As a rule, Southern dads don’t buy into name brands.
If you’ve ever shopped with a Southern dad, you’ve likely noticed their affinity for generic products. Rather than picking up some Advil, they’re grabbing the nearby bottle of non-branded Ibuprofen. Try to steer them to Bounty, and they’ll veer toward the two-ply, make-a-size option of whatever store brand is available. They’ve even been known to stealthily swap generic for name brand when their shopping companions aren’t looking.* Whether it’s food, beverages, medicine, or paper products, Southern dads have a tendency to fill their shopping carts with generic options.
Could it be? Are Southern dads allergic to name brands? That’s unconfirmed (and, likely, unconfirmable), but what is evident is that Southern dads, by and large, appreciate buying generic. Why? What do they know that the rest of us don’t?
We think it all boils down to research. When it comes to food, drink, and medicine, it’s clear: These dads aren’t afraid to dive into the ingredients list, read it carefully, and compare. “Oh, all the same active ingredients? And the generic option is cheaper? Generic, please.” They know that when you’re buying a name brand, you’re usually paying more for just that—the name. Dads don’t put stock in logos. They’re just hoping to secure a deal without sacrificing quality.
Our generic-buying dads would also be pleased to know that yes, in fact, their affinity for these store- or off-brand products indicates their superior smarts. According to a 2014 paper out of Tilburg University and the University of Chicago, the more informed the consumer, the more likely they are to purchase generic products over name brand ones.
So why not buy generic? As long as the ingredients (and dosage, if it’s medicine) are comparable, there are very few reasons you shouldn’t save money and go generic. (If you’re curious, here’s a run-down of the U.S. FDA’s rules for generic medicines.) So, if it’s a product that will do the job equally well, there’s really no need to shell out for a shiny name brand. But, of course, Southern dads have known that all along.
WATCH: Things Only Southern Dads Know
Does your Southern dad always buy generic? What are the name brands he’ll shell out a few extra dollars for?
*Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are based on decades of following a Southern dad around grocery stores.