Big brands have always had a strong influence on shoppers with their well-known names that have been around for years.
However, with the rising cost of living, cheaper alternatives are becoming more appealing.
One range that has gained popularity is Marks & Spencer’s line of cereals, which includes a variety of options.
After a mother shared photos of the products in a budget Facebook group, people started raving about the selection, prompting Emma Gill from the Manchester Evening News to test the “big brand dupes” and compare them to Kellogg’s, Nestlé, and Weetabix originals.
Emma purchased 10 boxes of the M&S range, including the most popular varieties, to compare them with the real deal.
The M&S version of Special K, Special Flakes, was almost identical, with the main difference being that they were less sweet.
Emma found that she preferred the less sweet taste and that the M&S version contained less sugar and salt than Kellogg’s Special K.
The M&S Malted Wheats were also similar to Nestlé’s Shreddies, with a lower sugar and salt content.
Emma also enjoyed other M&S cereals, such as the Honey Nut/Crunchy Nut, which looked similar and tasted the same.
She found the M&S Wholegrain Wheat Bisks to be smaller than Weetabix but similar in taste.
While Emma did not usually eat Bran Flakes, she found that the M&S version tasted the same as the branded product, but the flakes were thicker, which she preferred.
However, not all M&S cereals passed the test. Emma and her kids did not enjoy the Choco Pops or the Multigrain Hoops.
Although the Rice Pops passed the taste test, both the Choco Pops and Multigrain Hoops had different flavors that they did not like.
Overall, eight out of the ten M&S cereals tested were similar to the branded versions.
Kellogg’s has been reducing sugar and salt in its cereals for years, and four out of five of its top-selling cereals in the UK are non-HFSS. All of its UK children’s cereals will also be non-HFSS by the end of 2023.
Kellogg’s acknowledged that the taste of its cereals is slightly different from own-brand products, which vary from supermarket to supermarket, as they have different recipes made in different ways.
In conclusion, while big brands have a strong pulling power for shoppers, cheaper alternatives are becoming increasingly attractive, such as the M&S cereal range.
The M&S versions of many popular cereals were almost identical in taste and appearance to the branded products, with the added benefit of being less sweet and having a lower sugar and salt content.
The M&S cereals were also significantly cheaper than the branded products, making them a more economical choice.»High cost of living leads to attention shift from big brands to cheaper alternatives in cereals and others«