Are you the fan of a certain brand?

My answer: yes and no. Yes when it comes down to the  ingredients I bake with (though sometimes left with no other choice) and no to the other things I buy at the supermarket. Some brands have somehow cornered the market on baking ingredients. Take canned pumpkin, for example. What name comes to mind? Libby‘s. Does anyone know of any other brand or of a store brand of canned pumpkin? Or how about a different brand of sweetened condensed milk than Eagle Brand? It is amazing that these brands seem to have a monopoly on the products they make. Can no one else can a pumpkin? or did they try to sell a different brand way back when and got bought out? Are they available elsewhere? Nuts also seem to have a bit of an edge in the supermarket. That seems like the silliest of all to me. They are just nuts. Why is it that Diamond stands out above the rest? I mean, I know that in California, it makes sense, especially in San Francisco, where we insist on everything local, but I know these are shipped everywhere. They must be able to harvest and package nuts more locally elsewhere.

Enough ranting. Besides those brands that have little to no competition, I tend to buy Nestle chocolate chips. I think it’s the nostalgic bit of it or maybe it’s just that it’s usually the cheapest anyway, but something always draws me to the bright yellow bag. I do miss the peanut butter chips, though. They only exist on the East Coast, I think. Anyway, the only ones I found out here were of the Hershey’s (Reese’s) variety and those were quite chalky compared to the smoother version I remember. I have learned that it does not matter if you buy King Arthur’s flour or whatever store brand I’m in flour. It also doesn’t matter which sugar I buy, as long as it is the right color (white or brown) or texture (granulated or powdered) as long as it’s the cheapest.

If I have to buy that brand, of course it goes in my basket. If it’s the cheapest, it goes in. If it tastes better because it’s what I ate growing up, it goes in. Oh, wait, that last part is surely brand loyal. Hmm…okay so I only buy tuna if it’s Bumble Bee, in water, not oil, and I only buy Skippy peanut butter, smooth, not chunky. That’s it. That’s where the line is crossed. No more do I buy Scot toilet paper because that is the brand my mother bought. I am a single gal living in an expensive city that will not allow me to be that loyal to such brands. So there is my yes and no answer to brand loyalty. Hope you are satisfied with such a wishy-washy answer. :)

 

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4 thoughts on “Are you the fan of a certain brand?

  1. For me, it kinda depends on what I’m doing. First, let me say that, although I grew up listening to the jingle, I never had Libby’s until just a few years ago. In my house, it was always One-Pie Pumpkin. I don’t use sweetened condensed milk very often, so I don’t really care about the brand, but you’re right … I would probably automatically reach for the Eagle, then check the prices on the others as an after thought. I think nuts is a size/texture thing. I almost always buy Diamond walnuts, Blue Diamond almonds, and Planter’s or Fischer peanuts, but pecans, etc. are up in the air for me. I like larger crispier nuts. Same thing with pistachios. If I can get a good price on some from the Middle East, I’ll take those over CA. For butter, I definitely prefer the taste of Land O’ Lakes, but it doesn’t really matter if I’m baking/cooking with it. So, I like to have some around for toast, buttering veggies, etc where the flavor will be more prominent. I grew up using Domino Sugar, but over the years, I have realized the brand doesn’t really matter. BUT … if you’re going to use a generic sugar, make sure it’s 100% CANE SUGAR because some have fillers that could affect your baked goods. One weird thing for me is coming across more and more recipes using super-fine sugar. Can’t find that anywhere!! I’ve been processing it in the coffee grinder. As for chocolate chips, even if I can’t find the Nestle chips I’m looking for (or another brand is on sale), theirs will always be the recipe I use for my chocolate chip cookies. :) If it wasn’t so hot, I’d see if I could find a bag of PB chips to send you, but by the time it got to you, it would be a bag of peanut butter! :(

    • Hi,
      Thanks for that detailed response! I grew up on Domino’s sugar also, and as far as butter I was confused when I first moved to CA and saw the shorter sticks. I didn’t realize they were the same as the thinner longer sticks on the East Coast just short and fat until I baked with it and added too much butter. But as for flavor, I only use butter in baking; when I cook I use oil. Thanks for thinking about me and offering to send me PB chips. Might have to get some sort of cooler/ice packs and buy them next time I’m on the E. Coast or get Nestle to send me some!

      Have a great day! :)

  2. Your butter story reminds me of when I first moved to New Orleans. I was happy to see half-dozen cartons of eggs at my local market, but when I got to the register, the cashier had a fit, accusing me of tearing a dozen in half and telling me they don’t sell eggs that way. I kept pointing out to her that the carton was closed all the way around, not torn. She even called the manager on me! LOL. Sounds like you need to find someone who originated in CA and now lives on the East Coast so you can send each other C.A.R.E. Packages. :)

  3. Yeah, eggs in anything other than a 12 pack (in the grocery store-got used to the big crates at restaurants) are interesting. I’ve seen 6, 12, and 18 out here and at first, I wondered who needed so many eggs, but then started baking/blogging and bought them myself. At least you got a good story to tell. :)

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