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Smart Consumer: Who's behind own-brand labels? You may be surprised!

Coca-cola, Avonmore, Brennans, Lucozade and Tayto; chances are at least some of these big brands feature on your weekly shopping list because they are the five biggest-selling grocery brands in Ireland.

And according to the Checkout Top 100 Brands Report 2011, these top five are the exact same as last year. That means we have remained loyal to the slice of Brennans bread and a glass of Coke.

But Checkout editor Stephen Wynne-Jones says: "Brand loyalty is not what it once was."

"In times of economic instability", explains Jones, "consumers are increasingly seeking out the best deals they can find."

And that means switching to own-brand.

Own-brand grocery products now account for 35% of market share. Just six years ago that share was just 9%.

This switch in loyalties is why you'll notice more regular special offers on branded products in supermarkets, as the big brands battle to keep our custom.

Own-brand products are usually cheaper but many people wonder will the quality and taste be as good.

Taste is subjective, but when it comes to quality all you can do is read the ingredient list and nutritional values to see what the product contains and decide from there.

All the supermarkets have different tiers of own brand products, with the quality rising when you get to the top tier, such as SuperValu's Supreme range, Tesco's Finest or Aldi's Specially Selected.

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But if you still hanker after a big brand, stop to consider this: Who makes the own-brand products?

It could be a small Irish producer making solely for the supermarket, or one also selling under their own name, or it could be one of the big brands you know and love.

Who makes what isn't advertised, but there is a way of checking what production plant meat and dairy products were produced in.

For example, take two cartons of milk or two packs of rashers, one big brand and one own-brand, and look at the origin code on the label (an oval with IE, a number and EC). If the number is the same then the production plant is the same, and so you know they were produced in the same place.

But that involves a bit of super-sleuthing. Here are just some of the names that make own-brand products.


Johnston, Mooney & O'Brien: Superquinn Essentials Bread; Lidl hot dog rolls; Dunnes burger buns

Irish Pride: (Some) Tesco bread

Pat the Baker: Superquinn (core) bread; Lidl granary bread; Dunnes scones


Glanbia: Tesco milk (some) and butter

Connacht Gold: Superquinn butter and cream

Town of Monaghan: Lidl creamery butter

North Cork Co-op: Centra butter

Irish Yogurts Ltd: Superquinn Essential; Aldi (some); Lidl premium; Centra luxury; Tesco (some)

Glenisk: Supervalu organic yogurts


Odlums: Aldi flour

Bewleys: Superquinn (core) tea; Aldi

Gem Pack: Tesco sugar, currants, raisins and more

Bachelors: Tesco; Dunnes

Kelkin: SuperValu muesli