You’ve all heard of the famous brand names Coca-Cola, Sprite, Pepsi, Fanta, etc. These sodas are available in just about every store you go to. They have made such a name for themselves that you don’t consider any other brands for your regular fill of carbonation.
But what if you discovered that the generic sodas you see in stores like Walmart and Target are cheaper and might be just as good as the famous brand-name sodas?
Here’s all you need to know about store-brand sodas and how good they are.
Do store-brand sodas taste the same as brand-name sodas?
Although some store-brand sodas may be similar in taste to the brand name soda, they taste different for several reasons.
Many famous soda brands are out there, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, 7UP, etc. All of these brands have a distinct taste that consumers love. This particular taste comes from unique recipes that are kept secret from the world as it gives them an edge over regular store-brand sodas.
However, sometimes the difference in taste isn’t much. Some store brands can replicate the taste as closely as possible to the original brand. If you are an ardent consumer of sodas, you could probably taste the difference between the two types of soda. But other times, the brand name and equity make people prefer brand-name sodas instead.
The brand equity of a brand is how consumers perceive it. It can be either positive or negative. More often than not, the brand equity of brand-name sodas and products compels consumers to go for them, not the taste. Your first thought may always be that the more expensive something is, the better.
However, that isn’t always the case. Try taste tests between store-brand sodas and brand-name sodas to determine which you prefer. Suppose you end up liking the former or even find them acceptable. In that case, you could save a lot of money whenever you need to cut down on expenses.
The best and worst store-brand sodas you can buy
Sam’s Cola and Mountain Splash are considered some of the best store-brand sodas. In contrast, Summit Cola and Mountain Explosion have been considered some of the worst.
Sam’s Cola is a Walmart product. Many blind taste tests resulted in this soda being deemed the closest thing to Coca-Cola compared to other products. Similarly, Mountain Splash is a Publix product and is considered a worthy runner-up to the actual Mountain Dew soda.
On the other hand, Summit Cola is a cola-flavored soda by Aldi. Although some Aldi products are considered decent, their cola is not one of them, and it’s said to have an acrid smell and taste. Similarly, Mountain Explosion by Clover Valley is another product that consumers found unappealing, with its pungent taste and smell comparable to dishwashing liquid.
In the end, everyone has their preferences in taste. Some of these choices might be something you agree with, while some might not.
Store-brand sodas that hit the spot – top 10 store brands ranked
Although everyone’s taste buds and preferences differ, there is a consensus about the top store-brand sodas. Sam’s Cola, Mountain Splash, and Dr. Perky are some of the best.
This store-brand soda is undoubtedly one of the best cola-flavored sodas in the market. Sold at Walmart, it has been described as having a very similar flavor to Coca-Cola, except with less carbonation and more sweetness. Unlike the other sodas, it doesn’t leave a bad aftertaste which is a bonus amongst consumers.
This soda by Publix is a particular favorite amongst consumers. In many blind tests, it was mistaken for Mountain Dew itself. It has a lot of carbonation and a citrusy aftertaste which you can’t get enough of. Combined with its lower price, it’s fierce competition for Dew!
Dr. Perky, the store-brand soda by Food Lion, has a similar taste to the famous soda brand Dr. Pepper. Although considered too sweet by some, it is one of the market’s most popular store brand names.
Like Dr. Perky, this soda tastes similar to Dr. Pepper. It is a product by Winn Dixie and compared to Dr. Pepper and Dr. Perky, it is said to be less sweet, which some people prefer.
Summit’s Citrus Twist is a store-brand soda that could rival 7UP and Sprite. It has a citrus and zesty taste, much like the popular brand-name sodas. The only significant difference is that it contains less carbonation and is on the sweeter side, making it a more appropriate comparison to Sprite instead of 7UP.
365 Root Beer
This root beer soda drink is produced by Whole Foods, which is a bit pricier than the other items on this list. However, this root beer drink is healthier than most other sodas. It doesn’t contain any sweetener like high fructose syrup and is free of sodium. It might not have as rich a taste as different root beers, but its health-conscious aspect gives it an edge over others.
This off-brand soda is an alternative to 7UP, although not as good as the original. It is produced by Great Value, has a more subdued taste, and is less sweet, making it less like Sprite. It also has less carbonation but is a decent soda for the lower price.
Wild Red Soda
Wild Red Soda by H-E-B is a citrus cream soda reminiscent of Big Red. You might not have heard of Big Red, but it’s a prevalent brand name in Texas. Wild Red Soda has a similar taste, except it’s sweeter and has a more robust cream soda flavor. It’s sometimes preferable to consumers than Big Red for those reasons.
This soda might be it if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Orange Fanta. Orange Soda by Publix is one of the few acceptable orange-flavored store-brand sodas. It has less of a kick than the original Fanta and is a lot sweeter. Still, it’s a good option if you’re craving something orange-flavored for less money.
Very few Ginger Ale store-brand sodas are popular, but this soda might be a good fit for you. Produced by Signature Select, this ginger ale soda is heavier on the ginger side and has a powerful kick. However, it might not be the best if you prefer your ginger ale to be sweet and less intense. You could either love it or hate it.
Is it much cheaper to buy store-brand soda?
Store-brand sodas are always cheaper than brand-name sodas for multiple reasons.
According to Business Insider, store-brand products are cheaper than brand-name products by an average of 25 percent. Thus, you can save a lot of money if you buy store-brand sodas, especially in bulk.
Store-brand sodas are usually cheaper because they don’t spend millions on marketing and advertising, unlike brand-name sodas. They also pay much less on packaging and research.
However, store-brand products have a bad rep that dates back to the ’70s. Back then, the economy struggled, making it hard to buy brand-name items. As a result, people were forced to buy store-brand products which were inferior in quality. Still, due to being cheap, they were necessary alternatives.
Today, however, store-brand items can be just as good as the brand name, perhaps even better in some cases. For example, in the case of store-brand sodas, a lot of taste tests resulted in consumers liking the product. So, even if there is a distinction between them and brand-name sodas, store-brand sodas proved to be a good alternative whenever you need to cut costs.
Is there a list of generic sodas’ actual manufacturers?
There is yet to be a list of manufacturers for all store-brand sodas readily available. However, brands famous for generic soda production may have the required information on their websites.
Certain brands are well-known for producing off-brand sodas. These include Food Lion, Aldi, Publix, and Great Value, among many others. You can find information on each of the store brand websites. If not, you can find lists of these generic sodas at stores like Walmart, which sell them in bulk. You might even see them on the Walmart website.
There are also regional companies, such as Monarch Beverage Company which are famous for lesser-known sodas. This company has a list of sodas and other drinks it manufactures that you can sift through on the website.
There are a lot of store-brand sodas that might be possible alternatives to brand-name sodas. Sure, they might not be as good, but if you’re looking to save up or spend less on fizzy drinks, they can be a viable option.
Who knows? You might end up liking the store brand more than the actual popular brand!