Monday, 1 March 2010

Celebrity chefs brands better?

The other day I was having dinner with some friends of mine in an Italian restaurant. After having a long conversation about foods from all over the world the topic of celebrity chefs own brand came up.

We were wondering whether these brands are really different and/or better than traditional supermarket and non supermarket brands. So, when I went to do my traditional weekly food shopping at my local supermarket I couldn’t resist the idea of checking these sort call premium celebrity chefs brands. Guess who I found first? Of course Jamie Oliver’s premium pasta. I checked his package to see the ingredients and of course the pasta is made from Durum Wheat Semolina (as you do) and is of course produced in Italy. Then I went to check Tesco’s own brand and what did I found? Of course made of Durum Wheat Semolina as Jamie’s, and of course also made in Italy.

Astonished of this discovery but not surprised I checked the actual product for colour, shape, size and hardness, and guess what? They were both exactly the same! Of course I didn’t buy the products because for start I don’t really want to pay £2.50 for industrially made pasta only because Jamie Oliver’s name is in the pack, and of course I don’t eat Tesco’s own pasta brand. However, I wanted to make a last check before making my decision, so I called a very good friend of mine in Italy which works in a pasta factory that makes Sainsbury’s own pasta, and guess what I found. Apparently they also do Jamie’s pasta (can’t confirmed this) but that’s the info I was supplied.

So, with this small research of the pasta world in the supermarkets it just puts to think, why do we have to pay premium charges for celebrity chef brands if they are exactly the same as supermarket own brands, or inferior that traditional pasta names such as DeCecco.

Then, if people gauge the quality of a product by its price then I should sell my pasta at £4.00 per bag? Because mine is absolutely 100% handmade, with the best semolina that you can get in Italy, and when you cook it is like having a bowl of 100% fresh pasta. Is this the case then? But yet I sell mine at £2.50 per bag even though mine is handmade and Jamie’s industrially made. So what does this tell us about consumer’s perception of good quality food? That they decide depending on the name in the bag and not buy the actual quality of the product? What do you think?

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