We compared 5 Wegmans-brand products with their name-brand counterparts and saw why the regional grocer's brand is worth the hype
- Wegmans is a beloved regional grocer with a cult-like following with stores in New England and the mid-Atlantic.
- The company sells a variety of products under its own in-house brand, which shoppers rave about.
- The Wegmans-brand products are usually marked with labels that say "Organic" or Wegmans "Food You Feel Good About," which mean the food has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
- We compared five Wegmans products to their name-brand counterparts to see which was better, and the regional grocer won almost every time.
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There are a lot of reasons to love Wegmans.
For some Wegmans-lovers - or Wegmaniacs, as they are sometimes called - the grocer's in-house brands are enough of a reason to shop at the chain, which has just over 100 locations.
"Wegmans brand products are abundant, well-priced, and exceed quality expectations for a store brand!" said Cheri McDonald, an ex-Wegmans employee and self-described Wegmaniac. "There are many products you can only find at Wegmans; some because they are native to Rochester, [New York] (or other nearby areas) and some because they are original to Wegmans."
The Wegmans-brand products are usually marked with labels that show that items are either organic or part of the Wegmans "Food You Feel Good About" label, which has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
We tested products from the Wegmans-brand and their name-brand counterparts in a five-part head-to-head to see if the Wegmans brand was really worth all the hype.
True to its reputation, the Wegmans brand did not disappoint and beat out the name-brand almost every time.
Here was our experience:
We started the comparison by picking up items from the Wegmans store in Brooklyn, New York. We bought all the Wegmans-brand products there and even picked up a few of the name-brand products as well.
Then we picked up the rest at a local Target in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood.
We tried to find products there that were comparable to the Wegmans products.
All in all, we picked up five products from each brand group. Now that everything was bought, we started tasting.
1. PEANUT AND ALMOND BUTTER CUPS — We couldn't find any peanut butter cups under the Wegmans brand, so we settled on some almond butter cups that cost a whopping $9.99.
We compared those to Reese's miniature cups, a beloved fan favorite that we also picked up Wegmans for $3.99.
For this comparison, we had Business Insider's Irene Jiang do the tasting. She said that the Wegmans-brand cup was incredibly rich and the chocolate was incomparable, though the cup shape fell apart the moment she bit into it.
In contrast, she said that the chocolate in the Reese's cup was flimsy and the peanut butter was clearly of lower quality.
WINNER: Wegmans — Though the Wegmans brand was more expensive and was not a true peanut butter cup, the snack beat out the name-brand favorite for its decadent, high-quality chocolate.
2. CEREAL — It's hard to beat out a classic like General Mills' Honey Nut Cheerios, but we still decided to put the Wegmans brand to the test.
The Wegmans cereal was made in an "O" shape, but it was vanilla-flavored as opposed to honey.
The Honey Nut Cheerios had a higher calorie count than the Wegmans-brand but cost slightly less.
The pieces in the name-brand cereal were smaller and tasted more densely packed. The Wegmans-brand cereal was airier and a bit sweeter.
While we liked the way the Cheerios were toasted, something about the Wegmans cereal made us hungry for more.
WINNER: Wegmans — Here, the underdog took the cake. We couldn't get enough of the understated, airy Wegmans alternative to a classic breakfast.
3. PITA CHIPS — In a head-to-head with this snack from Trader Joe's, Wegmans won, though by a subtle margin. For this comparison, we picked up the classic Stacy's-brand chips.
Admittedly, we were nervous we wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two brands when we initially opened the bags.
As we expected, there was basically no discernible difference between the two chips. When it came to taste, the story was practically the same.
Upon closer inspection, we saw that the Stacy's chips looked a bit more toasted than the Wegmans ones and also had a slightly lower calorie count.
WINNER: Tie — The difference in taste between the two, if any, was so subtle, that we decided to call it a tie between the two pita chips brands.
4. HUMMUS — We opted for the smaller version of Sabra's classic hummus to pit against the Wegmans brand.
The Sabra hummus definitely had that classic hummus taste. It also had more movement and seemed like it could spread easily.
The Wegmans hummus was stiffer and creamier in texture, but the taste was completely unique and unlike any hummus we had ever tasted.
WINNER: Wegmans — The compact Wegmans hummus won us over with its lemon-infused taste and creamy texture.
5. GRANOLA — For this comparison, we went with Nature Valley's classic honey and oats granola versus Wegmans coconut and baobab granola.
Both bags looked about the same size and had similar design elements. The calorie count for the Nature Valley granola was only slightly higher than the Wegmans-brand granola.
The name-brand granola came in slightly larger chunks overall and the sweetness of the honey taste was immediately overwhelming from the first bite.
In terms of texture, both brands packed a powerful crunch.
WINNER: Wegmans — The name-brand granola could not compete with the Wegmans coconut and baobab-flavored granola, which had the perfect blend of sweet and savory.
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