1- Do Brands Matter?


Learners will

  • Evaluate differences in quality between similar items of different brands
  • Calculate and compare unit price


  • 14.3.3  Demonstrate ability to select, store, prepare, and serve nutritious, aesthetically pleasing food and food product (NASAFACS, 2018).


  • Access to presentation and projection equipment
  • Paper and pencil for each learner
  • Handwashing facilities
  • Gloves or serving utensils
  • Paper towels or inexpensive paper plates for each learner
  • A store brand and name brand of three different foods.
  • Alternate containers for each of the foods
  • Save the receipt from foods


  • Move each of the foods to an alternate container. Save original containers. Assign each food either “A” or “B.” Keep a record of which food is the name brand and which is the store brand.


  • Ask students “What are some of your favorite snack foods?”
  • Show Name Brands vs. Generics YouTube video (3:29)
  • Discuss with students:
    • What is the difference between a name brand and generic food?
    • How much cheaper do generic foods tend to be? (30%)
    • What product is regulated by the FDA? (Staple products like salt and sugar)
    • Besides food, what are other items that offer similar quality for a smaller price? (Medications)
  • Share with students that instead of watching a video of other people taste-testing food, students get to try it on their own.


  1. Direct students to prepare graphic organizer, as shown on presentation.
  2. Distribute paper towels and instruct students to draw and label a chart on their paper towels.
  3. Distribute each food, placing in correct space on paper towel. Encourage students to refrain from any verbal comment, keeping their comments in writing on their graphic organizer. Ask students to put a star next to their favorite of each food. Wait for each food to be tasted before moving on to the next one.
  4. After all food has been tasted, project “To Calculate Unit Price” slide. Use animation to show how to calculate unit price.
  5. Reveal which of each food was name brand and which was store brand. Ask for student input on the quality of each item. This could be taking a vote of student favorite or initiating discussion.
  6. Project the graphic organizer onto a whiteboard or smart board. Use the receipt to fill in the cost of each item and the unit on the container. Show students where net weight is listed on the container, and/or where servings per container is listed on the nutrition label.
  7. Guided practice: Allow students to calculate the unit price of each item, offering help as needed.
  8. Discuss:
    1. How noticeable was the change between store brands and name brands?
    2. If the name brand was better, was it enough better to justify the increased cost?


Collect graphic organizers as evidence of unit price calculation.


[AsapSCIENCE]. (2016, April 24). Brand name vs. generic [Video File]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/kWBhP0EQ1lA

National Association of State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences. (2018). National Standards Overview. Retrieved from http://www.nasafacs.org/national-standards-overview.html

Photo by Alexandru Tugui on Unsplash