Brand Wars- Who do you trust?

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Virgil Evetts

It was nice to see that of the 85 local personalities who made it on to the 2009 Reader’s Digest New Zealand’s Most Trusted list are 2 Queens of the culinary world- Alison Holst at number 11 and Peta Mathias at number 36. Putting aside the fact that such lists are meaningless popularity contests, I can’t argue with the inclusion of the venerable Mrs Holst or Ms Mathais – both have contributed substantially to the local food industry and our knowledge of food. I’m not really sure this equates to trustworthiness though.  I respect them both immensely but that doesn’t mean I’d give them my spare house keys. Interestingly they are both placed well above either the current or previous Prime Ministers. Sounds about right.

What makes such surveys so nebulous is that they ask us to judge the merits of people we don’t know.  

So here at Foodlovers, I’d like to propose something a little more relevant to our predilections and upon which we are all qualified to comment:

What are the most trusted food brands in New Zealand?   

If I was going to guess I’d probably say- Watties, Sanitarium, Cadbury, Sealord, Anchor, Pams, but I’m basing that purely on supermarket shelf saturation. I could be way off.

As an adult, I’ve steadily moved away from blind brand loyalty and am moved more by value for money, country of origin, ingredients and of course, flavour.

But that’s just me.

Are you a brand groupie?

To which brands are you most loyal and why?

Tell me!!! 

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13 thoughts on “Brand Wars- Who do you trust?

  1. watties are consistantly good, better taste. i buy when on special.
    i find pams not so hot, you think they are cheap but the quality is not there.
    i dont buy cadburys any more, they are just too tricky for my liking.

  2. SusannahGreenslade Says:
    June 27th, 2009 at 12:28 pm Oh boy this is a favourite topic with me. I have always had a bias against conglomerates that swallow up competition which is why we have so few NZ companies left in the food market. I use many Home Brand products because of price and very good quality, the baked beans and spaghetti come from Italy!

    In response to the above post, I am glad you are bias against conglomerates but seem to have missed the connection between “home brand / supermarket label ” products and their contribution to the failing of New Zealand Manufacturing. Any company / product remotely successful in New Zealand is swiftly grabbed by the supermarkets and labeled as their own “budget range”. We all know it’s the same product, It is desperate times for NZ manufacture, they have no choice but to make these products for the supermarkets if for no better reason than to keep in favour with them …as now your competition has the power to de-range you from the supermarket (pure madness).. You will notice that all eye level shelving is now full of the supermarkets brands ….They have no concern over NZ manufacturing’s and no interest supporting it. When all of manufacturing in NZ is closed they will simply get the product made oversea’s and you as a consumer will have no choice !

  3. just recently I realised that my strength in my hands….and my brain to operate something as simple as a tin opener was becoming more than a niggle/problem. I now look for the ‘lift-rings’……luckily a couple of ‘brand-names’ are catching on.

    not only am I home alone….I am also carless….and too busy with other things to invest in a veg garden. I might try a few things in pots next year but then again my local garden shop is closing!

    i often buy items that a family of 6 never would due to the cost factor but that is because something like an expensive packet of fancy pasta from Italy will last me more than a few meals.

    i keep basics (not the brand) on hand for those times when I cannot get out to the shops….

    I don’t think I’m a ‘set brand buyer’ and not necessarily an ‘on special buyer’………more what I need NOW.

  4. Oh boy this is a favourite topic with me. I have always had a bias against conglomerates that swallow up competition which is why we have so few NZ companies left in the food market.I use many Home Brand products because of price and very good quality, the baked beans and spaghetti come from Italy! I don’t use too many canned products except fish and with most foods buy products to make from scratch, often because I’m wheat and lactose intolerant but also because then I know what product I’m using and for heaven’s sake how hard or time consuming is it to mash potatoes.I’ve always had a home veg garden but it’s more extensive now.
    I’ve always been a canny shopper too for economic necessity but will buy value for money and quality over cheap price.

  5. I used to only buy watties tinned fruit, but along with others, I have realised that it is not NZ fruit! Still only watties spag and baked beans, given up on Cadbury Cocoa (interesting thread on the foodlovers food forum about that. Edmonds for baking powder, soda and Cornflour. Signature rand/basics/pams for baking ingredients except brown sugar- chelsea has the best texture.
    Is there a brand of peaches in juice sold here that is a NZ product?

  6. I don’t think you can go by brands anymore. Watties is now part of the huge Heinz conglomerate and the Watties name is kept only as a marketing tool. People should read labels while shopping and look for the small print. I suggest until N.Z. gets the labelling of food correct avoid if possible, products that state made in N.Z from local or imported products, that tells you nothing. If you want to buy any frozen veges Talleys seem the best option. Just this morning in the supermarket I checked packets of the latest fad, instant frozen mashed potato, made in Belgium. Pams brand and Watties.It is a poor do if people can’t mash a few potatoes grown in N.Z. Watties are sourcing canned peaches and apricots from China,Spain and Sth Africa while our own growers have been sent to the wall financially.It is an outrage that our country, N.Z. that can grow a huge variety of fruit and veges have been treated this way.

  7. I used to trust Cadburys but I no longer buy their chocolate since the large bars have been reduced by 20% from 250 gm. to 200 gm. and the price has remained the same.

  8. I can be a bit of a snob. I only like Watties spaghetti and beetroot. But I like Pmas peanut Butter and ALOT of Home brand products that are fantastic but not overly looked at as they may come across as being “cheap and nasty”. Sometimes a top label such as Watties may not have the best quality for example the fruit that comes from China.. what a slap in the face for NZers…
    But in this day and age and with us having 2 young children, I do buy for price not brand.. well ok except for my bread (quality bakers or Tip top only) and beetroot and spaghetti..

  9. My husband and I have become very concious of brands and we want to know where our food comes from. We are concerned that so many of our N.Z food producers have been sent to the wall financially because of the cheap, inferior products imported, especially from China. You cannot tell by labels either , the label which says made in N.Z. from local or imported products tells you nothing. However if we want to buy a can of peaches for example we would choose Australian as they have better food labelling. We will not buy canned fruit from China, South Africa or Spain. we can grow a huge variety of fruit and veges in N.Z so why are we importing from those countries.

  10. Yes I must say I don’t read labels on every supermarket visit as it would take forever so I guess I do have brand loyalty – it is just that the loyalty has moved from the traditional to brands that I perceive to be more in line with what I want.

  11. Sort of, once I find a brand I like I often stick with it ie Barkers Jams, Sanitarium Weetbix, and then once I have read the label I try and stick with it, buying in bulk when on special.

    Barkers products are one that I like, being NZ made, relatively natural, and lovely flavours. I also tend to like the Kapiti products – cheese, icecream.

    And I tend to choose Sanitarium over Kelloggs or ETA because they are a NZ company although I know some of their peanut butter is from china.

  12. The monologue that runs through my brain while shopping tends to be something like this..

    in season? from New Zealand? sustainable? value for money? quality/quantity? organic? taste? fair trade? ingredients? can I make this from scratch?

    No one aspect has prominence as such, except for when it’s veges and fruit in which case I refuse to buy anything imported if I can avoid it. (Except stuff like ginger and bananas).

    So no, I’m not that loyal to brands per se.
    Having said that I am very loyal to Macs ginger beer and crisp apple soft drink. ;)

  13. This is a really interesting topic and one that has me thinking.
    As a mother and someone who cares about food I am now swayed hugely by brands that I trust in terms of country of origin and ingredient quality – eg.I always buy Ceres organic peanut butter as I trust that the peanuts will be of better quality than the “Made in China” varieties that rule the supermarket shelves.
    Like you Virgil I now tend to read labels and shop accordingly.