Are you better off buying store brands when it comes to beverages? Definitely, especially when it comes to milk or juice. If the branding doesn't tout where the milk or juice originated, it will be disclosed on the label. We can't guarantee local milk or juice will be less expensive, but it will win out for freshness. Because they're produced regionally, there is usually less processing and transportation involved than with national brands, which impacts quality.
If buying local products is out of your price range, don't overlook store brands. In fact, a panel of trained tasters told Consumer Reports that a Meijer store brand juice (37 cents/serving) tasted better than the Ocean Spray (44 cents/serving).
For some consumers, the idea of sipping a store-brand pop is enough to give them heartburn. However, results of a study published in PLoS ONE revealed that the anticipation of drinking well-known cola brands influenced taste-testers' experiences. When study participants were told the brand name of a cola they tasted, even if it was another brand, brain scans showed a more positive response. The brand labels signaled neural response cues more than the actual taste did.