Generic vs. Brand name: What’s the difference?


Fruity Pebbles is the brand name cereal, whereas Crispy Colors is the Shop Rite brand. After close analysis of both cereals, it appears that both cereals have almost identical ingredients.

Lori Pacuku, Eastside Staff

Beats by Dre, Jordan and Apple are all high-end name brands that everyone knows of and that everyone wants. But why does everyone want them? Are people buying these pricey products for their good quality or for the sake of owning something with the logo?

According to, “We want these things because of the pleasure we get from looking at them and interacting with high-quality products… neuroscience studies reveal that when people look at products they judge to be ‘cool,’ brain areas associated with praise and social approval are activated.”

We buy these products because we feel better when looking at them; we want to impress others. Brand name items are expensive to purchase, but the real question is how much are they really?

Product Retail Cost Production Cost
Jordans around $130 About $16-$17
Macbook $1200 About $180
Beats $200-$700 About $14+
Kylie Jenner Lip Kit $29 $6 for a dupe with almost identical ingredients


As reported by, psychological studies have been performed and, in conclusion, there are various reasons that we purchase products from expensive companies: people want to show off or fit in and investing in a luxury product gives people a sense of accomplishment and produces a sort of confidence. Self-esteem can also contribute to the occasional splurge.

The main goal of a company is to make money. If people are willing to spend the money, companies will raise the price as high as they can by widening their margins in order to make a profit.

The companies are able to raise their prices with more profit collected from purchase. At a lower scale, Fruity Pebbles sell for $3.99, but the knock-off version from Shoprite sells for just $1.99 despite having almost identical ingredients. People are paying $2.00 more for virtually the same product.

However, the influx of money for companies doesn’t stop at just creating a name. Products that have cheaper retail prices may be behind the production of more expensive companies. L’Oreal is one of the biggest beauty brands in the world, manufacturing Giorgio Armani, YSL (Yves Saint Laurent), Lancôme and many others.

In other words, these pricey brands are probably manufactured in the same place as drugstore products and sold for much more, yet people may believe that they are higher quality because of the label and higher price.