Target Generics: Best and Worst


The mothership has called us, and we answered. Our love for Target is immeasurable, and completing all product reviews for personal care, household, grocery, and other miscellaneous items feels a bit like fulfilling our destiny. Brands to know: up & up, Smartly, Market Pantry, Simply Balanced, and Archer Farms. These are all Target brands and we’ve compared them to the big name brands to save you time and money. Psst… we don’t get paid to do reviews :)

Check out the best and worst in each category here:

BEST of Personal Care

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser vs. up & up Gentle Skin Cleanser

Similarity Score: 98%

Up & up knocks it out of the park! Nearly identical packaging, scent (they're both fragrance free), and afterfeel. The up&up is a little filmier during your lather, so you don't need to use as much, but it may feel less natural to some. But we like this dupe! Buy Here

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Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets vs. up & up Oil Absorbing Sheets

Similarity Score: 98%

Great Dupe! The sheets look exactly the same and the after feel is the same too. Buy Here

St. Ives Purifying Sea Salt and Pacific Kelp Exfoliating Body Wash vs. Up & Up Polish + Refresh Sea Salt and Kelp Exfoliating Body Wash

Similarity Score: 98%

These products are virtually indistinguishable. The up&up cap is slightly different because it catches more water, but that is about it!

Listerine Healthy White Anti Cavity Fluoride Mouthwash vs. up & up Whitening Anti Cavity Mouth Rinse

Similarity Score: 95%

We preferred the Listerine's sturdier package, but besides that these products are very close. Slight taste difference but not too noticeable for a one-a-day rinse. Buy Here

Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover vs. up & up Eye Makeup Remover

Similarity Score: 95%

Both products have nearly identical ingredient compilations. We found the look, smell, and consistency to be almost the exact same. After sharing the product with other Brandefy friends, we recommend you switch and save a couple dollars. Buy Here

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WORST of Personal Care

Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 vs. up & up Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Similarity Score: 20%

The main drivers of this extremely low score are smell and thickness. Consumers said 'Up&up smells more sunscreeny and is super watery.' Buy the Name Brand

Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub vs. up & up Deep Clean Exfoliating Scrub

Similarity Score: 30%

We wanted the generic to work so badly because one Brandefyer has used Clean & Clear for over ten years, but whatever you do, do not buy the up&up exfoliating scrub! The generic has a glue-like consistency, completely different ingredients, and a major packaging issue. Whomp whomp! Buy the Name Brand

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U by Kotex Click Regular Tampons vs. up & up Compact Tampons Regular

Similarity Score: 49%

First of all, the up & up applicator does not 'click' in place, sometimes it breaks apart, which can be very annoying. In addition there is more cotton showing at the top, whereas in the Kotex one it is covered by the applicator. Add this to graveyard list of generic tampons that don't make the cut! Buy the Name Brand

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips vs. up & up Deep Cleaning Pore Strips

Similarity Score: 50%

The results were all the same: up&up extracting one or two blackheads, while Biore extracted five or more. While they look the same, the ingredient panels are fairly different. In addition, the target strips left residue on our noses, unlike Biore. Buy the Name Brand

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Dove White Beauty Bar with Deep Moisture vs. up & up White Moisturizing Bar

Similarity Score: 54%

While the up & up soap lathers similarly compared to Dove, it is not as creamy as Dove and looks a little chalky. Also, It has a slight pungent chemical smell to it. Buy the Name Brand

BEST of Household Supplies

Reynolds Genuine Parchment Paper vs. up & up Non-stick Oven Safe Parchment Paper

Similarity Score: 100%

Testers could not tell a difference between these products and all would switch to save! We recommend saving with up & up parchment paper.

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Swiffer Sweeper Dry Cloth Refills vs. up & up Dry Cloth Sweeper Refills

Similarity Score: 99%

This was a great dupe! The up&up trapped lots of dust and golden retriever fur just as well as the Swiffer! Buy Here


Dawn Gentle Clean Dishwashing Soap vs. up & up Pomegranate Hand Restore Dish Soap

Similarity Score: 97%

We would definitely switch to save! The Dawn soap is a little thinner, but these smell the same and function similarly. Buy Here


Glad Fresh Clean 13 Gallon Tall Kitchen Bags vs. up & up Fresh Scent Tall Kitchen Bags

Similarity Score: 93%

Both of these bags have a fresh scent, though the Febreeze on the Glad bags is strong and overpowering. Our expert felt the drawstrings on the up and up bag were very durable and high quality. Both are durable, and we would switch to save! Buy Here

Hefty Storage Slider Gallon Bags vs. up & up Gallon Slider Storage Bags

Similarity Score; 92%

These two were quite similar! Hefty has a more durable slider but both brands of bags are stronger and durable in comparison. Buy Here


Worst of Household Supplies

Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Lemon Breeze Scent vs. up & up Lemon Scent All Purpose Cleaner

Similarity Score: 52%

Tester would NOT make the switch. The twist and spray nozzle, was much easier to use and provided better control with the name brand. Up&up claims to smell like lemons, but does not come close. It looked oily and streaky on the counter! Buy the Name Brand

Dixie Ultra Flex-Proof Plates vs. up & up Heavy Duty Paper Plates

Similarity Score: 56%

The up&up plates fell short- they bent easily and were in no way as durable as the Dixie plates. Buy the Name Brand

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Dreft Stage 1 Newborn Liquid Detergent vs. up & up Baby Soft Laundry Detergent

Similarity Score: 63%

Reviewer said the biggest difference she noticed was smell- both before and after washing. She noted that both detergents have a baby smell, but Dreft is more of a strong powder-fresh smell that lasted post-wash. Both cleaned clothes well, but reviewer would stick to name brand. Buy the Name Brand

Ziploc Freezer Quart Bags vs. up & up Quart Freezer Bags

Similarity Score: 63%

Up & up's quart freezer baggies have a thinner closure, making it more difficult to make sure they are seal and more likely for your food to freezer burn! Stick with Ziploc on this one! Buy the Name Brand


Scotch Double Sided Tape vs. up & up Double Sided Tape

Similarity Score: 67%

All Scotch tape dispensers have a groove on the bottom making them easier to hold than the up & up tape. Up & up has a stronger smell that is pretty funky for tape. Testers did think both tapes held well on stickiness, but Scotch rips off more smoothly. Buy the Name Brand

Best of Grocery

Nature Nate’s 100% Pure Raw and Unfiltered Honey vs. Simply Balanced Organic Honey

Similarity Score: 99%

While Simply Balanced's Organic Honey container is slightly smaller, these honeys taste incredibly similar. Both are products of Brazil and 100% pure organic honey. Buy Here

Peter Pan 100% Natural Creamy Peanut Butter vs. Market Pantry Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

Similarity Score: 99%

Market Pantry and Peter Pan's Natural Creamy Peanut Butters are incredibly similar. The only difference is that Market Pantry has a little oil on top (even though it is no stir) and its texture is overall more natural. Buy Here

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Del Monte Mandarin Oranges No Sugar Added vs. Market Pantry Mandarin Oranges in Light Syrup

Similarity Score: 98%

Market Pantry and Peter Pan's Natural Creamy Peanut Butters are incredibly similar. The only difference is that Market Pantry has a little oil on top (even though it is no stir) and its texture is overall more natural. Buy Here

Mott’s Unsweetened Applesauce vs. Market Pantry No Sugar Added Applesauce

Similarity Score: 97%

Motts has a barrel print on the packaging to find the tab and market pantry does not. Mott's has a slightly smoother texture than Market Pantry. Overall, we did think this was a good dupe based on taste. Buy Here

Domino Confectioners Sugar vs. Market Pantry Powdered Sugar

Similarity Score: 96%

Excellent dupe- our bakers could not tell these apart at all! Buy Here

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Worst of Grocery

Sabra Supremely Spicy Hummus vs. Simply Balanced Organic Spicy Three Pepper Hummus

Similarity Score: 36%

The Target brand's hummus was rated across the board to be an terrible alternative. The store brand lacked essential spicy pepper flavor and substituted it with an unnatural/processed taste that was dwarf in comparison to the Sabra product. Stick to the Sabra brand.


Cheetos Cheese Flavored Snacks Crunchy vs. Market Pantry Cheese Crunch Cheddar Cheese Flavored Corn Snack

Similarity Score: 39%

Stick with the name brand- it's cheesier and crunchier. Market Pantry is not a great comparison!

Rold Gold Tiny Twists Original vs. Market Pantry Pretzel Mini Twists

Similarity Score: 52%

The Rold Gold are much crunchier and thinner. The Market Pantry don't have much flavor at all compared to the name brand. The Market Pantry packaging is also thin, and tears easily. Buy the Name Brand

Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup vs. Market Pantry Cream of Mushroom Soup

Similarity Score: 58%

Our tester did NOT enjoy the flavor of the store brand. Stick to the name brand on this one. Buy the Name Brand

Kellogg’s Eggo Blueberry Waffles vs. Market Pantry Blueberry Waffles

Similarity Score: 62%

Consumers report that Market Pantry's Blueberry waffles aren't as authentic as the Eggo version. Market Pantry's waffles taste like they are baked with blueberry flavoring, not real blueberries. Stick with Eggo!

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What are some of your Target faves? What’s your proudest/ most embarrassing Target story. Gosh, we loved reviewing this store!

Carolyn KochardComment