Frugality

Thoughts on Brandless’ $3 Organics: Are They Really A Deal?

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Have you seen the Facebook ads yet for a new online grocery store called Brandless? They’ve taken the basics of generic organics/healthier foods that you can find at places like ALDI/Walmart and repackaged them with a minimalistic website. So how does Brandless’ items compare to the ones you’d find in your local grocery store? *

Some of the items I bought: 

Gummy Fruit Wedges: 

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These were pretty good (although very sweet, could only eat about 4 at once). Small amount for $3, but would probably would buy again.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Thins:

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Mmmmm. These were delicious! You feel less guilty eating multiples of these since they are bite sized and thinner than a regular cookie. Definitely would buy again.

Wheat Crackers:

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These tasted pretty similar to the generic organic wheat crackers that I usually buy, but they were a bit less salty. Probably would buy again.

Blue Corn Taco Shells:

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These were very good; would definitely order them again as I don’t have a similar item at my local grocery store. I added refried beans, salsa, cheese, and lettuce for a quick and easy dinner:

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The Pros:

  • Ease of site use is a plus: NO distracting banner ads; the whole site is amazingly intuitive and simple. You can order multiple items without leaving the page you’re on by clicking the “plus” sign next to the item’s picture.
  • “Feeding America” donations: For every order you make, the site donates one meal to this organization (or 2 meals per purchase if you sign up to be a member).
  • If it bothers you to support Walmart but you like their prices, Brandless could be a good alternative for you.
  • If you like Trader Joe’s but you’re an introvert who doesn’t like ringing bells and Hawaiian shirts and talking to outgoing cashiers at the check out counter, Brandless could be a good alternative for you.
  • Packaging is recyclable- no styrofoam, just paper and plastic ziplock-type bags (cut the tops off of these and you can drop them in the plastic grocery bag recycling bin at your grocery store or Target).

The Middle:

  • You really have to pay attention to the size of the package/quantity to see if you’re truly getting a good deal. There’s some math involved in figuring out cost-per-ounce to determine if something is truly a good deal, since the packaging size of Brandless’ items seems to be slightly smaller than comparable mainstream items. This means you can’t simply compare 1 package of Brandless’ generic organic Oreos to 1 package of regular (organic) Oreos if the package sizes are different; you have to calculate the cost-per-ounce of each. Their organic maple syrup for $3? It’s a deal. Their organic pasta sauce? Same price as Walmart’s generic organic pasta sauce.

The Cons:

  • The slightly smaller sizes of items means that Brandless would probably work best for smaller sized households.
  • Some items aren’t really a deal, they are the same price as buying the item in a store. Do you have the time/patience to do the math for every item you buy?
  • You do have to pay $5 flat rate shipping per order unless you sign up to be a member; members pay $36/year but get free shipping on orders over $48.

 

Will Brandless replace my in-store grocery shopping? The items are good and I would probably order again, especially as they expand their product offerings often. With how competitive/similar most websites are for shipping groceries, whether it’s Amazon Prime Pantry, or Target and Walmart’s free in-store pick-up, what sets Brandless apart are the donations they make to Feeding America with my purchase. That could sway me as a consumer to choose their site.

Have you tried Brandless? What do you think?

 

* All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for this review. 

 

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