Money College syrup testFries and ketchup. Peanut butter and jelly. Chips and dip. Some foods simply taste better when paired with the perfect partner.

And that's definitely the case for waffles. Back in July, Store Brand Scorecard sampled Eggo buttermilk waffles and three frozen store brand varieties, to determine which waffle had the winning combination of good taste and nice price. In the end, Aldi won the battle.

But we recognize Money College readers that as tight as your budget may be, you still want good food. Plain waffles, even Aldi's, are, well, plain. But pair waffles with its perfect partner -- syrup -- and you've got a breakfast worth savoring. Store Brand Scorecard sampled Mrs. Butterworth's and three store brand versions of original syrup (including Aldi's), to give a complete recommendation for a completely valuable breakfast. All items were purchased Oct. 9 in the Chicago area. Prices are subject to change.

Brand Name: Mrs. Butterworth's (Pinnacle Food Group)
Cost: $3.04 at SuperTarget; on sale for $3.99 at a Chicago-area grocery store (typical price $4.49)
Size: 24 fluid oz.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1/4th a cup) 210 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 115 milligrams of sodium (5% recommended daily value), 52 grams of total carbohydrates (17% recommended daily value)
Taste: Supremely smooth and sweet, but not too saccharine. Having molasses as a core ingredient makes this a mighty fine syrup.

The Big Box Store: SuperTarget
Brand Name: Market Pantry
Cost: $2.44
Size: 24 fluid oz.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1/4th a cup) 210 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 80 milligrams of sodium (3% recommended daily value), 53 grams of total carbohydrates (18% recommended daily value)
Taste: Without the molasses, the taste initially is blander, but an eruption of sweetness at the end saves this syrup. It's still second-best.

The Grocery Store: Jewel-Osco (a Supervalu store. Number 47 on the Fortune 500 list. Supervalu is parent to grocery retailers Shop 'n Save, Albertsons and others.)
Brand Name: Jewel
Cost: $2.49
Size: 24 fluid oz.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1/4th a cup) 210 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 80 milligrams of sodium (3% recommended daily value), 53 grams of total carbohydrates (18% recommended daily value)
Taste: The ingredients and nutritional facts are identical to Market Pantry, and so, predictably, is the flavor.

The Mini Market: Aldi
Brand Name: Berryhill
Cost: $1.49
Size: 24 fluid oz.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1/4th a cup) 210 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 80 milligrams of sodium (3% recommended daily value), 53 grams of total carbohydrates (18% recommended daily value)
Taste: Another case of deja vu – same ingredients, same nutritional facts, same taste as Market Pantry and Jewel.

Greatest Value: Price is the only thing distinguishing SuperTarget, Jewel-Osco and Aldi's brands of syrup. Because Jewel and Market Pantry are so close in price (and still cost much less than Mrs. Butterworth's), they both tie for last place, earning, on a scale of 0 to 10, a value score of 6.

Butterworth's is still in the race because it's by far the best tasting syrup, and alas, the costliest. And in the end, that cost costs Butterworth's the top prize. Value score: 7.

In the end Aldi's Berryhill brand of syrup is the victor with a value score of 9. $1.49 is a sweet deal for decent syrup. Pair it with Aldi's Breakfast Best buttermilk waffles and you've got a cheap, great, easy breakfast.

Piet Levy's Store Brand Scorecard tests a major label food product and three private label equivalents to see which brand offers the best value for the price. It appears every Monday on WalletPop's Money College page. Send suggestions, including items you want Levy to try, to moneycollege@walletpop.





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