Cans of tuna in American supermarkets used to hold 6 ounces. Then, a number of years ago, the manufacturers all decided to shrink their cans to 5.5 or 5.45 ounces without lowering the price. More recently, they all decided to go down to 5 ounces, again without lowering the price.
Annoyed by this most recent change, I decided during a recent trip to the grocery store to reevaluate our tuna buying habits rather than blindly continuing to buy StarKist, the brand we had settled upon a number of years ago for unremembered reasons. Therefore, although I did throw a few cans of StarKist chunk light tuna in water, SKU 806730, in my cart, I also threw in a few cans of Stop & Shop’s, SKU 21120 02522, which were needless to say cheaper than the StarKist.
The next time I made tuna salad, I opened two cans of the StarKist and two cans of the Stop & Shop tuna, drained them all, visually inspected them for quality, and weighed the tuna left in the cans after draining. The results surprised me.
- As noted above, the Stop & Shop tuna is significantly cheaper than the StarKist. Advantage: Stop & Shop
- The StarKist cans had, on average, 3/8 ounces less tuna than the Stop & Shop cans. Advantage: Stop & Shop
- The Stop & Shop cans had nice looking chunks of tuna in them, while the StarKist cans had what would be more accurately described as “shredded” rather than “chunk” tuna. Advantage: Stop & Shop
- The Stop & Shop tuna tasted significantly more salty than the StarKist, and indeed, the nutrition information confirmed this (13% DV per serving vs. 8%). Advantage: StarKist
Overall, if you can live with the extra salt (literally and figuratively), the Stop & Shop tuna is clearly a much better buy than the StarKist.
Now who said that name brands are better?