In Depth

Poundland's Toblerone war: What are the best own-brand products?

Even better than the real thing? Here are six store products to put in your trolley

Poundland has delayed the launch of its Twin Peaks chocolate bar over its striking similarity to Toblerone.  

The bar has two hill-like spikes per serving, rather than the Swiss chocolate's single hummock, but is similar enough to Toblerone both in shape and packaging to have prompted a legal letter, The Guardian reports.

Twin Peaks, which was to be launched this month, is the latest in a series of copycat products made by Poundland, following on from Miracles which are strikingly similar to Galaxy's Minstrels and Nutters that bear a resemblance to M&Ms. 

Poundland and Toblerone's makers Mondelez International are holding talks to resolve the issue – but, while we wait for Twin Peaks to be released, here are six products you might want to substitute for supermarket own brands in your trolley. 

Cheesy Wotsits

These flavoured corn puffs were originally made by Golden Wonder but are now produced by Walkers. According to the Daily Mail, Marks & Spencer's Cheese Tasters are "better than the real thing" and Aldi's Snackrite Cheese Puffs are "all but indistinguishable" from them.  

Houmous

Earlier this month, a panel of food experts including Michel Roux Jr and Jay Rayner decided they much preferred cheaper, own-brand supermarket houmous to more expensive versions. A blind taste test for the Channel 4 show Tried and Tasted: The Ultimate Shopping List found Asda's 89p houmous beat The Dip Society's £2.49 offering.

Washing-up liquid

Consumer group Which? has been rigorously testing washing-up liquids since 1959, ranking them on how well they remove grease and how long their bubbles last. Procter & Gamble's Fairy is a consistently high performer, but the 2017 winner is Aldi's premium own-brand Magnum Premium. The Aldi version sells for 75p as opposed to Fairy Platinum, the second-highest rated liquid, which costs £1.27. 

Pain relief

The difference in price between branded ibuprofen or paracetamol and generic drugs can be huge: last year the Daily Mirror found the branded version is often eight times as expensive. Crucially, under UK law the active ingredients of the two must be exactly the same, so you can "safely buy the cheapest versions on offer", says the Guardian. Some brands truthfully claim to target pain more quickly than others, but generic versions of fast-acting drugs are also available and are far cheaper. 

A wee dram

According to whisky expert Martin Isark, some supermarket own-label whiskies priced as cheaply as £20 per bottle are as good as branded Scotch costing twice as much. The contents often come from the same distilleries, the Daily Telegraph reports. However, says Isark: "Which distillery a supermarket own-brand whisky hails from is a lottery." 

Ready-to-serve custard

An investigation by The Sun in April found big name brands producing cheaper products for supermarkets. Ambrosia Devon Custard, made by Premier Foods, was on sale for 99p while Tesco Ready to Serve Custard cost 39p – and it is also made by Premier Foods. However, the manufacturer insisted the recipes for the two were "completely different".

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