Do you want Cheesy Poofs (they're real now) or Cheez Doodles? I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! or Land O'Lakes? (Niether, Par-KAYY!) Or maybe you only eat brands that are truly organic? It's a very personal thing, the process behind how you decide which products to put in your grocery cart. Advertising, nostalgia, taste, scent, jingles, packaging — there are lots of factors determining how you implement purchasing power at the register. But where do some of your favorite products rank with fellow consumers? How do they feel about your favorite Hormel Chili with Beans? Do they prefer Sriracha to Tabasco just like you?
The online grocery product-ranking site, Consmr.com, aims to illustrate how your most favorite (and hated) brands fare with consumers. Consmr, a user review web site that calls itself "the people's champion for everyday products," lists more than 50,000 grocery items including national brands and products from stores like Trader Joe's and Safeway. Its mission since being co-founded by Ryan Charles and Noah Zitsman this past June, is to create a universal resource for packaged goods brands.
Anyone can sign up to review products ("We've been called 'Yelp for the supermarket' because of our democratic approach," the site notes) with one to five stars. Top picks are then based on user contributions. "The idea for Consmr came out of the recession," its co-founder, Ryan Charles explained. "I realized that many of my purchases at supermarkets like Trader Joe's and ShopRite were trial and error. It wasn't cost effective to buy a product I might have to throw out and replace."
Seeing a need in the market for a user review platform à la Yelp and Rotten Tomatoes, but for consumer packaged goods, they decided to start Consmr to create an independent resource where anyone could share ratings of everyday products. Sounds like a good idea.
From Progresso to Nabisco, Trader Joe's to MorningStar Farms, the familiar heros and villains of the grocery aisle are listed on Consmr in at least 12 categories. There are even fun, offbeat rankings. For instance, who are the top five food mascots? Who wins the battle between Chiquita Banana and Toucan Sam? (Or does the Kool-Aid Man trump all?) Where does Soylent Green rank on a list of fictional food products? Top five favorite discontinued products? Consmr has them ranked.
In the categories below, "top rated" products are those with the highest overall rating in the category, while the "most popular" items are the products that have received the most total ratings. Generally, as Ryan explained, these are different products. For instance, Coke Zero might be the most popular soda because more people have an opinion about Coke, but that doesnt mean it's the soda with the highest rating.
Check out this overview of the aisle. And if you disagree, well, vote!
Canned and Packaged Goods
"Considering the heatwave around the country this summer, it’s interesting to see a winter food come out on top," Ryan noted. "It’s also one of the most popular canned goods on Consmr."
Top Rated: Progresso Chicken Noodle, 99% Fat Free Soup (4.2/5)
Best Healthy Pick: Trader Joe’s Edamame (4.2/5)
Most Popular: Bush’s Best Homestyle Baked Beans (3.5/5)
Lowest Rated: Hormel Chili with Beans (2.7/5)
Sauces and Condiments
"This is somewhat of an upset considering that Sriracha is much more popular," noted Ryan, "but keep in mind they are very different style hot sauces. Tapatio is also about 50 percent hotter on the Scoville scale and was recently added as a flavor for several Frito-Lay brand potato chips."
Top Rated: Tapatio Hot Sauce (4.5/5)
Most Popular: Nutella (4.2/5)
Best Sweetener: Gunter’s Clover Pure Honey (4.5/5)
Low Rated: Kraft Real Mayo Mayonnaise (2.5/5)
(Photo courtesy Flickr/basykes)
Snacks and Candy
"Fiber-rich and made with whole-wheat is rarely associated with good tasting products, but Triscuit Thin Crisps proves that healthier snacks can win out in flavor too," noted Ryan.
Top Rated: Triscuit Thin Crisps (4.9/5)
Best Indulgent Pick: Ferrero Hazelnut Fine Chocolate (4.6/5)
Most Popular: Oreo Cookies (3.6/5)
Low Rated: Good & Plenty Licorice Candy (2.5/5)