworths 22 per cent fruit.

From a price perspective this means when it comes to home brand muesli when you pay more, you get more fruit.

NUT BARS

Woolies nut bars have the highest sugar content, and are also the highest priced.
Woolies nut bars have the highest sugar content, and are also the highest priced.

The range of nut bars available in supermarkets is growing and it can be difficult to differentiate between the different brands. Some products have a mix of nuts and fruit, others chocolate and some are just peanut based bars.

Aldi Fruit and Nut bars contained the highest proportion of nuts with 49 per cent mixed nuts, followed by Coles with 45 per cent just peanut and Woolworths 44 per cent nuts.

All bars contained added sugars while Aldi came in with the lowest percentage of overall sugars with 20.8 per cent versus 28.4 per cent and 31.4 per cent sugars for the Woolworths Fruit & Nut bars.

Yet the Aldi products remain slightly cheaper than Coles at $2.49 versus $2.65 and than that of Woolworths which sell at $4.00 for four bars.

Susie Burrell is a dietitian and nutritionist. Follow her on Twitter @SusieBDiet



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