December 11, 2011


Beppo raised an interesting question in the discussion of why store brand popcorn kernels are no different than Orville Redenbachers: are there some items where the quality of the name brand is truly superior? 

It's a pretty high bar to clear, as studies showing that even wine-tasters can't tell the "good" stuff from "swill" demonstrate.  There are many, many goods where you should just buy the cheapest thing on the shelf, like cofee, peanut butter, orange juice, milk, etc.  And your shampoo, deodorant, hand soap and the like should come from the local dollar store.  Heck, when we were kids the old man even drank a beer called Beer, that was sold at the A&P.  There are even cases where the rip-offs are superior, like generic Oreos instead of the real things.

But here's a nominee for an item where the name brand is the definitive product, to the point where the imitators ought not even call their version by the same name: Thomas's English Muffins. (The recipe is even the subject of famous intellectual property cases.)

Got any others?

Posted by at December 11, 2011 7:32 AM

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