First price products are often as good as the brands, sometimes even better, according to “What to choose”

In its November issue, UFC What to choose compares the nutritional quality of low-cost industrial products to that of their branded equivalent. Getty Images

In its November issue, the magazine What to choose compares the nutritional quality of entry-level products to that of their branded equivalent.

In the supermarket, should we opt for a branded product to eat well? At a time when inflation is affecting the country, the magazine What to choose (1) wanted to know if entry-level items were actually less healthy than their branded counterparts. After carrying out a comparative study, our colleagues found that the economic versions were not always worse than their more expensive equivalents.

“No less recommendable” recipes

The magazine of the French Union of consumers has thus compared the labels of twelve food categories, such as biscuits, mayonnaise, jams, brioches or even frozen pizzas. To do this, two criteria were taken into account: the Nutri-Score (the amount of saturated fatty acids, sugar, salt, fibre) and undesirable industrial ingredients, including the presence or absence of additives. Taste, a more subjective criterion, was not taken into account.

Race results? “In two-thirds of the families of foodstuffs evaluated, at least one first-price item has a recipe no less recommendable” than that of items from major brands. Lasagna lidl are thus “scrupulously identical to those of Married, notes the French Consumers’ Union. No wonder, they come from the same factory!”.

Some budget products are even better than branded ones. This is the case, for example, of the Lidl brioche at 2.90 euros, which obtains a better rating than that of the Harrys brand, at 4.23 euros.

The best option is to cook raw products

These results do not mean that “the products low-cost are of good quality,” say the authors, but they reveal that “mid-range brands are not above reproach.”

If it is therefore possible to spend less, without “necessarily degrading the nutritional quality”, the magazine recalls however that none of these “first price products is labeled organic or “without pesticide residue””. And insists: “cooking raw or minimally processed foods at home” remains the best way to reconcile budget and health.

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(1) The entire survey ofUFC What to choose can be found in the November issue, on newsstands now.


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