What’s in a name? If you’re talking about a name-brand product, the answer is a price increase. While some retailers repackage the brand names under store labels, what if there was a store without brands? Could taking away the brand name really save you money?
That’s the idea behind the online retailer Brandless. They use independent suppliers and manufacturers to product foodstuffs, bath products, and kitchen utensils sans brand name. And everything on the site sells for just $3.
But are the products any good?
Kyle and I filled a big box with snacks, utensils, lotions and more to give them a try. Some of the products were okay, some were not good, and a couple were phenomenal. Here’s a rundown of the memorable products.
Kitchen spoons, measuring cups, and miscellaneous kitchen tools? Amazing. I’ll never buy these at Target again. Soaps, bath products, cleaning products? They’re fine. The scents are really heavy, but they work well. Aluminum foil, parchment paper, etc.? Just buy these on sale, the Brandless versions are a little flimsy.
As for the food products, the quality of everything was good. The portions were right. The issue was the taste of some of the items, which is a matter of personal preference. I really liked the baking mixes for quick, semi-homemade snacks. The sweet potato chips were tasty. But the spaghetti sauce was god-awful; so sweet it tasted like a bad jam.
The rule for Social posts is this: I buy it with my own money, and I ask myself, would I spend my own money again. For the kitchen utensils, yes, yes, I would. For everything else, not really. The novelty of a brandies product and the semi-affordable price is a cool concept. But we bought almost $100 in products and found fewer than five food items we loved enough to special order from a retailer we don’t regularly shop.
Brandless is expanding their selection of products, and as they add more staple items, I think it will become a better resource. Kyle and I don’t eat a lot of cookies or chips or snacks, so maybe we’re just not the market for this store yet. If you have kids or you’re a big snacker, this might be a good fit.
All products featured on Saw It On Social are purchased by me with my money. No sponsorships or freebies are solicited, nor accepted. There are so many garbage products being pumped as hot and new on social media that someone needs to wade through the weeds for an honest review, so it might as well be me. To read more of the posts in this series, click here.
I agree on not being their target audience. I don’t buy a lot of packaged food, so there isn’t a ton I’d buy on there, but I have been buying it to restock on some staples when I run out like quinoa, canned beans, and some household items (curious about their bread knife). The key though is to comparison shop and pay attention to package size. Some items are legit good deals, especially considering they’re organic and all that jazz, but they make up for those deals by selling products for $3 that you can find cheaper elsewhere (e.g. $3 for almonds sounds like a steal, but they work out to $8.72/lb which isn’t that great).
Ahhhh! I have been curious about Brandless. They are a sponsor of Forked Up, so I keep hearing about it.
Thanks for doing a review!!
As always, thank you, THANK YOU, for your honest, uncensored opinion. I have been a follower of your blog for years because of your honesty.
I am so over sponsored posts posing as the bloggers real thoughts. I’m sure it must be hard to turn down the $ sometimes but your integrity is priceless.
Well, I mean, it has a price, just no one has gotten there yet. 😉
I also tried it a few months ago and found the food products to be lackluster. The portion sizes on a lot of things aren’t great.
I haven’t used it since they added more kitchen utensils, though, so I’ll keep it in mind for the future!
While Brandless touts their snacks as their big winner, I’ve tried a bunch more of the ‘pantry’ products and been impressed. Let’s also not overlook the social aspect of donating meals for each purchase.
The $3 price tag is a bit of a gimmick, especially for some of the snacks, bc of the per ounce price being totally out of whack with what you would pay for at the store.
Things that I’ve liked so far: olive oil, parchment paper, tin foil, bread knife (great utility knife for picnics), brownie mix, the eucalyptus and lavendar hand soap, the shaving gel. This might be nuts but they also have the BEST dish towels I’ve ever seen, and since they really are $3 it’s a steal. Oversized, sturdy, incredibly absorbent… and cute!
Given how much I loved their kitchen utensils, I have no trouble believing the dish towels are awesome. I may grab some.
Thank you so much for this review! I have been wondering about this company and am so glad to get your take instead of trying it out and likely coming to a similar conclusion.
The concept sounds almost identical to that of Muji, which has been around since 1980. I found a Muji store at the Narita airport and loaded up on snacks, which I thought were quite good. As a student of Lean, I applaud the concept and the questioning of what brings value to the customer.