A while back I talked about how we introduced Princess C to her first taste of "solid" food, rice cereal. We opted to go with the brand name we knew, Gerber and everything was fine. She ate it, she seemed to enjoy it, she digested it fine, no complaints. Then the time came for us to be back in the baby aisle at the grocery store to pick out fruits and vegetable jars. This time, we would not opt for Gerber.
When looking at the shelf of fruits and veggies this particular grocery store offered three brands; Gerber, Beech-Nut, and Earth's Best. Being that C is our first child, we never had to buy baby food jars before and we wanted to make sure we looked at each option carefully. I'll walk you through the differences between these three brands and for this post's purposes when I refer to Gerber I am referring to their non-organic line, when I refer to Beech-Nut I am referring to their Classics line and Earth's Best is simply Earth's Best as their entire line is organic.
Before I continue I must state that the hubby and I conducted our search ourselves and selected the brand on our own, I have not been compensated for this review.
Beech-Nut and Earth's Best are both glass jars with lids that pop when opened and Gerber is a plastic, square container.
The hubby and I individually decided in our minds that the plastic container seemed like a terrible idea, if the lid didn't secure right once you've opened it and had to store it in the fridge, the next time you reached for it the potential for baby food all over the place seemed rather great. However, the glass jars with the lids that twist on and off will keep our fridge safe. Also, whenever comparing plastic to glass, personally for me, glass is always better anyway.
When it came to price in this particular grocery store, Beech-Nut was the cheapest and the most expensive was Earth's Best. For comparison sake I've looked on Walmart.com for pricing of sweet potatoes across the three brands.
One (1) 2-pack of Gerber Sweet Potato 4 oz tubs $1.84 ($1.17 in store)
One (1) 2-pack of Beech-Nut Sweet Potato 4 oz jars $1.48 ($1.04 in store)
*Earth's Best Sweet Potato was only offered via a 12 pack* price $27.72
Based off of this price, One (1) 2-pack of Earth's Best Sweet Potato 4 oz jars $4.62
Amazon offers of 4 pack, variety pack, which includes 1 sweet potato at $11.95 making each individual 4 oz jar $2.98.
Earth's Best stated they were organic and both Beech-Nut and Gerber had the "Non GMO certified" label.
When comparing jar to jar, for example, squash, all three simply had squash and water listed as the ingredients. This seemed to be the case for a majority of the veggies; for our purposes carrots, peas, and green beans were compared. Earth's Best didn't have a straight green beans option offered they only have green beans with rice. When comparing sweet potatoes, both Gerber and Earth's Best added in Absorbic Acid (presumably for color) but Beech-Nut did not.
Then we moved on to the fruits. For example, bananas, every brand listed bananas (Earth's Best listed them as organic bananas) water, Citric Acid, and Absorbic Acid aka Vitamin C. Same for the apples, both Gerber and Earth's Best listed apples (Earth's Best were organic) and Absorbic Acid. Here Beech-Nut listed water as well.
With the ingredients pretty comparable it was boiling down to container, price and flavor options.
When it comes to flavor options surprisingly, Gerber does not offer much variety in either of their "First Foods" or "Second Foods" lines. They offer the standards; apple, pear, sweet potato, carrot but their combination jars are lacking.
Beech-Nut has a ton of different combination jars; pear & pineapple, apple & blueberry, garden veggies, mixed veggies, corn & sweet potato.
Earth's Best breaks it down into 4+, 6+ and 9+. The 4+ being pretty equal to Gerber's "First Foods"; apples, bananas, carrots, peas, prunes. Then their 6+ line is comparable to Beach-Nut's variety where they experiment with fun combos; apples & apricots, apple & pumpkin, pears & raspberries, and summer vegetable.
When it came to container, price, ingredients and flavor we decided to go with Beech-Nut Classics. Not having a glass jar took Gerber out of the running at the beginning but we would have been willing to look past it if they had better ingredients, price or flavor options. However Earth's Best and Beech-Nut were both in glass jars, and while Earth's Best is organic the ingredients were otherwise the same and Beech-Nut's prices were much more reasonable.
Our little princess seems to be happy with our decision so far, she is liking squash, apples, and pears the most. She is not a fan of bananas and she could take or leave carrots. It has been fun introducing her to new flavors and to see what gets a reactionary face.