Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 24th Jan 05, 12:37 PM
    • 8,082Posts
    • 42,196Thanks
    MSE Martin
    0 WOW
    Great 'disguised Own Brand' Hunt.
    • #1
    • 24th Jan 05, 12:37 PM
    0 WOW
    Great 'disguised Own Brand' Hunt. 24th Jan 05 at 12:37 PM
    You walk into the supermarket and see four levels of brands. But are M&S Jaffa cakes really made by McVities? Is there a difference between Tesco and Kellogs Bran Flakes? (see the Downshift Challenge section of the Money Diet for more info on this)

    Using MoneySavers Collective Knowledge

    I want to use the insider information of all MoneySavers to try and compile a list. Do you work in/or at a factory producing such goods. If you do - what's the difference or are they just the same things in disguise.

    This could be both food and electrical or other goods.

    What to do

    Please put

    A. What the main and sub-product are
    B. How you know
    C. Are there any differences

    To submit your info, just click reply


    PS thanks to sumosaver for the idea for this.

    A Quick Warning

    It's worth remembering there is no way to check the info below, so take it all with a little pinch of salt (own brand?) but still probably worth trying the cheaper one


    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by MSE Andrea; Yesterday at 12:36 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
Page 1
    • rammy007
    • By rammy007 24th Jan 05, 10:34 PM
    • 1,028 Posts
    • 806 Thanks
    • #2
    • 24th Jan 05, 10:34 PM
    disguised own brands
    • #2
    • 24th Jan 05, 10:34 PM
    my oher half used to work for mcvities and all the digestives are made by them,tesco,asda,sainsburys,m&s,aldi,lidl happy shopper,its just that m&s specify a different cooking time and are taken from the centre of the batch its the same for snacks
  • mjobson
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 05, 10:22 AM
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 05, 10:22 AM
    my oher half used to work for mcvities and all the digestives are made by them,tesco,asda,sainsburys,m&s,aldi,lidl happy shopper,its just that m&s specify a different cooking time and are taken from the centre of the batch its the same for snacks
    by rammy007
    Does that mean they are of a higher quality because of this?
    • lyniced
    • By lyniced 25th Jan 05, 10:44 AM
    • 1,827 Posts
    • 593 Thanks
    • #4
    • 25th Jan 05, 10:44 AM
    • #4
    • 25th Jan 05, 10:44 AM
    A family member works for a leading supermarket told me that 'leading' brands have to be put at eye level on the shelf. Apparently the manufactuers pay the supermarkets to do so. Its all to do will psychology. So we have to start bending and stretching to get the same stuff! By the way I often try the economy brands. Some of them are yuk (Tesco's economy tea for example) but some are really ok (Tesco's economy chocolate digestive bars are really nice) so give it a go.
  • Giraffe
    • #5
    • 25th Jan 05, 11:22 AM
    • #5
    • 25th Jan 05, 11:22 AM
    British Bakeries make Marks & Spencers bread. I know this because my other half used to work for them.
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 27-02-2007 at 5:04 PM.
    Ahhhh, got it!!
  • Lillibet
    • #6
    • 25th Jan 05, 11:43 AM
    • #6
    • 25th Jan 05, 11:43 AM
    Humm......don't know if this is quite what is wanted but I have a family member who used to work for Tricity-Bendix as a washing machine engineer & he knew for a fact that the internal parts/motors/etc of all Tricity-Bendix products (ovens, washing machines, tumble dryers etc) were made by Zanussi. Zanussi brand appliances retail for almost twice the price of Tricity-Bendix but the only difference was the external housing of the product. Beware, this might have changed as he hasn't worked for them for a couple of years though.
  • beachbeth
    • #7
    • 25th Jan 05, 11:57 AM
    • #7
    • 25th Jan 05, 11:57 AM
    On the subject of digestives, Sainsburys milk chocolate digestives are just the best!!! The chocolate is nice and they are just scrummy! I prefer them to McVities so whether its because the chocolate bit is nicer I don't know.
  • kirstyreanne
    • #8
    • 25th Jan 05, 2:33 PM
    • #8
    • 25th Jan 05, 2:33 PM

    My nan works for Burtons Biscuits and apparently it's all down to the ingredients.

    For example the cheaper brands will use cheaper ingredients such as freeze dried eggs and the like, whereas the more expensive brands (M&S included) will use more expensive ingredients (as near to fresh as possible).

    I guess the same sort of guidelines would apply to all food products.
  • Uncle_Cuddles
    • #9
    • 25th Jan 05, 2:39 PM
    Corned beef...
    • #9
    • 25th Jan 05, 2:39 PM
    Is it me, or is all Corned Beef canned in Brazil and just labelled in the UK? My wife insists on buying Princes branded, when the ASDA own brand has the same stamp on the base of the can!!
    • garyclay
    • By garyclay 25th Jan 05, 8:43 PM
    • 181 Posts
    • 124 Thanks
    Washing Machines & Dishwashers
    I recently had a repair man to my AEG dishwasher. "I've got the same model at home" he told me "But mine's Zannussi"

    After a little confussion on my part he explained that there are very few individual manufacturers left. The badge is just a front. My AEG is exactly the same as his Zanussi but the external fascia is altered so that they look different so the consumer doesn't realise.

    After a little research I found the following on the web

    "Many appliances are no longer made by the companies shown on the logo. Successful brand name companies go bust or are taken over by bigger companies but they usually keep the "old" name for various tactical marketing reasons. In a way, it shouldn't matter who makes which brand, but a couple of concerns should be considered.

    Firstly, if a customer is very unhappy with a product, or the service provided by a manufacturer, they are likely to avoid purchasing from that company again. They may well end up purchasing virtually the exact same machine with a different logo complete with the same company service engineers as well as the same company ethos.

    Secondly, there are sometimes differences between brands made by the same company - even when the machines are virtually the same. An example of this is with Creda and Hotpoint, both of which are now made by the same company. Hotpoint machines have a free five year parts guarantee but Creda machines don't. There is little difference between the two makes inside, but they are priced differently too. A similar thing occurs with Hoover and Candy who are both owned by Candy. Hoover have a free 5-year parts guarantee, but Candy's don't.

    Eventually, all washing machines are likely to be made by just a handful of companies and in fact we aren't that far off from this scenario already. Note that some brands retain all their original differences but are just owned by a rival company and some are virtually the same machine inside with different logos and trimmings. Here is a sample of some of the household names who are owned or made by the same company.

    Electrolux: own well over 50 brand names (though not all of them washing machines) Among the more well known ones are AEG, Tricity Bendix, Zanussi.

    GDA: manufacture Hotpoint, Creda, Cannon and GE, English Electric,

    Candy: own Hoover, Zerowatt and Kelvinator among others.

    Merloni: own Ariston, Indesit, New World, Philco, and have just bought a large interest in GDA (who make Hotpoint and Creda)."

    So next time I'll be going for the cheap option!!!

    If anybody out there is an appliance repair man, or married to one, do you know which models are the same under the different badges?

    Hope you find this useful.
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 27-02-2007 at 5:06 PM.
    • hollie.weimeraner
    • By hollie.weimeraner 25th Jan 05, 9:18 PM
    • 1,024 Posts
    • 550 Thanks
    I've just replaced a ceramic fuse inside a Crown microwave oven. All the working parts were marked Toshiba.
  • scholesy
    The posy about white good manufacturers is very true. As working in a secondhand shop I have had experience of this. The reason is very simple for the big companies. If they are selling one make at very cheap and cheerful prices another at the mid range market and another at the high end of the market (all be them the same or very similar underneath). They effectively capture a share in all of the markets. There will always be people who buy the cheapest, or have more money than sense and want the most expensive, or your average joe who want the middle of the road. Wotever the decision they are quids in and laughing

    On a general point of the discussion we did a case study at uni which goes as follows. A company will aim to produce a certain of of product (a tin of baked beans). This target is the amount of product that will provide them with a break even point and all of their costs and over heads have been covered. Therefore anything in excess of this is seen as profit. so instead of producing cans for M & S at 10p a tin they can afford to make more and sell at 7p a tin. otherwise once the M & S order had been fulfilled the line would be idle and no income produced. This is why/how companies can afford to do cheap own brand goods. They usually subsitute the ingredients with slightly cheaper goods but these are usually negliable. Obviously this can cause problems when the main brands realise competitors are getting cheaper goods but hey, that live and the risk the company take. It was once said by Mr Heinz (or one of his crones) that they could not tin water for less than 10p a much are tesco beans 7p????
  • seldom wrong
    razor blades
    I once worked for Wilkinson Sword at their Cramlington, Northumberland factory. They made Boots own brand razor blades, using thinner steel made in Sweden. Quality control was the same. This was ages ago, though.
  • lister2005
    Big Brand - Different Model Number - Same Thing
    I wanted to buy a digital Camera in the sales after christmas, a samsung digimax, as friends of mine bought 1 last year which was easy to use, i just wanted to get the next model up. I found the model No. i needed from the samsung website and checked before the sales started, for the best price. Everybody had it for roughly the same price, so i waited for the sales to begin.
    It didn't get reduced anywhere except that an advert from PCWorld had reduced a very similar looking Camera by 40, but it had a different model Number.
    I returned to the samsung website and downloaded the Manual for the camera that i wanted to buy, and on the fornt page it listed 3 different Model Numbers for the Same Camera ! the only difference i could find was a bit of blue plastic on the camera body instead of silver !

    My tip is : if you know the item you want, Brand & Model, get the manual off the manufacturers website before buying, and check to see if the camera is also known as another model.
  • blinky
    It's not uncommon for manufacturers to make a slightly modified version of a product and tie up an exclusivity deal with a chain store in a country. That way the shop can say "exclusive to us"
  • Al_Inshearah
    I once worked for Wilkinson Sword at their Cramlington, Northumberland factory. They made Boots own brand razor blades, using thinner steel made in Sweden. Quality control was the same. This was ages ago, though.
    by seldom wrong
    You don't know Graham Cooke do you?
  • Al_Inshearah
    I once worked for Wilkinson Sword at their Cramlington, Northumberland factory. They made Boots own brand razor blades, using thinner steel made in Sweden. Quality control was the same. This was ages ago, though.
    by seldom wrong
    Oh yeah, welcome to the site
  • Cupcake
    Cadbury make the chocolates for Marks and Spencers and Thorntons and they are the same chocolate selection as in their own cadbury select boxes. Found this out at christmas when all the boxes had the same chocolates
  • Orinmore
    Thorntons Correction
    I worked for Thorntons for 5 years and Cadburys for 2 years. Cadbury do not make chocolates for Thorntons. However, Thorntons make some types of chocolates for Marks and Spencers.
  • Rave
    I was just going to say that, my wife used to work for Thorntons and I'm pretty certain Cadburys don't make stuff for them. As for electrical goods being rebranded, I once opened up a Hitachi 28" widescreen telly to find that the tube and all the major components were Phillips. I was particularly surprised by that as I was under the impression that Hitachi were one of the few companies who actually have a CRT plant....:confused:

    Rich :)
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim's to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

260Posts Today

1,036Users online

Martin's Twitter