A new study shows that people like private-label brands as much as, if not more, than their brand name counterparts.

Discounter Aldi, which specializes in private label products, recently commissioned Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to conduct independent research to compare the difference between its own-label range and brand leaders.

The study revealed that 91% of Aldi's private-label products were just as good as the big brands, and 27% even rated as significantly better than the brand name goods.

For example, tinned baked beans testers rated Aldi's own-label Corale baked beans as significantly better than Heinz - not only in appearance, but also for overall liking.

Also, Aldi;s Austin's Summer Drink was liked as much as Pimm's No.1, and scored higher than Pimm's No.1 in the drink's appearance.

In total, seven of Aldi's products were found to be statistically similar to the brand leaders.

Aldi's Greenvale Creamy Butter was found to be no different to brand leader Anchor, and testers could barely tell the difference between Aldi's Village Bakery white toastie loaf and Kingsmill's version. Other products that were found to be similar were tinned tomatoes, tea bags, milk chocolate digestives and lemonade.

Kellogg's Special K was the only big brand preferred by testers to the comparable Aldi product, Harvest Morn Benefit.

Furthermore, Aldi's Four Seasons frozen garden peas had a significantly more acceptable smell than family favourite Birds Eye frozen garden peas.

"When consumers tested the samples with no information about their origin or packaging, they liked many of the unbranded household staples just as much as their branded counterparts,” says Kritika Mahadevan, from Manchester Metropolitan University.

She explains that the study used an almost equal split of male and female participants, and all of them were between the ages of 18 and 84 years old. The group included students, professionals, family household member as well as empty nesters or retired pensioners.

The research incorporated eleven everyday basket items, including cereal, bread, tea, lemonade, ketchup and baked beans, with one own-label version and one brand version for each. Both products were tested and compared in five key areas: appearance, aroma, flavour, texture and overall liking. Products that scored more than their counterpart were deemed to be significantly better if there was less than 5% probability that the difference was just by chance.

"The research shows that choosing lower priced products doesn't always mean compromising on quality,” says Tony Baines, managing director of buying for Alid. “Savvy shoppers can save large sums of money each time they shop with us and be reassured that they aren't sacrificing standards. Aldi's products are like brands, only cheaper."

Items tested included:

● Aldi Specially Selected Sweet Harvest Peeled Plum Tomatoes vs. Napolina Peeled Plum Tomatoes

● Aldi Greenvale Creamy Salted Butter vs. Anchor Salted Butter

● Aldi Village Bakery Soft White Toastie vs. Kingsmill Love To Toast Thick White Sliced Bread

● Aldi Bramwells Tomato Ketchup vs. Heinz Tomato Ketchup

● Aldi Vive Lemonade vs. Schweppes Lemonade

● Aldi Red Label Tea Bags vs. PG Tips

● Aldi Belmont Milk Chocolate Digestives vs. McVities Milk Chocolate Digestives

For more information, visit http://www.aldi.com/.