Sounds good

Tesco has discontinued some of its own-brand products after an investigation found that they are the exact same items as cheaper alternatives.

The Creamfields and ‘Grower’s Harvest’ product ranges are marketed as distinct from Tesco’s own-brand product ranges and tend to be sold at higher prices.

However a review of the batch codes from some comparable products from the different ranges show they are in fact produced at the same factories.

Further examination revealed that the contents of the products also appeared to be identical, meaning that the only differences were the branding and cost to the customer, an investigation by BBC One’s Morning Live has found.

Selling the same thing at a higher price – what’s not to like?

Well, OK, you might not want everyone knowing about it but……

25 thoughts on “Sounds good”

  1. Well done BBC One, only 25 years late to that realisation. License fee is clearly well spent for such an important, informative institution.

  2. “…..the contents of the products also appeared to be identical, meaning that the only differences were the branding and cost to the customer”,

    Which rather defines the BBC’s output when compared to self-funding alternatives.

  3. I buy UHT milk and recently bought Creamfields semiskinned milk from Tescos and it was about 30p cheaper than the Tesco own brand equivalent product.

  4. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    Grower’s harvest?

    Is someone in marketing having a larf at Tesco shoppers’ expense, or do I have a dirty Monday morning mind?

  5. As a Tesco shopper, I’d always assumed those were the budget lines — the Creamfields mozzarella and Grower’s Harvest oats being cheaper than the own-branded equivalents.

  6. @ John Lewis

    LOL – although one might argue the sewage spewing forth from the BBC was of lower quality than commercial rivals.

  7. Yeah well. Labels. There is rarely much connections between labels & manufacturers. I once owned a Pierre Cardin trenchcoat style raincoat, cost a mint. Made by an industrial overall manufacturer in Nottingham.

  8. I used to work in a factory that used to put the same products into differently branded boxes.

    I mainly shop at asda where the Asda brand products are generally the cheapest. A very long time ago supermarkets own brand stuff was of inferior quality but not nowadays. Even ‘Asda Smart Price’ stuff, which they are practically giving away, is reasonable.

  9. Hell 20 yrs ago I knew Duracell made tesco brand batteries. Some people really do buy the brand packaging because of other people. I still shake my head when my other half is worried other people will laugh or think less of her. I try to explain they likely have more important things in their lives that what she buys

  10. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    “I try to explain they likely have more important things in their lives that what she buys”

    And if they don’t then they are people whose views you should discount (pun intended).

  11. Like Stonyground, I did some student work at a food factory. Different packages turned up, but whether it was “Safeway chocolate mousse” or “Tesco Taste the Difference” or “budget cheap stuff”, the only difference was the shape and colour of container that 500ml of chocolate-flavoured frothy sludge was being measured into and the printing on the lids I was fitting.

    At no point did a change of container require “pause the line, clean down the machine, this is the good stuff not the cheap crap”…

    Left me somewhat cynical about branding ever since…

  12. Creamfields and Grower’s Harvest are basically Tesco brands (used to be “Tesco Value”) that are intentionally *cheaper* than the own-brand Tesco stuff. I’m not sure why the Telegraph says they’re more expensive, sloppy reporting by someone at the paper who has never been into a Tesco let alone shopped in their bottom-of-the-market range perhaps?

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    My experience of no-brand batteries is that they are truly garbage. It is something I will pay more for just because of the label. It may just be the sort of no-label items around my way.

    Not quite the same thing but when I was younger I made a small effort to drink Coke from all around the world. It was not exactly the same but with even a moderate amount of rum I couldn’t tell the difference. I got one from Georgia. No, not that one. The other one.

    However people who buy the label are paying for something. It may seem foolish to people who don’t care but a lot of people do care. There is a difference between coming home with bags that have Aldi written on them and those that have Waitrose.

    TW may not get a lot of people who care but you only have to flip the script a little. A Mondeo is a good car from any practical point. Who would want to drive one? Well I would be fine with it but my neighbours would sneer and I bet very few people here would want to. But if you stuck a Jaguar label on it, called it an X-type who would have a problem with it? In the same way, a lot of Skodas these days are exactly the same car as a better brand. It matters to some people.

  14. A few jobs ago I worked for a candle manufacturer, and we deliberately kept two distinct brands going. Our own brand was sold in our own stores as well as a range of smaller outlets. Our other brand was what we allowed the supermarkets to sell at a lower price. The product that went into the boxes was identical apart from the labels.
    This was a deliberate policy to avoid devaluing our main brand on which there was “a reasonable markup” 😉 Or put another way, we didn’t want our main brand heavily discounted in the supermarkets and thus make it harder to charge the full price elsewhere.

  15. @SMFS.. To quote an old (rather gay) mate from the motor-trade… “A Jaguar X-Type is just a Mondeo in a party-frock”.

    Nowadays I drive a Mondeo, it’s a bloody-good, competent motor-car that’s comfortable, reliable, economical for its size, drives well and doesn’t cost a fortune to run. I don’t give a toss about others “sneering” at me, I’m old, retired, and comfortable. I don’t need to present “an image” to the world, and frankly the old reflexes aren’t really up to driving anything blindingly quick any more.

    I speak as an ex-petrolhead. Over the years “the stable” has included a few Astons, Porsches, one Ferrari (ghastly vehicle, but looked a million-dollars) Lotus, etc., so I reckon I’m in a reasonable position to judge. I also don’t miss the attention I used to get from “plod”! 🙂

  16. Jason Lynch,

    Automated production changed everything. When you can have a robot welding a car for less than even the cheapest people, everyone gets a car that’s welded properly. Someone figures out the machinery, software, processes, and keeps copying it. The copying costs almost nothing.

    The thing with premium branding is that if you do it right, it’s like printing money. High fixed cost in creating an image of the brand, but if it works, you add 10% to every product. All those ridiculous high fashion shows for Chanel, features in Vogue are about creating an aura that eventually leads to people paying £400 for a pair of sunglasses with a logo on that cost no more than Boots ones to make. That’s where people like Chanel make their real money, not clothes.

  17. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    “A few jobs ago I worked for a candle manufacturer…”

    Was that before or after you moved to the buggy-whip manufacturer?

  18. If I were in the market for a brand new car I’d start by assessing those with a seven year warranty. It means the manufacturer has a bit of faith in its product.

  19. So Much For Subtlety said:
    “There is a difference between coming home with bags that have Aldi written on them and those that have Waitrose.”

    Yes, about forty quid on a trolley-load.

    But I don’t mind; it’s their money, they can spend it on whatever helps their pursuit of happiness.

  20. For years I have suspected that Aldi and Lidl are in fact the same store

    Their own brand products have virtually identical packaging- cartons jars etc. The only difference is the label

  21. Starfish: I buy fresh orange juice, it comes in exactly the same 1lt bottle from wherever, if the quality varies that seems to be due to variation in oranges in season than where I buy it. Lidl price £1.65, Waitrose last time I was there £3.20.

    dearieme. I recently replaced my oil boiler, a choice of a newly introduced model with a ten-year warranty or the older model from the same manufacturer with five-year warranty. The premium price for the new model had dropped since I first sought a quote the year before, it is now only £100 extra. The question the installer was unable to answer: is there a longer warranty because you have great faith in the new improved model, or because no one really trusts this new technology version?

  22. Having worked in food manufacturing I can also attest to the same product different box mentioned above.
    However I’d also point out that sometimes there are differences, with the same ingredients list you can make both a cheap, standard or premium product by varying quantities, often only a small amount. The process of looking at the contents and ingredients list doesn’t work, though the items where they had the same batch numbers they should have them bang to rights, assuming it’s a production batch number.

  23. dearieme,

    They all last 7 years. The reason Kia did a 7 year warranty is that a new brand needs to get people buying and they don’t have the word of mouth, which is what gets people to trust a new brand: you meet two mates who say their Skodas have been fine, then you’re more likely to buy a Skoda.

    That said, I’m considering a Kia. They depreciate pretty hard, so 4 year old ones are £7K, and you get 3 years of warranty. And I don’t care about depreciation. I drive cars until they die.

  24. A Mondeo is a good car from any practical point. Who would want to drive one?

    Err, me too. I had a Mondeo station wagon for nearly a decade. Great car. Would buy again. AAAA++++++

    I did a calculation that in my lifetime I have saved about $100,000 by buying good* but uncool cars and keeping them about twice as long as the average person on my income. My wife similarly. Which might help explain why I have no mortgage by my friends too. YMMV.

    * I prefer buying cars that were top end originally, but are a little old. So I get nice quality (leather seats, good stereos) wrapped in uncool boxes.

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