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Consumerism - Brand Comparison Lab

Time Frame

1 class periods of 90 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups


Cindy Tegge


Comparing National and Store brands of the same food in relationship to the cost, appearance and taste.


Ingredients Needed for Lab:

Depending on food used for brand comparison, at least three samples of each including a national brand, store brand and one other brand of your choice. (Refer to attachment for suggestions)

Background for Teachers

The teacher needs to know the difference between National and Store brands of food.

The teacher will need to decide what foods to use for brand comparison. Some suggestions are: Fruit Cocktail, Green Beans (not very well liked by a lot of students), Chocolate Chip Cookies, Macaroni & Cheese, Frozen Orange Juice, Potato Chips, Tuna Fish (not very well liked by a lot of students), Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Frozen Grape Juice, Crackers, Bread, Soda, Cereal, Jam, Cheese.

You will need at least three foods to compare - national brand, store brand and one other brand, close to the same weight or size. Keep track of the prices when shopping. Make a card with each of the brands name on it with the price for the units to use to make individual labels when sampling.

The students will need to make a label for each of the different brands and mark it as Brand 1, Brand 2 and Brand 3. The price and name will be given later.

Depending on what you use will determine how long the lab will take to prepare the foods, etc. If you are comparing a vegetable, it can be heated on the stove or in the microwave. If you are comparing a drink, provide 5 oz. paper cups and have the unit place enough cups on separate trays for the number of students to sample each of the drinks. The Macaroni & Cheese is well-liked, but takes long to cook the noodles and then combine it with the milk and butter.

Student Prior Knowledge

Knowing the differences in appearance, taste and cost between national and store brands of food as a decision to use or purchase.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The student will have an opportunity for themselves to determine which brand they prefer by comparing national and store brands by their appearance, cost and flavor.

Instructional Procedures

All foods used for the brand comparison lab will need to be out of the supply table at the start of class.

Hand out to the students the Lab Sheet.

Assign each unit a different food with its different brands. The group will need to open the cans or package, put in a bowl or on a plate, cook if necessary, make a label for each as Brand 1, 2, 3 and identify only the cost from the information card that is given to them by the teacher. They will label each item without telling the class which is which. Remove the original containers until after all comparisons have been made. Do not throw away the original containers in case you need to put some leftovers back into the package. No food is eaten until we are all ready to begin.

When all of the items are ready to sample, the students will walk around the room to identify the price, color, flavor, texture and rank each separate grouping as 1 being the best for comparison.

The students will want to know what the different brands are. Go through each of the foods and identify which is which to see if the one they really liked is the one they usually eat or buy.

Students will write one paragraph for each of the food groupings on what they learned totaling six paragraphs at least 3 - 4 sentences each on the back of the paper. The papers will be turned in before they leave. Make sure all units are cleaned and leftovers are brought back to the Supply Table.

Created: 07/24/2003
Updated: 02/05/2018