Consumer Reports says many celebrity food brands are just average


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Just because a jar of tomato sauce bears a celebrity’s smiling face doesn’t mean it’ll taste any better than cheaper brands, according to Consumer Reports.

Out of 26 star-backed products the testing agency submitted to a taste test, just three were rated as “excellent” and 10 as “very good.” Half were only average.


Consumer Reports looked at products from TV chefs, popular restaurants and major Hollywood names. Though many items tended to cost double or triple the amount of competitors, their quality was often on par with less-pedigreed national brands such as Campbell’s, Kraft and Progresso.

The top-rated products were Giada De Laurentiis’ tomato basil pasta sauce, Mario Batali’s marinara sauce, and Wolfgang Puck’s tomato basil bisque -- which tended to use better ingredients such as fresh produce and sea salt.

But other items, such as marinara sauces from Emeril Lagasse and Paul Newman, use tomato puree and powdered or dried garlic.

“Don’t be starstruck,” said Tod Marks, senior project editor at Consumer Reports, which released the results in its magazine Tuesday.


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-- Tiffany Hsu