Shopping Discussion

Comparison - Share info as to why one brand is expensive vs the other cheaper ones

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  • Jun 11th, 2021 11:16 am
May 16, 2012
35 posts

Comparison - Share info as to why one brand is expensive vs the other cheaper ones

Trying to kick start a thread for anyone to share their understanding of why similar product from one brand is more expensive than the other. Sometimes big time difference.

Like I saw Mazola cooking oils at Walmart can be twice as much as the next cheaper brand.

When I try to eyeball the color and flow (through hazy plastic bottle), I cannot discern any significant difference.

I cannot go to the factory of each brand to see how their standards of manufacturing are different!

Then why I would pay twice as much for one than the other? In many of my experiences expensive is not always better, in fact it was often the case where cheaper did better than the expensive.

So lets start by cooking oil comparison.

Does anyone know reason(s) why Mazola could be twice as much as the next cheaper brand?

Please compare other products if you have some understanding of expensive vs cheaper brands for that product.
5 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
21872 posts
Eastern Ontario
This is sort of a dumb thread ...
Too all encompassing
Literally MARKETING 101

Take a class

Or just stick around RFD long enough and you’ll figure it out

But posting a thread like this will do you little good
Cuz prices can differ greatly based on WHERE in Canada one lives
As well as the Price Cycle at any one time when you look at a product

So here’s the
For every gizmo there are the Originals ... and then the copy cats
Copy cats can also be National Brands
Or they can be store brands
Or No Name / Generics
True of every product
Including Cooking Oils *
Let’s say Canola Oil for sake of argument / discussion

Then within each Brand ... say Mazola Canola Oil
There are various price points for the same item
These are know as the LOW - MEDIUM - HIGH Points based on the size of the bottle
Based loosely upon the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP )
Every store / chain has a Low - Medium - High Price Range they sell EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT for in their store
And every store has their own range
This is why you might find Mazola Canola Oil more expensive on a daily basis at Sobeys Group
But cheaper at Walmart

BUT ... also WHY the ON SALE / PROMO PRICE at Sobeys may be much lower than the Walmart Sale Price

The likes of Walmart does a good job (actually it’s EVERY STORES JOB)
To sell you on the idea that they have the lowest everyday price
But in reality it’s probably not true ... certainly not true at Walmart

Cuz if you know your prices (by unit / volume) for things and are a strategic shopper
You can pretty much guarantee you get the best deals WHEREVER YOU CHOOSE TO SHOP
Just by knowing the Low - Medium - High Price Cycle
And buying things when they truly are the lowest point in that cycle

* cooking oils are like every other product
Some are gonna be better made than others
Example ... BIG DIFFERENCES between Olive Oils by where the olives are grown
And also how they are processed
Same for Corn Oil - Canola Oil - Vegetable Oil - Sunflower Oil - Peanut Oil - Sesame Oil etc
Maybe YOU use them the same way without much thought
But in reality each are meant for different applications
(A lot dictated by their smoke points ... as well as whether they are high or low in saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, or polyunsaturated fats)

So there you have it ...
Not every oil on the shelf is exactly the same
It’s up to you the consumer what you buy ... and how much you pay

For the record ... nothing wrong with No Name Canola Oil as an example
Is Mazola Canola Oil better ... that is up for debate
Personal preference, or more individual research

All I know is I can BUY BOTH TYPES for the same cost
If I watch the Price Cycle on Mazola and buy at its lowest point

Same for everything else on the shelf as I say
Might not make a big difference to some when it comes to Cooking Oil
Cuz in reality ... no 2 people have the exact same taste buds
(Although it does to me personally when it comes to Olive Oil ... cuz I like a high quality one for uncooked dishes)

But ... it might matter more for other items in the grocery store
Like say Ice Cream ... I’ll eat No Name
But I certainly prefer a National Brand ... say Häagen-Dazs
So the trick is I stock up when I can get it on sale at RIDICULOUSLY LOW prices
Better yet ... ON SALE + ON PROMO ... so STACK it with PCO Points or Airmiles etc
Cheap price ... plus more points / miles for later that I can use to get more groceries without spending more money
Makes my money go much further
And ... I get to eat extremely well too
So my planning / research means I save money ... and have a better quality of life
Saved money on groceries = more money for other stuff
Like travelling !
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
4838 posts
I'm not sure why a Pinto costs less than a Porsche ... both have 4 tires and they both get you to work on time.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 16, 2011
6108 posts
pootza wrote: I'm not sure why a Pinto costs less than a Porsche ... both have 4 tires and they both get you to work on time.
Well that's a little extreme, I mean one doesn't explode when hit from behind. Although it will try to actively kill you if you turn off the traction control. I guess you're right, they are both death traps given a particular set of circumstances.
May 16, 2012
35 posts
PointsHubby wrote: This is sort of a dumb thread ...
No question is a dumb question, they say.
It was a genuine thought in my head that I decided to ask online!

Will read rest of your reply now. . .
Take it easy.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28716 posts
There's 2 categories of products:

Interchangeable and non-interchangeable.

Interchangeable is like a base ingredient that doesn't really vary much for one reason or another. In the case of canola oil, there's very little difference between one brand or another.
Price differences here are basically down to marketing assuming volume is identical. Generally speaking, buying a 5 gallon bucket is cheaper per unit than buying a 500mL bottle due to the additional packaging. Even the packaging can affect pricing. I buy buckets for a few bucks more because I want the bucket. But I can get a slightly larger jug for slightly less money but the jug is useless to me.
There can be minor quality differences but if there's enough of it, it can push it into the other category.

Non-interchangeable products like olive oil/ice cream/cars/etc where one brand is significantly different than another despite sharing a similar set of components have no real relation to each other in terms of price. One can be dirt cheap while the other astronomically expensive.
Olive oil for example is expensive when made from *gasp* olives. It's dirt cheap when it's adulterated or even blended. Restaurants have a "Chef's blend" which is like 10% olive/90% canola.
Ice creams should have significant amounts of cream. Frozen dessert looks like ice cream but eats like garbage.
Car go fast. Other car go not so fast. Also maybe fire.
You cannot directly compare one item in this category to another.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.


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