Best store brands of 2018: Aldi, Kroger, Jet.com top lists

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The private labels at Aldi and Kroger are the big winners in a new tally of the best stores brands in the land for 2018, according to one new survey.

RELATED: Kimberly-Clark announces price hikes for Huggies, Kleenex, Viva and more

Kroger’s Simple Truth, Aldi’s Simply Nature win big among store brands

If you’re already a fan of store brands, you know that private labels can help you to save money at a time when the cost of name-brand good is on the rise.

Within the last couple weeks, name-brand powerhouses like Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark both announced new rounds of price hikes on a variety of consumer products.

Practically every store brand on the face of the Earth promises it will meet the quality of the name brands you’re familiar with. But the private-label industry has been experiencing a lot of growth over the past few years by making premium products that actually exceed name-brand quality.

You’ll typically pay a bit more for this category of store-brand products, but it will still be much lower than you would pay for a name brand.

Recognizing all the great new premium house brands out there, industry publication Store Brands asked its team of editors to consider the options and select the finest store-brand products introduced over the past year across some 30 different categories.

More than 200 products were in play, but only a handful were left standing when the judges awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to the best store brands of 2018.

Supermarkets like Kroger and Aldi ruled the roost, while smaller regional or online grocers like Harris Teeter, Giant Eagle and Jet.com also made a showing.

If you’re the kind of shopper who is still skeptical about buying off-brands, you may want to consult this list the next time you’re shopping because this is the cream of the crop when it comes to store brands!

Baby Food

Kroger Gold Simple Truth Organic Fruit & Veg Puree Blueberry, Banana, Kale & Spinach
Aldi Silver Little Journey Sweet Pea White Chicken Puree

Beverages/Coffee (Ground and Whole Bean)

Jet.com Gold Uniquely J Peruvian Coffee, Organic and Fair Trade
Aldi Silver Barissimo Fair Trade Certified Organic Peru Whole Bean Medium Roast
Kroger Bronze (tie) Hemisfares 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Whole Bean Medium Roast
Giant Eagle Bronze (tie) Giant Eagle Market District Direct Trade Colombia Medium Roast

Beverages/Coffee (Single Serve)

Jet.com Silver Uniquely J Organic, Fair Trade Badass Expresso, Intensity 10

Beverages/Juices and Smoothies

Aldi Silver Simply Nature Organic Antioxidant Power
Aldi Bronze Lassonde Beverages Canada — Specially Selected 100% Pure Black Cherry Juice

Beverages/Milk

Aldi Gold Friendly Farms Chocolate Almond Milk
Aldi Silver Friendly Farms Coconut Milk Original

Beverages/Sports Drinks

Kroger Gold Simple Truth Organic Electrolyte Solution Wild Berry

Beverages/Water

Aldi Bronze Puraqua Belle Vie Grapefruit Sparkling Water

Bread

Aldi Gold Specially Selected Sliced Brioche Loaf
Aldi Silver L’Oven Fresh Wraps, Spinach Herb

Chips

Kroger Gold Nashville Style Hot Chicken Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
Aldi Bronze Simply Nature Organic Multigrain Tortilla Chips

Dairy

Aldi Gold Friendly Farms Crazy for Coconut Tilts Greek Yogurt
Kroger Bronze (tie) Carbmaster Low Fat Peach Cottage Cheese
Aldi Bronze (tie) Friendly Farms Key Lime Crunch Tilts Greek Yogurt

Frozen Fruit

Aldi Gold Season’s Choice Tropical Blend

Frozen Vegetables

Kroger Gold Mini Sweet Potatoes with Moroccan Inspired Artisan Seasoning Blend
Kroger Silver Petite Potatoes with Smoked Gouda, Onion & Thyme Artisan Seasoning Blend
Aldi Bronze Mediterranean Quinoa with Spinach, Garbanzo Beans, Red Peppers and Onions

Health, Beauty and Medical Products

Harris Teeter  Bronze Harris Teeter Traders French Lavender Body Lotion

Household Products

Jet.com Silver Uniquely J Fragrance Sparkling Grapefruit-Scented Bathroom Cleaner
Jet.com Bronze Uniquely J Fragrance-Free Wood Floor Cleaner

Meal Solutions

Aldi Gold Earthly Grains Ready-to-Eat Quinoa Meal/Spicy Jalapeno & Roasted Peppers
Aldi Silver Earth Grown Vegan Veggie Burger

Meat (Frozen)

Kroger Gold Private Selection Peri Peri Seasoned Chicken Breasts and Private Selection Shawarma Chicken Breasts

Meat (Jerky)

Aldi Gold Simms Artisan Jerky, Spicy Garlic Pork

Meat (Other Processed)

Aldi Silver Parkview Uncured Angus Beef Franks
Kroger Bronze (tie) Private Selection Natural Hardwood Smoked All-Beef Hot Dogs Made with Beef Brisket
Aldi Bronze (tie) Parkview Select Cuts Hot Italian Style Uncured Cooked Chicken Sausage

Oils and Vinegars

Jet.com Silver Uniquely J California Single Origin Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Jet.com Bronze Uniquely J Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Pasta and Macaroni

Aldi Gold Live Gfree Gluten-Free Deluxe Rice Shells & Cheese
Harris Teeter Silver Harris Teeter Traders Sprouted & Ancient Grain Blend Multigrain Pasta
Aldi Bronze Simply Nature Organic Deluxe Shell Pasta with Cheese Sauce

Pet Food

Aldi Silver Pure Being Grain-Free Dog Treats in two flavors; Chicken and Beef & Cheddar
Aldi Bronze (tie) Pure Being Adult Dog Food (canned) in three varieties: Salmon & Potatoes, Beef & Chicken and Chicken & Vegetable Stew
Aldi Bronze (tie) Pure Being Natural Cat Food in two flavors: Salmon, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato; and Chicken & Chickpea

Sauces, Salsas and Dips

Kroger Gold Private Selection Chimichurri Finishing Sauce
Aldi Bronze Little Salad Bar Southwest Guacamole

Snack Bars

Aldi Silver Elevation Better for Your Bar by Millville/White Chocolate Macadamia Nut

Spices and Seasonings

Aldi Silver Stonemill Lemon Pepper Salt-Free Seasoning Blend

Conclusion

In the final tally, Aldi took home 27 awards in total; Kroger nabbed 12 (including two wins for Harris Teeter, which is owned by Kroger); Jet.com scored six and Giant Eagle got one.

When it comes to bringing home the gold, Aldi was awarded seven gold medals to Kroger’s six gold medals. Yet Kroger really shined in frozen vegetables, where it captured both gold and silver.

Pet food, meanwhile, was one category where Aldi stood head and shoulders above the competition, with its Pure Being line capturing both silver and bronze. Jet.com, meanwhile, was particularly strong in the coffee category.

But remember, you’re the real winner when you buy any of the best store brands of 2018 because you save money and still get a great product!

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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