7 times you should buy the Walmart house brand — and 6 times you should skip it

  • Walmart has dozens of house brands in several industries, including food, clothing, and house supplies.
  • But not all of Walmart’s store brands are of equal quality.
  • We asked experts which of Walmart’s house brands were worth a purchase, and which ones you should skip.

Walmart has dozens of generic brands that sell everything from food and medicine to clothing and household supplies.

Among all those products are some gems that are superior to their name-brand equivalents. Meanwhile, in some cases, you’d be better off going with the more famous name.

We asked retail experts about some of the best and worst products Walmart’s house brands have to offer.

Here’s a look at what to buy and what to skip.


Buy: Coffee from Mash-Up

Even coffee snobs will love this line of organic coffee made by a roaster in Colorado. Mash-Up, produced by Boyer’s Coffee and available exclusively at Walmart, sells for $US6.98 for an 11-ounce bag – about the same price as Starbucks coffee, but far superior in taste and quality.


Skip: Supplements from Spring Valley

YouTube/James Chuaycham

Supplements are poorly regulated, and in a 2015 investigation led by the New York Attorney General, only 4% of Walmart supplements tested showed DNA from the plants listed on the labels. A number of contaminants were also identified in the Spring Valley products.


Buy: Wine from Winemakers Selection

Walmart

Launched just a few months ago, Winemakers Selection sells bottles of wine for around $US11 that the brand claims drink like a $US30 to $US40 bottle. They can, of course, afford to do this because of their sales volume.


Skip: Toilet paper from Great Value

Steven Depolo/Flickr

In this case you get what you pay for. Consumer Reports found that Walmart’s Great Value toilet paper fared the worst in their testing of toilet papers. The report found that the toilet paper wasn’t strong or soft, and it scored just 9 out of 100.


Buy: Home furniture from Modrn

MoDRN

Launched in February of this year Modrn is a way for Walmart to attract customers that wouldn’t ordinarily be shopping at Walmart. The brand is focused on higher-end finishes – like velvet, performance leather upholstery fabrics, and Carrara marble – sold at affordable prices.

Prices range from $US700 to $US899 for sofas, $US599 to $US649 for beds, $US20 to $US60 for barware, and $US199 to $US699 for indoor and outdoor dining tables and chairs.


Skip: Junk food from Great Value

Walmart

Great Value offers knock-offs of most of the popular junk food options, but you have to look at package sizes carefully as you’re not always getting value.

Take for example their Great Value Twist & Shout Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, an Oreo imitation that retails for about $US2 and comes in a 15.5-ounce box. While actual Oreos may retail for around $US3.50, those come in a 19.1-ounce box, making the price difference marginal.


Buy: Medication from Equate

“By law, over the counter and generic drugs must be similar to their brand name counterparts,” certified financial planner Reshell Smith told Business Insider. “The FDA says these drugs are required to have the same active ingredients, strength, and dosage as the brand name. Consumers can take comfort in using Equate brand medications as they tend to be regulated by law and the effects of the medication should be equal to the name brand.”


Skip: Trash bags from Great Value

Shutterstock/gypsy.aiko

Walmart’s house brand rips through … every time,” Lauri Knutson, founder of Knutson’s Travel Port, told Business Insider. “Buy higher-quality trash bags from Glad and avoid leaks and rips.”


Buy: Leggings from Athletic Works

Walmart

“Not only inexpensive, but Athletic Works leggings can be taken from the gym to the couch,” Bianca Klotsman, a nutritionist and founder of Holistic RX, told Business Insider. She particularly likes this $US8 Dri More Core pair.

“These are made from a comfortable, movable, and breathable full-length material and they come in a few colours – very simple and basic staple,” she said.


Skip: Yoga mat from Athletic Works

Shutterstock/fizkes

Not everything is a winner from Athletic Works. “This mat may be inexpensive at around $US8, but it’s not the best choice for practicing yoga since it’s made of a thin, slippery material which will likely make your savasana not as relaxing or your flow as graceful as it could be,” Klotsman said.


Buy: Plus-size fashion

YouTube/Reis World

Last year Walmart launched a number of fashion driven initiatives, including four new private apparel brands for women, men, and kids: Time and Tru(sizes XS to XXXL),Terra & Sky (specifically plus size with a range that covers 14W to 30W), Wonder Nation (a children’s brand available in sizes 4 to 18), and George (a men’s brand offered in S to XXXL).


Buy: White chicken chilli from Sam’s Choice

YouTube/Food Wishes

A six-pack of this Walmart-original soup costs $US15, making it a frugal choice with decent nutritional value.

The white chicken chilli with beans soup is high in fibre and protein, a combination that will keep you feeling full for a long time meaning you won’t be tempted to snack in between lunch and dinner,” nutritionist Neda Varbanova told Business Insider.


Skip: Chicken tortilla soup from Sam’s Choice

YouTube/James Strange

But be careful! Not all of Sam’s Choice soup options are good picks. Their Chicken Tortilla Soup, for example, has 170 calories, seven grams of fat, 660 milligrams of sodium, and only nine grams of protein per cup.

Varbanova says to stay away.

“This soup has two servings, so double that, and it’s quite caloric without much added benefit,” she said.

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