You Can't Judge a Cereal by its Cover

An alert consumer recently called into a radio program wondering why the Post Raisin Bran he bought at Costco tasted so different from the Post Raisin Bran purchased at a conventional supermarket. Was Post making a cheaper version of its Raisin Bran to sell at the discount warehouse he wondered? Here's the scoop, so to speak. The product on the left is the latest version carried in supermarkets, while the one on the right is available only at Costco. You'll note at the top of the box on the right is the Costco store brand "Kirkland". A look at the ingredients labels sheds light on what's going on here. *MOUSE PRINT: The recipes look nothing alike. A notable difference is that the Costco version might have more raisins since it is listed first in the ingredients list, while the original Post version has wheat flour first. If in fact it has more raisins that would make it more expensive, not cheaper. *MOUSE PRINT: With respect to nutrition, they both contain 190 calories a cup, but Post contains over double the salt, and a little more fiber and sugar. Costco has a bit more fat. Each brand has a different array of vitamins and percentages. So what is the story behind the story here? According to a customer service representative at Post, Costco asked Post to develop a recipe for a private brand of raisin bran to be sold under the joint Kirkland/Post label. The Kirkland version uses different raisins and different flakes. The product is not manufactured by Post for Costco, according to the representative. He could not speak to the economics behind the two recipes. So that solves the mystery of the tale of two raisin brans.

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