Did you know that E-Mart, one of South Korea’s biggest retailers, has a line of products called No Brand? Essentially, the products are marketed as a store brand and are sold at a much lower price than name brands—like Target’s Up&Up. Let’s look at how No Brand and name brand snacks compare!
1. Potato Chips
Who doesn’t love a good old potato chip? From first glance, the No Brand potato chips look extremely similar to the name-brand version, Pringles, due to the nature of their packaging. However, No Brand puts a twist on the classic snack by introducing a sweet potato flavour, giving the chip a sweeter taste than your standard Pringles chip. If that isn’t enough, there’s another distinguishing characteristic of the No Brand chips—they’re purple!
No Brand’s version of Shin-jjang is a disputed topic among Koreans. Shin-jjang is a classic snack of a honey and sesame-coated potato chip shaped like a ring. The No Brand version appeals to some in Korea, as the muted flavour is due to the reduced amount of sugar put into it. On the other hand, many people prefer the traditional flavour of the snack and prefer to purchase the brand-name version.
3. Injeolmi Chips
Injeolmi is a a type of Korean rice cake made from a mixture of glutinous rice powder and powdered beans. In Korea, injeolmi chips became a hit as people loved the combination of the airy puffy rice balls and the sweet injeolmi powder. For those of you who are unfamiliar with injeolmi, some would say it tastes a bit like Peanut Butter Crunch cereal. The No Brand version of the popular snack is similar to the branded version that you would find at any convenience store in South Korea. It is delicious!
It’s hard to mess up a wafer, and No Brand definitely hit the spot on this classic biscuit. Unlike the popular Loacker wafers, the No Brand ones are light and airy, allowing you to eat a whole bag without feeling guilty! The cream flavouring is not too overwhelming, which lets you savour the taste of the cream and the cracker.
5. Potato Sticks
Potato Sticks are No Brand’s take on the popular Korean snack, Oh Gamja. Unlike the branded version, No Brand’s Potato Sticks do not have powder coating the chips, ensuring a cleaner snacking experience. Unfortunately, this also means that the chips have a more muted flavour than the traditional Oh Gamja chips.
Unlike other store brands, No Brand has definitely put its own spin on a lot of their products, which makes shopping at E-mart that much more fun. Which No Brand snack would you like to try?
Written by Lynn Lee