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View Full Version : Who makes the best store-brand sodas?



CitrusCola
07-26-2009, 02:56 PM
With the current economic crunch, my family has been trying more of the less expensive, store-brand sodas lately. We've only bought diet sodas, but I've noticed that not all store-brand sodas are equal.

The ones from Wal-Mart that I've tried, Sam's Choice Cola Zero Calorie, Diet Mountain Lightning, and a few others, are not very good. I think that Wal-Mart's drinks are made by Cott. The diet drinks from Food Lion (which I think are produced by Independent Beverages of Charlotte) aren't very good either. The Diet GT Cola at Aldi and the Diet Clover Valley Cola at Dollar General are pretty lame, too.

The ones I've tried from Harris Teeter, Diet Orange soda and Diet Cherry Cola are so-so. So is the Diet Bubba Cola sold at Sav-A-Lot. I don't know who makes them.

The best diet store-brand drinks I've tried so far came from an IGA store near the NC coast. These drinks were called "Super Chill," and the cans said that they were distributed by the SuperValu chain. I don't know who produced them, but they were good -- especially the orange and "Mountain Chill."

I know that Kroger used to have some good store-brand drinks, but they closed all of their stores around here a few years back.

Are there any other good store brands? Who produces them?

Mr Zabe
07-26-2009, 06:40 PM
Not trying to be a total jerk; IMO why not buy the diet soda pops you really
enjoy but drink less of them. How much diet soda pop does your
family drink in a normal week? I use to buy Supervalue's store brand
soda pop. They changed it to Big Chill which does not have the
"HFCS and or Sugar" sweetener. I picked up a 12 pack of grape.
It sucked big time. I do see where you are coming from.

fusion
07-26-2009, 09:34 PM
Cott produces most of the generics out there, but I am sure there are subtle differences in the formulas they use for different customers.

You are right, Independent does make Food Lion diets. Have you tried them since they switched to Splenda?

Super Chill is in all the SuperValu owned/distributed chains here now. Before, Acme had Acme soda, now they have Super Chill. I believe Redner's used to have their own brand of soda back in the day (probably when the bottling plants around them were independent, and would run smaller batches), but they've had Super Chill for a while now. They even used to sell Green Spot, which is apparently no longer available in the US.

Have you ever tried Kroger brand? They have their own bottling plant, so there could be differences in taste between theirs and others.

Also, it's summer time, and sodas go on sale a lot. I know diet sodas don't keep fresh as long as sugar sodas, but you could stock up during the big sales.

wonkapete
07-26-2009, 10:09 PM
Chek from Winn-Dixie has always been my favorite store brand. Lots of flavors too!

SamC
07-26-2009, 10:46 PM
Kroger produces its store brands at Bluefield Beverage in Bluefield, VA, and America's Beverage in Irving, TX. The Virginia operation, at least, also makes it own brand called "Rocky Top" that shows up in small town non-chain stores around its region.

Man From Ohio
07-28-2009, 12:22 AM
The best diet store-brand drinks I've tried so far came from an IGA store near the NC coast. These drinks were called "Super Chill," and the cans said that they were distributed by the SuperValu chain. I don't know who produced them, but they were good -- especially the orange and "Mountain Chill."

I





Super Chill drinks are sold at quite a few of the chains that SuperValu owns (such as Biggs here in Cincinnati) and many others that it supplies, such as Foodland and some IGA locations. However, I believe most of the IGAs in my area carry IGA-branded soda for their house brands. I don't know if they are the same as Super Chill except for the labels but I kind of doubt it--the IGA brand diet cola I got not long ago from one of the local IGAs was rather good, and IMHO if there's a consistent weakness in store brand sodas it's diet cola. You might try seeing if another IGA in your general area (if there is one) carries IGA brand soda.

As you probably know, the Super Chill sodas recently underwent a change in can design. I bought some of the Super Chill Diet Root Beer in the new cans a few days ago. I swear it's not as good as it was in the old cans. Maybe all the money went into consumer testing of the new designs.:confused:

Dewman1979
07-29-2009, 04:31 PM
Mountain Mellow from western family is the best generic mountain dew.

Albertsons has Super Chill...

Android
07-30-2009, 01:28 PM
Didn't Safeway's house brand win some taste award a few years back for their diet Cola?

Tannerman
07-30-2009, 05:41 PM
I use to buy Supervalue's store brand
soda pop. They changed it to Big Chill which does not have the
"HFCS and or Sugar" sweetener. I picked up a 12 pack of grape.
It sucked big time. I do see where you are coming from.

Zabe, do you recall who made previous versions of Jewel soda? I remember somewhat liking it in the 80s when they were an independent... pre-Albertson's, etc.

Mr Zabe
07-30-2009, 11:40 PM
Zabe, do you recall who made previous versions of Jewel soda? I remember somewhat liking it in the 80s when they were an independent... pre-Albertson's, etc. Are you recalling that Jewel had President's Choice soda pop made in Canada?
I'm not sure even if Jewel had store brand soda pop back then?
I do recall that Canfields had a very solid line up of cheaper soda pops
that I drank often. Canfield's was about 20% cheaper than the
nationals brands.

Tannerman
07-31-2009, 12:21 AM
Are you recalling that Jewel had President's Choice soda pop made in Canada?
I'm not sure even if Jewel had store brand soda pop back then?

This was pre-President's Choice. I'll have to dig up some old "family vacation on the road" photos with some Jewel-brand beverage images :)

cokebabies
07-31-2009, 02:23 AM
Waldbaum's brand (it's also the store brand for a few other stores) America's Choice makes a really good Diet Cola with Lime. It's my go-to pickup for when the current week's Pepsi/Coke sales are crummy.

skylark68
08-05-2009, 04:53 PM
I'm guessing you don't have any Safeway affiliated stores in NC? The Safeway brand sodas are usually pretty high quality. We have Randalls in Houston, and they carry all the Safeway products.

The local grocery store chain, Food Town, carries Stars and Stripes. They are usually pretty decent. I'm pretty sure they sell Stars and Stripes at other small chain grocery stores across the USA.

The Parade brand sodas are decent. I particularly like the "cola." I'm not sure about diet versions though.

Sorry about losing the Krogers and Winn Dixies in NC. Big K drinks are usually top quality for a store brand.

CitrusCola
08-05-2009, 08:18 PM
No, there aren't any Safeways around here.

I was really disappointed with the Diet Food Lion drinks. When I saw that they were sweetened with Splenda, I had high hopes, and Independent Beverages usually produces high-quality sodas. The Food Lion diet drinks, however, all had an awful aftertaste.

My wife pointed out one other store-brand soda that we've tried: the Laura Lynn drinks sold at Ingles grocery stores. With the exception of their cola, most of their diet drinks are pretty good. Their Diet Dr. Lynn is my favorite of the bunch.

While this is off-topic, this thread has made me realize how many grocery stores have closed in this area since Wal-Mart started selling groceries....

BottleBoss
08-06-2009, 09:27 AM
You people should try the All natural house brand that Giant Eagle sells here in Maryland. It only comes in plastic bottles but it is sweetened with cane sugar, has what they claim are natural ingredients, and isn't super carbonated like coke and pepsi products. I have only had two flavors but both were very good. I don't think the general public will ever buy it though because it doesn't say 'coke' on the bottle.

Dewman1979
08-06-2009, 05:05 PM
Bik K Orange is the closest thing to Slice.

Man From Ohio
08-07-2009, 02:45 PM
The local grocery store chain, Food Town, carries Stars and Stripes. They are usually pretty decent. I'm pretty sure they sell Stars and Stripes at other small chain grocery stores across the USA.






In the past few days, I've seen Stars and Stripes 2 liter bottles at two different CVS locations here in Cincinnati. I don't know if they are going to be permanent additions to CVS or if they are there for a limited time. My guess would be for a limited time, based on the shelf placement. They were located where the CVS stores in question usually put special sale/limited time only merchandise. The label indicates they are made by Cott.

In one CVS, they didn't have any diet versions of the flavors. The other CVS had a bigger selection of them but I was in too big of a hurry to closely check out the display--there could have been some diet 2 liters.

If there are any CVS locations close to CitrusCola--and they seem to be popping up all over the country--they might be worth checking out.

atrac
08-10-2009, 07:12 AM
With the economy in a dump and my soda addiction at an all time high, I've turned to Private Label soda to ease my wallet.

About a month ago, there were soda sales all over the place here in Southern CA (it was possible at one point to get five 12 packs for around $12, plus our crappy CRV).

Needless to say, not any more. The prices have gone back to normal (or higher). I think I saw the prices are about two 12 packs for $9 now (no thank you -- that's so incredibly expensive that the stores should be embarrassed to call that a sale!).

SO, one of my favorite drinks is Mountain Dew. I decided to go and try every private label version I could find. Here's my list from best to worst:

1) Superchill Mt. Chill (from Albertson's/Lucky)
2) Great Value Mountain Lightning
3) Safeway/Vons/Pavillions Mountain Breeze
4) Shasta Mountain Rush

Other than Kmart (which I am not sure has a Mountain Dew version -- but I'll find out tomorrow -- *edit* apparently "Citrus Mountain" was dropped by them...dang!), those seem to be my only choices. Stater Bros. may have a version, but they are too far from Los Angeles. I do know that "Stars and Stripes" exists around here, but I only see them in plastic bottles and I only drink from cans.

So, Superchill is my number one choice -- by a large margin. I don't know who makes it, but it's excellent -- and pretty close to Mountain Dew. I think they key is that they use Orange Juice from Concentrate (as does MD). The other drinks do not. (And neither did Mountain Dew Throwback, which in my opinion hurt that one).

Shasta's Mountain Dew Clone is HORRIBLE. It's like a lemon/lime drink with a "hint" of OJ taste. But if I didn't know what it was "supposed" to be while drinking it, I would have guessed it was a private label Sprite clone (a bad one).

I've tried a few of the other Superchill drinks and they were pretty good too (although I have yet to taste *any* private label Cola that even comes close to knocking off Coke -- which I love or Pepsi -- which I don't like anyway).

I was quite interested to see others mention Superchill in this thread. But ugh, DIET??? I won't and will never "go there." Blech! LOL

CitrusCola
09-13-2009, 07:22 PM
I saw some of the Stars and Stripes drinks today. They were being sold at Dollar Tree. I checked the bottles and found that they are produced by Cott. They also had 4-packs of 16-oz. canned Shasta drinks. I bought some of the Shasta Diet Cola, and it was pretty good. I know that many years ago, when Shasta was the "bargain" soda at several area grocery stores, their drinks were pretty bad.

Dumas Walker
09-16-2009, 07:50 PM
Well, I do like Wal-Mart's Grapette, but it is not diet.

I also have a co-worker that swears by Save-A-Lot's Bubba Cola. Come to think of it, two co-workers. Again, I've only seem them drink the non-diet, though. The diet versions might be quite different.

CitrusCola
09-16-2009, 08:18 PM
I've had Diet Bubba Cola before. It's pretty good.

Man From Ohio
09-20-2009, 10:10 PM
I saw some of the Stars and Stripes drinks today. They were being sold at Dollar Tree.






I saw Stars and Stripes 2 liters today at Deals, a store much like Dollar Tree. Again, no diet versions of any of the flavors. Stars and Stripes must be getting to be the flagship brand of a lot of ultracheap stores...

yeahuno
10-13-2009, 02:03 AM
This is off-topic in a way. I like the Faygo pop that are sold at Kroger's and Sheetz gas stations. At Sheetz, they have Faygo in 24 ounce bottles in Black Cherry, Red pop (strawberry), Pineapple, Peach, orange, grape, creme soda, and a few others. I like pineapple, and black cherry the best. I use to go to Myrtle Beach, SC to buy Fanta Pineapple and Strawberry, but they don't sell them there anymore as of April 2009. The pineapple Faygo is comparable to Fanta Pineapple, taste good. Hopefully Coke will wake up and sell all the Fanta nationwide.

fusion
10-13-2009, 11:10 PM
Fanta Pineapple is available from Philadelphia Coke around here in $1.19 pre-priced 2 liter bottles in c-stores, and they also recently started producing it in 20oz as well.

Over in Maryland, we have Orange, Orange Zero, Grape, and Strawberry in 2L/20oz/12pk. I know the Alexandria VA production facility used to make pineapple 2L, but I don't know if it is available in this region since they shut down last year.

drpep
10-16-2009, 11:27 PM
Fanta Pinapple 20oz is in Woodbridge, VA

CitrusCola
04-27-2010, 09:29 PM
I've recently come across some additional diet store-brand drinks at the Sav-A-Lot store in High Point, NC. At all of the other Sav-A-Lots I've visited, all that was offered was Diet Bubba Cola. At the High Point location, however, they had Diet Lemon-Lime Crisp, Diet Dr. Pop, and Diet Tubz Root Beer.

My wife and I both like the Diet Dr. Pop the best. It tastes more like Diet Cherry Dr Pepper than like regular Diet Dr Pepper. The Diet Tubz is really good, too. I like it better than Diet A&W.

All of these drinks have the code "BB" on them. Does anyone know where they were made?

Misticdude
04-28-2010, 01:45 PM
The only store brand soda I can stomach is Big K red cream soda. It tastes a lot like Big Red. The closest place I can find Big Red is in Charlotte, and that's a LONG, BORING, 4 hour drive. The nearest Kroger to me is about 1.5 hrs. At least I still have some Big Red left over from my last Charlotte trip.

Hacksaw
05-07-2010, 10:31 PM
I second Big K Red Cream. But, the closest place with it is a Smith's in Reno, 5 hours from here.

shatteryib
05-07-2010, 11:06 PM
I see some people on here claiming Shasta and Faygo as generic drinks and they aren't. I encourage you to research this.

As far as the best generic soda out there, it really depends on what you want. For example, with cream soda, I have found that Stars & Stripes actually had the best cream soda, but overall, I would have to give credit to Publix generic sodas. I particularly enjoy their black cherry soda. However, I have tried their other drinks and I am very satisfied. Even with drinks that I figured I wouldn't like, I still enjoyed them.

One generic I would NOT recommend under any circumstances would be the Dollar General brands. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I'll even drink Sam's Choice drinks (the Dr. Thunder really isn't that bad), but NOT Dollar General.

BluejacketT
10-22-2010, 04:01 PM
I'll have to say Walgreens or Wal-Mart.

Mr Zabe
10-22-2010, 05:50 PM
I'll have to say Walgreen's or Wal-Mart.
Walgreen's soda pop is just plain nasty.
I have been enjoying Shasta Cola every once in a while. When it's very fresh,
it has a nice cola taste.

atrac
10-23-2010, 11:45 PM
Ralph's in Southern CA is strutting its Kroger stuff and is now carrying the Big K line of sodas. I've been drinking Citrus Drop (a Mountain Dew clone) and it tastes great! It reminds me of Faygo's Moonshine. Of course I haven't had that in many years, so even if it doesn't really taste like it, I'll enjoy my naivety.

NRGSLLR55
10-29-2010, 04:19 PM
Presidents Choice by Cott

PINGAS Energy Drink
10-29-2010, 07:18 PM
I'd have to save Albertson's Super Chill brand and Save-A-Lot's various sodas (Patch Strawberry, Crisp Lemon Lime, etc).

glarynx
11-14-2010, 03:32 PM
One generic I would NOT recommend under any circumstances would be the Dollar General brands. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I'll even drink Sam's Choice drinks (the Dr. Thunder really isn't that bad), but NOT Dollar General.

Must respectfully disagree! $ General's diet Cola surpasses every other store brand I've tried here in Ohio -- mainly Wal Mart, Meijer and Kroger's, as well as Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi (close), Diet Rite and Diet RC. It also FAR surpasses Tab, which I've just tried for the first time in my life and instantly regretted (I wanted to like it but the aftertaste is too much). I find DG has a really good, smooth flavor; can't speak to any of their other pops as I've not tried them. I only wish it had the bite most sodas had back in the '70s, but I wish that for ALL of them these days. And you can't beat DG's price.

To each one's taste buds, I guess. :)

JMHX316
11-15-2010, 08:55 PM
Some Winn Dixie stores are carrying a 'Naturals' line. I've tried the cola, and its amazing. Cane sugar, and no dyes, so it's CLEAR.

SodaFan16
11-18-2010, 03:41 PM
Refreshe sodas are really good. Love their Mountain Breeze drink, which is a Citrus flavor.

Dobroplayer
12-13-2010, 03:41 AM
I think that the Walmart brand Root Beer tastes very much like A&W, and Walmarts "Orangette" soda tastes very much like Orange Crush.

Very good cheap alternatives.

jmyjunk
12-15-2010, 06:45 PM
Safeway, by far and away, have the best store brand soda. Their Grapefruit tastes as good if not better than Squirt.

Rite Aid has just recently switch to a new in house soda. And from what I hear, it's a marked improvment from the "Big Fizz" line. Which were just plain nasty.

UncleBob
12-16-2010, 12:51 AM
I'm not sure exactly what counts as a "Generic" or a "Store-Brand"... but a couple of people have mentioned Grapette and Orangette... Did you know that these weren't originally Walmart exclusive sodas?

Grapette - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grapette)

Food Network did a bit on Grapette (I think it was on Unwrapped). I was surprised to find out this bit of trivia.

Dobroplayer
12-17-2010, 03:51 PM
Uncle Bob...

Well, whaddya know?

Or, as a great man once said...


Now you know the REST of the story!

Thanks for providing that historical information.

Now I think I'll go back to the fridge and get a ice cold Grapette!