Supermarket own brand foods: lower in energy cost but similar in nutritional quality to their market brand alternatives
The present study aimed to compare the nutritional quality (NQ) and energy costs (EC) (£ MJ–1) of own brand (OB) versus market brand (MB) foods in 2010 and 2012.
A list of processed foods (n = 32) was identified based on the most frequently consumed foods in the UK. Total fat, saturated fat, sugars, salt and energy density (ED) (kJ g−1) in 2010 and 2012 were compared for six OB and one MB version of each food using a NQ scoring method based on the Food Standards Agency’s Traffic Light System (TLS). Additional information (fruit, vegetable and nut content; protein; fibre and sodium) was recorded in 2012, and NQ was assessed using the Food Standards Agency’s nutrient profiling model (NPM). The EC of the food baskets (FB) was compared in 2010 and 2012.
There were no differences in overall NQ between OB and MB FB in 2010 (TLS, P = 0.978) or 2012 (TLS, P = 0.840; NPM, P = 0.696). However, the MB FB was highest in EC in 2010 and 2012 (both P < 0.001). There was an inverse relationship between the ED and EC of the MB foods in 2010 (r = −0.484; P = 0.005) and 2012 (r = −0.452; P = 0.009).
The MB FB was higher in EC than the OB FB in 2010 and 2012 but not superior in overall NQ based on both the TLS and NPM.