According to an advertising trends article in the New York Times, people have been going the no-name route with food in this economy. Big names like French’s and Del Monte are pushing back, saying that “value” is more than just cost — it’s nutrition and quality, too. My dad spent a summer as a teenager on a peach farm in Michigan, getting them ready for industrial canners. He always said, “They came down one conveyor belt for the brand names and the other for generic.”
I definitely rely on brand names for anything that involves a proprietary recipe. For example, I will never give up my Philadephia brand cream cheese — whatever the economy brings. A bag of rice? I don’t care so much.