"Generic brand or name brand?" That's the question everyone always asks. There are certain things, like pharmaceuticals, where generic is the same thing as name brand b/c of FDA regulations. With food and other consumer packaged goods though, it varies. You will get different answers on different products. Having worked for a food company for the past 5 years, I can tell you that yes, it does vary, based on the product. There is some cheese powder that we make for "generic" brand of mac & cheese that is better quality than our (K)raft blue-box mac & cheese. Marketing at my company, and most CPG companies, are tasked to build the brand, so that consumers will pay more for the name more than anything.
That being said, I'm a believer in Kirkland brand products at Costco, and firmly believe the quality is the same, if not better, than their name brand counterparts. Here's a list of my favorite Kirkland items:
10. Batteries - 48 AA batteries for $9.99, compare to the Duracell, 36 for $12.89.
9. Vitarain - Like Vitamin Water, but not the price? Try the 4 flavors of Vitarain, 24 20oz bottles for $11.99.
8. 13 gal kitchen drawstring bags - very strong bags, haven't had one break yet. 200 ct box for $14.79.
7. Boneless, skinless chicken breast (co-branded w/Tyson) - 6.5 lb frozen bag for $15.99, each chicken is individually wrapped, reduces freezer burn!
6. Chocolate chunk cookies - best cookies ever. 36 oz ~24 cookies for $6.49
5. Organic Instant Oatmeal - 45 packets of five flavors (Apples & Cinnamon, Oats & Flax, Regular, Mixed Berry, Maple Syrup) - my daily breakfast, much higher quality than Quaker. 45 packets for $8.99
4. Baby wipes - Box of 704 total wipes for $15.49. We also have used Huggies brand wipes, and I would argue that Kirkland wipes are better.
3. Laundry detergent - We use the free & clear detergent and it's great! 170 fl.oz or 110 loads for $12.79. It's great if you have any allergies b/c it has no perfumes or dyes, and it's also a nice substitute for baby laundry, instead of buying Dreft!
2. Rotisserie chicken - A quick, easy, yummy dinner choice that will last you a few meals. Price has gone up to $6.49, but still a great deal. Beats Boston Market anyday.
1. Toilet Paper - I'm not a fan of Charmin, it's crumbly, for lack of a better word (TMI?) Kirkland brand wipes smooth and is much more affordable at 36 rolls/425 sheets per roll for $16.99. #1 bestseller at Costco.
Feel free to add some of your favorites!