Do Supermarkets Confuse Consumers With Copy-Cat Labelling? 3


Screen shot from Tesco.com

A Which? report has revealed that many consumers are confused and annoyed that supermarkets use labels and packaging that is similar to well-known brands.

Well maybe I’m unusual, but I like that they look the same. I’m a mum on a tight budget and when Jen goes on about “Dr Pepper” which is often nearly £2 I can say “yes, ok you an have a treat” and pick up the copy cat Dr Pop one at around 70p. I can see its not the same product, the printed labels aren’t identical so I do not feel its confusing, from my point of view its I can buy something that looks very similar, tastes the same but is less than half the price. Why wouldn’t you like that?

I had a quick nosey online at one of the big four supermarkets (Tesco just because I shop there, this post is not sponsored by Tesco), and I’m sure you would agree the items in my basket are jolly similar, but different.

In fact, several times the own brand versions of products has been better than the main brand. This is particularly true of the shampoo ranges. I’ll just say Essences and I’m sure you’ll understand. The main brand is very pricey, and the own brand made my hair feel better. You’d be daft to pay more once you’d tried both.

Admittedly this is not always the case. Original source shower gels are so awesome, the supermarkets can’t seem to come close to the intense smells and tingle feeling. Again the own brand is better priced, £1 versus £2 when neither product is on promotion or offer. But this is rare where I feel the cover act is not as good as the main brand.



Screen shot from Tesco.com

I don’t think its wrong to imitate another brand, so long as its not outright faked. With these there are many small differences, the shape of the bottle being the main one, but its obvious its not the same. I think I’ve only bought the wrong versions of products like the ones pictured when my son has been screaming in the trolley…. and let me tell you, that is one heck of a distraction.

Most of the time when shopping I’m a savvy shopper. if there is a voucher available you can bet its in my handbag, and I won’t buy certain products at certain shops as I know they are cheaper elsewhere.

The only time I can see these labels being similar being a real issue is if a person where to have allergies. Lets say someone has a problem with cheese (like me), but its not all cheeses, just the most matured strongest flavours? Say I’ve been buying a shops own cheese happily the last few months, and its right on the strength limit of what makes me feel unwell and my tummy to swell up, and in a hurry I buy the full strength non store brand. That Could make me unwell, but chances are I’d notice it when packing it into my fridge at home. If I didn’t notice then, I should certainly notice it when I go to open the packet for the first time to use that cheese, and if I still hadn’t noticed, well its my own fault.

For the record, I’ve never ever managed to accidentally buy a main brand instead of the own brand version of a product. Cheese is an intolerance for me, not an allergy: but I do have full on allergies too. for the items I’m allergic to, I wouldn’t pick up the copy or the real McCoy and put it in my basket!

Personally, I enjoy a product more knowing I paid less for it than I could have. I do not think buying the wrong brand is a problem, unless someone is on a very strict diet due to a medical condition. For example, my partner can’t use Wash’n’go 2in1 but can use the supermarkets own without any irritation, but since he has tried both product, he has learnt never to buy the main brand again!

This is a sponsored post. I was asked to write an article around this topic, but all words and opinions are my own.

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3 thoughts on “Do Supermarkets Confuse Consumers With Copy-Cat Labelling?

  • Joanne

    I think you are right to be savvy like this. And don’t forget that often it will be exactly the same product, made in the same factory – it’s just that the packaging is different.

  • Erica Price

    It bothers me not one little bit that the packaging is similar. In fact, as you say it makes it easier to shop. You see the packaging and you know what the supermarket are hoping to offer you at a lower price. As you say sometimes the product is better, sometimes the same and sometimes worse, but almost always cheaper.