Name-brand vs Generic Peanut Butter

June 30, 2009

I know… I haven’t forgotten. Last week I said I’d start comparing name-brand vs generic products, starting with peanut butter on Monday of this week (yesterday). I bought a little jar of Safeway brand peanut butter over the weekend, and it is sitting on my kitchen table. But I’m scared to try it! There’s a layer of oil on top, and it’s marked on the lid that “Oil separation naturally occurs with this product. Stir fully before use. Refrigerate after opening.” It may be natural, but my Kraft peanut butter doesn’t do that. And who refrigerates their peanut butter? I actually saw a debate about that recently, and it seems very few people actually refrigerate it unless it’s natural (organic type). Again, Kraft doesn’t say to refrigerate.

So let’s compare nutrition information:

  Kraft Smooth Safeway Creamy Old Fashioned
Serving Size 1 tbsp / 15g 1 tbsp / 15g
Calories 90 100
Fat 8g / 12% 8g / 12%
  Saturated + Trans 1.5g / 0g = 8% 1g / 0g = 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Sodium 70mg / 3% 0mg / 0%
Carbs 3g / 1% 3g / 1%
Fibre 1g / 4% 1g / 4%
Sugars 1g 1g
Protein 3g 3g
Vitamin A 0% 0%
Vitamin C 0% 0%
Calcium 2% 0%
Iron 4% 2%
Vitamin E 8%
Thiamin 6%
Niacin 10%
Folate 15%
Magnesium 8%
Ingredients Select Roasted Peanuts, Soybean Oil, Maltodextrin, Sugar, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Dextrose, Salt Peanuts

From the nutrition information and ingredients, I’d say the Safeway brand is kicking peanuts! But again, I’m scared to try something new (and I just finished a huge chunk of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory). Tomorrow I will actually TASTE the two kinds and see which one tastes better, and I’ll update it here.

Kraft versus Safeway brands of peanut butter - Kraft on the left, Safeway on the right

Kraft versus Safeway brands of peanut butter - Kraft on the left, Safeway on the right

Update um… 6 days later? I have finally tested both peanut butters. Yes I was scared to try something new. But we also had nothing in the house with which to eat peanut butter. No bread, no crackers, or celery or bananas. I would have had Court make some peanut butter cookies, but he was sick all weekend (which he kindly passed on to me last night). So to get to the gritty details, the winner is the Kraft PB!

To be fair, the generic PB tasted better, flavor-wise. It definitely tasted like peanuts – not that I was expecting anything else with only peanuts on the ingredient list. And if that was the only thing I was basing my opinion on, I’d say switch to generic! But, it’s not. The generic had a totally different texture, less smooth than the Kraft. Where the Kraft is sticky and gooey, the generic seemed to lose all of its moisture once it hit the back of my tongue. I had to take a sip of my tea in between almost every bite with the generic PB to wash it down. That, coupled with the separation of oil and needing to refrigerate the generic PB, means that I’m going to pay the extra to have that creamy goodness called Kraft peanut butter.

Check back soon (well, maybe in a week or two) for another name-brand versus generic review!



  1. We get our peanut butter from Costco – it’s organic and does the separating thing, too. It’s not a problem at all, but it can get messy to try to stir the peanut butter when you first open it. The best advice I’ve read for that is to store the peanut butter upside down until you’re ready to open it. It will still separate, but the messy oily part will be at the bottom and won’t slop out. Just use a knife and stir a bit. Once you’ve opened it and started using it, it probably won’t separate again. We keep ours in the fridge – I don’t even think about that any more. Some peanut butters get a little hard when you refrigerate them, but 10 seconds in the microwave will cure that.

    I’m a huge fan now of peanut butters that just contain peanuts and nothing else.

  2. Make your own! It’s great. Buy organic peanuts and crush in a food processor, add organic sunflower oil very slowly with the motor running until you reach your desired consistency add a little salt or sugar to taste if you like. And store in the fridge to prevent the peanuts going rancid, however, I don’t store in the fridge during the colder months.

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