Fake Vs. Generic

Does brand matter?


Will and Simone palate ready.

Does package size matter? The question of the century. Our hypothesis is yes, in fact, it most certainly does matter. We’re here to not only test this hypothesis but properly inform you of all the details that go into our carefully crafted decisions. We decided to go on a Publix run to ponder potential article ideas. As soon as we stepped in, the bright colors and chatter from the children drew our eyes over to aisle 7. We made a beeline for the candy aisle, our sights set on victory. Entering the candy section, the thing that stuck out the most was the prices. The Publix brand candies were all substantially cheaper than the generic brands and while this didn’t surprise us, we wanted to find out if there truly was a difference in packaging and taste of everyone’s favorite sweet cravings. 

We chose three top tier, crowd favorite, snackable candies. These included Gummy Bears, Sour Gummy Worms, and Jelly Beans. We picked up one bag of Publix brand candy (off-brand) and one of the popular, expensive, company brand waiting to uncover the differences if there were any. 

Then with the wonderful help of the irreplaceable Leath brothers, we blindly tasted each of them, rated them, and took notes.                                                                    


Gummy Bears: We were both fed Publix brand gummy bears, to begin with. We could both immediately tell. 

Sour Gummy Worms: We were both astonishingly incorrect with this curveball. When the Publix gummy worms were tasted we both exclaimed, “On brand for suuuuuure”. Little did we know, we had been played. 

Jelly Beans: One was given the on brand and one was given the Publix brand and both of us were able to guess correctly. Close, Publix, close. 


Publix Gummy Bears: As Mrs. Hurt said: “they taste like medicine”. She is not wrong. First of all, the size difference is what threw us for a loop. The Publix brand of Gummy Bears must be trying to overcompensate for the lack of flavor with the size. Who wants a giant mouthful of medicine that is unable to be chewed? No one, that’s who. 

Haribo: Kind of just a “back to the old days” sweet treat. I mean it’s hard to beat the original. These are unforgettable. From the strawberry ones to the pineapple, Haribo covers a wide range of the flavor board and works to capture each exquisitely. The Swedish exchange student was offered candy and he said no thanks until he spotted the bag of Haribo gummy bears. These babies are loved worldwide and you didn’t hear it from us first. 

Publix Jelly Beans: We haven’t seen a whole lot of people whose snack of choice is jelly beans. They kind of evoke tummy pains and they get stuck in your teeth. Not to mention, if you have played Bean Boozled, then your palate for jelly beans has been tarnished. The Publix jelly beans were plain tasting and the texture was unpleasurable. It tasted grainy. Yuck. 

Jelly Belly: Honestly, surprising. The wide variety of flavors to choose from was entertaining and the beans themselves were quite tasty. Jelly Beans being one of Will’s least favorite candies played a crucial role in the testing of these. Turns out, Jelly Belly can just make them taste right. 

Publix Sour Gummy Worms: Now this is the true curveball. Our downfall as candy connoisseurs. When these worms were fed to us it was IMPOSSIBLE and we mean IMPOSSIBLE to tell whether they were the crowd favorite (Trolli) or if they were from good ole Publix. The flavors sprung from the worm to our taste buds, which the other candies had previously failed to do. 

Trolli Sour Gummy Worms: These are, as everyone knows, the bomb. They pack a punch with the sour flavor and then bring it all the way home with the sweet after taste. To be 100% truthful though, we would recommend saving your money on these bad boys and buying the Publix brand. More bang for your buck for sure. No diss to you, Trolli, Publix just worked extra hard and was able to match you on this one. 


In conclusion, if you are balling on a budget, don’t be. Publix has the most extraordinary selection of lunch meats, but their candy brands do not stand a chance next to the originals. (Except the sour gummy worms but only those). The fact that we were able to distinguish between brands while blindfolded and fed, shows the true colors of each of the candies.

“Stop sleeping on generic candy brands ya’ll.”

— Ella Lesesne

This article in no way was meant to hurt the feelings of any Publix employees or shoppers. To drive this point home, below you will find an example of amazing Publix foods that you should look into purchasing. You won’t be disappointed.