Novel Completion Queries, Day Thirteen

Is the novel finished? NO

Today’s question: Name a product brand (or two) that you are not entirely rationally attached to. This is usually expressed is a rivalry (Coke vs. Pepsi, XBox vs. PlayStation) but doesn’t have to be.

My answer: I think Coke Zero is obvious, so I’ll mention a less known one: I have a difficult time buying jeans that aren’t from Levi’s, simply because when I was a kid, they were the brand, as opposed to Lee (for the urban cowboys), Wranglers (dude, who even wore those) or the various “designer jeans” which at the time were targeted more at the women’s market anyway. Nowadays there are all sorts of hipster alternatives for jeans, but I stick with the Levi’s.

Fun fact: I was in Walmart the other day picking up socks and underwear for my trip and decided I should get a new pair of jeans too, but Walmart doesn’t stock Levi’s — but it does stock “Signature by Levi Strauss,” i.e., “the brand that Levi’s makes for downmarket stores that Levi’s wouldn’t otherwise be in” (Lee and Wrangler, I’ll note, were amply represented by their lead brands). And I was all, whatever, dudes, and bought a pair.

Your brand?

126 Comments on “Novel Completion Queries, Day Thirteen”

  1. As direction for this particular thread:

    One, don’t argue with other people about their irrational brand affiliations, please. It’s rude, and as noted, these brand affiliations don’t always make rational sense. We all have our weaknesses.

    Two, don’t be all, like, “Hey, you know [insert brand here] [insert terrible business practice here] to make that product here, right?” They may. But this isn’t the comment thread for that discussion. Thanks.

  2. Like our host, when I grew up (and *where* I grew up) it was Levi’s brand jeans. There was no substitute. Then when I moved to Texas, it was Wrangler jeans and Levi’s were not cool. So I bought a pair of Wrangler jeans. You know what? Not a big difference in terms of comfort. Jeans is jeans, it seems.

  3. I’ll go along with you on the Levis. When I was a young lad, my parents used to buy me cheap jeans that had a problem with the zipper staying up. I started lobbying for “the ones with buttons” and have worn them ever since. The Levis brand isn’t enough. Must have button fly.

  4. In England: I get notebooks only from WH Smith’s (a stationers and newsagents). And even within that, only a specific type of A5 or A6 spiral-bound lined notebook. I really hate it when the style changes as it has done twice in the last twenty-five years …

  5. I’ll agree on Levi’s, insofar as I used to only wear them, until the price in a pair started creeping up over $40. (it’s more like $60 now.) Lee’s and Wranglers just don’t fit right. The less said about Old Navy denim the better. But I do find that Member’s Mark and Kirkland Signature (Sam’s Club and Costco’s brands, respectively) cut thier jeans in such a way that, at $13 a pair, I can deal.

  6. High end makeup – Lancome; Estee Lauder. Guys – it is stupid expensive: I have spent $90.00 on a very little 1 ounce jar of cream because it Will Make Me Beautiful. No drug store brands for me: similar little jar would be about $12.00.

  7. Red Wing work boots. I’m a grown-ass man, but my mom says I have “princess feet”. Bargain shoes = bargain feet. No thanks. Have a good time on your trip Down Under. See if that whole toilet flush rotation thing is true.

  8. Diet Coke. I imagine I can taste a difference re Diet Pepsi, but that is not supported by data – I can’t tell when a restaurant forgets to mention they’re Pepsi not Coke.

    I can tell the difference in bar soda (all sodas going through the same nozzle) and the various other diets: Coke Zero, Pepsi 10, etc.

  9. True with Levis. I stopped wearing them when I completely stopped caring about fashion about the time my daughter was born. I’ll wear the cheaper version that happens to be made by the same people in the same factory with the same materials.

    Only brand that I can think of that I have any loyalty for is Honda.

  10. For me it’s Calvin Klein. Now I don’t usually buy full price, but if I see jeans, socks, underwear, whatever and it’s Calvin Klein at a discount store, I’ll probably buy it whether I need it or not.

  11. I don’t drink much soda — not a huge fan of carbonated drinks — but when I do, there’s a local mid-Atlantic brand that is wonderful. Rock Creek sodas are great — especially the ginger ale which is FAR less sweet, and more gingery than the major brands. They do a pineapple soda that’s fabulous, too. And they’re 99 cents for a 2-liter! So quite the deal. They don’t do diet soda, so they’re just an occasional treat.

    Also, any cheese from Jasper Hill farms in Vermont. Because everything they make is amazing.

    Draghtsman’s tools by Alvin. Because Staedtler tools universally hate me and fight back.

    And lastly, power tools by DeWalt. Generally a good balance between “affordable enough for Henrietta Homeowner” and “beefy enough for contractor use.”

  12. Lego first. None of the knock-offs come close. After that, Hellman’s (or Best Foods, depending on which side of the Rockies you’re on) Mayonnaise. I have to say it was weird seeing both ‘brands’ on the same shelf in Colorado though. I thought that was like crossing the streams. Agree with the Levis though.

  13. Crown Royal Whisky. No cheap whisky is as good, and you get that cool velvet bag.

    And just an interesting sidebar: WalMart used to sell these unbranded jeans for $10 on their web site, but not in stores–I bought a pair to use for gardening. I mean: ten bucks, right? I’m 6’3 and 330 pounds with tree trunk legs and not a lot of pants fit me right, and these were reputed to be very loose. Well, they came and it turned out they were made from really, really heavy denim with big sturdy rivets and an industrial-grade zipper–like the old unwashed Levis, but soft. Long story short, I bought two more pair and ten years have passed and I’ve got 3 pair of mail order WalMart Jeans. One of the pairs still looks practically new. Alas, they don’t have ’em any more–they probably got smart and realized that selling $10 jeans that last a decade isn’t really their idiom, in the age of planned obsolescence.

  14. Apple electronics. I think it’s largely rational (whenever I try to use products from other companies, I find them annoying and don’t like the way they “feel”), but other things being equal I’d still prefer Apple, I think.

  15. I agree with Harry on Diet Coke. In my last workplace the canteen only sold Pepsi products so I had to keep a Diet Coke stash in our fridge.

  16. Wranglers work for me. I try to purchase gasoline at an Exxon station. Why? Exxon gave me my very first gasoline credit card while an early driver in the late sixties. Plus, a few years before my summer job was at a research polling firm. I remember working up results on a statistically random poll in North Central Texas that was testing the very name Exxon, along with Esso and others, before the company adopted Exxon as their name for North American operations. Cool, huh? I guess I stay with Exxon because I feel I was a wee part of their selection of the very name Exxon. My other card is Valero because I was an early fan of it’s predecessor name Diamond Shamrock.

  17. I can think of about 4 brands:

    Moleskine notebooks

    Staedtler pens

    Black Ticonderoga #2 pencils

    Under Armour running gear

  18. Barq’s Root Beer. I know even among mass market that A&W is beter, but its irrational.

    Drake’s Cakes. Yodels, in particular. The hell of it is, I can’t get them cheaply out here.

  19. Two things:

    Strawberry Crush… I’m diabetic and shouldn’t have soda with real sugar but I keep a two-liter bottle of Strawberry Crush in the fridge and treat myself to a swallow or two every couple days.

    Pik-Nik brand cheese curls. They’re essentially the same sort of thing as Cheetos but I think they taste a lot better. I was addicted to ’em for a while… going through a canister (they come in a canister rather than a bag) about every day and a half. I weaned myself off the addiction but still keep ’em around the house and pop a handful every now and then.

  20. Dr. Pepper over any other soda, Hue socks, Colgate over Crest, Blackwing pencils, but jeans? Whatever fits will do.

  21. JIF peanut butter. I think it is the only thing I use, that I never ever use another brand.

  22. Ocean Spray cranberries. I grew up in southeastern Massachusetts where a lot of people at least a part of their living from harvesting cranberries so that’s why I’m irrationally attached to that brand.

  23. – Parker pens, because they were the first I ever used (still use them, can’t buy any others)
    – Saab cars

  24. I can think of a few off-hand:

    – Schweppes’ Tonic Water
    – Lactancia butter (too expensive for my budget, but . . . )
    – Balderson’s 4 yr old aged white cheddar
    – the bread you get in all of the smaller towns on Reunion Island (not in the capital city) I swear it’s the best bread in the world

  25. Ray-Bans. No other sunglasses count.

    Diet Coke is not an irrational brand favoritism. Diet Coke simply tastes better than the competition, therefore this is a rational preference.

  26. I’ve been wearing Lee jeans for thirty years–no other brand fits me as well. I buy maybe two pairs at a time, and wear them until they start falling apart. They’re (for me, anyway, I’m relatively sedentary) very durable, so they last me a long time.

    I use Red Heart yarn for almost all my craft projects–yes, there’s yarn out there that’s softer, but RH is sturdier and has a larger color palette than lots of other brands. RH tends to be more expensive than other brands, but again, for the durability and color variety, it’s worth it. It’s annoying that Walmart’s really cutting back on their selection, and Hobby Lobby’s basically given up on RH in favor of their own house brand, so if I can’t find it at Wallyworld I have to get it online. Sometimes I’ll get lucky and it’s “if you buy X quantity you get free shipping,” so that’s not so bad.

  27. *ahem* I used to wear Wranglers when I was young because they were comfy and I rode horses. Apparently, the two went together. At least in Nebraska.

  28. I was, and still am, a Lee jean gal. It’s because they fit better so that probably isn’t what you were going for.

    I’m exclusive to Drake’s cakes, as well. Tastykake and Little Debbie are not even edible. I’ve heard this is a regional thing and if I lived 20 miles closer to Philly I’d be all over the Tastykakes but, how could that be?

    Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

  29. Northern California coffee snob here, so: PEET’S COFFEE!!! Also, there’s a local ice cream brand here called Three Twins that has an organic cardamom ice cream which is absolutely fabulous. Also their Mexican chocolate. I buy pints of it at the Farmers’ Market; the other flavors are good too, but those two are what I always buy.

  30. Moleskine notebooks and Pilot G-2 05 pens. Touch my pen and die. (And Diet Coke). Pretty much everything else is whatever is on sale when I need it.

  31. Levi’s for me. I stick with a particular type of them (although I did switch types a decade or so ago). I’ve tried several different brands over the years and Levi’s just worked better.

    I’ve also been moving more into the Apple kingdom lately, after years of building my own PCs and owning Android phones. It’s hard to explain why, it just works better for me.

  32. Eddie Bauer clothing. For both casual and business casual needs. I became a fan because they offered a military discount, and they have a no questions return policy. If I rip my shirt, I can get it replaced at any Eddie Bauer store in the country. Excellent service.

    For drinks, I’m partial to cherry coke or cherry coke zero. For booze, Crown Royal.

  33. Kirkland (Costco) jeans, Blue DIamond Smokehouse Almonds (cheaper at Costco), techwise (sorry Dave) anything Apple (last two PCs died inside 2 yrs, still using my 4 yr old Mac).

  34. Starrett machinist’s hand tools
    Diet Dr. Pepper
    Gold Toe Metropolitan OTC socks

  35. Diet Coke here, too, except my favorite tipple is Diet Coke with Lime. Yum!

    Other products:

    Community Coffee — the New Orleans blend with chicory (local south Louisiana brand, easily mail-orderable, buy in quantity and shipping is free)

    Dawn detergent (goes twice as far, plus it’s the detergent of choice for cleaning oil-soaked birds)

    Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese (I grew up on it, it’s still the best even if it’s stupid expensive on the Right Coast). The only acceptable substitute is cheese from the Amish market.

  36. Jif peanut butter. No idea why, maybe because that’s what my mom always bought. But I always buy it.

    @whawhawhatsis Thanks for buying Tillamook! We in Oregon thank you. I may be biased, but I think it’s darn good cheese.

  37. Eudora email. I’ve used it for over 20 years, and it’s been unsupported for ages. I refused to update my 10 year old Mac because Eudora wouldn’t run on the new Mac. I know that at some point I’ll have to give in and upgrade, but maybe I’ll die first.

    Also Jeni’s Ice Cream. It started local to Columbus Ohio, but is available other places now. Simply the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted.

  38. Starbucks. I know they’re rationally not the best, or the cheapest. But they’re my coffee. Also Apple computers and phones, but Consumer Reports has my back on that one, usually. ;)

  39. I’m with you on the Coke Zero. I can’t drink any other diet cola without thinking it tastes “odd.” One brand I’ve been using almost everyday for the last 20 years is Pert Shampoo + Conditioner. I have on occasion tried other shampoos, something when I’m staying out of town and forgot my Pert, and my hair always feels strange. I’m sure it’s just it’s all in my mind.

  40. Hellmann’s mayonnaise (see below).

    Land O’Lakes butter, which I really think tastes better (but I haven’t done a taste test), and not because it shows up on my grocery receipts as LOL BUTTER, though I find this hilarious.

    San-J gluten-free tamari. Hard to find gluten-free (friends with severe allergies) tamari period, and this one tastes terrific.


    After that, Hellman’s (or Best Foods, depending on which side of the Rockies you’re on) Mayonnaise.

    I know a couple, one from CA and one from NY, who argued (when they first met) about which brand of mayonnaise was the best. When they read the label (on Hellmann’s, because this was in Michigan), they laughed and laughed.

    I share your attachment to Hellmann’s. I grew up on Miracle Whip (the very smell of which now makes me queasy) and real actual mayonnaise was a revelation. No other brand tastes quite right. Nothing is better than sliced New Jersey tomatoes and Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise (preferably from a just-opened jar, so it’s at room temperature) on pumpernickel. Shredded extra-sharp cheddar optional. Mmmmm!


    Barq’s Root Beer. I know even among mass market that A&W is beter, but its irrational.

    Last I checked Barq’s was the only brand of root beer with caffeine. That’s a non-irrational reason for a preference for it (or against it), even if you’re not aware of the fact.

  41. Contadina tomato products (sauce, paste, crushed, etc.)

    I make my own gravy (spaghetti sauce to most of the rest of the US, “red sauce” here in the midwest, alas) from my old family recipe. That’s the brand we had when I was a kid. That’s the brand I use.

    Hunts me no Hunts.

  42. @John Scalzi, you could have saved yourself a chunk of change on the Levi’s if you had bought Brittania’s at K-Mart. Same cut patterns, same cloth, same paperwork. I worked for 15 years for one of Levi’s contract cutting facilities. for a crap ton of that time a good chunk of our work was the Brittania line. The only difference was the labels we shipped with the jeans to a plant in the 807 Caribbean basin zone. Other plants got Levi’s, the Brittania plant got Brittania.

    My irrational attachment is my Lumia 925 Windows phone. Never cared for Apple, don’t like Android (except for one tablet I have!) and there are no other real choices out there. Shrug. ;-)

  43. Being British, it’s Marks and Spencer knickers for me.The Clinique 3 step cleansing/moisturising system perhaps. I don’t drink cola at all. I do hate Marmite though. I prefer Cadbury’s chocolate bars to those from Mars/Rowntree. My two favourite cereals (Mini Cinis aka Cinnamon Toast Crunchies and Shreddies) come from Nestlé which is a shame because they are evil.Otherwise I’m usually an own brand kind of woman.

  44. I afford myself only 3 luxuries, and only one of them involves being faithful to a brand — books, music, and (Twinings) hot tea. Speaking of mayo, lately I’ve been buying Best Foods balsamic mayo, and I love it.

  45. Just as an aside, I’ve been amazed at some of the answers. Some go well with my own leanings, and others are so antithetical that arguments would ensue in other venues.

  46. Pan American World Airways, because we’re all waiting to ride the Orion Shuttle to Space Station V, aren’t we?

    (They’ll be back. Just like Nixon.)

  47. Wranglers, RC Cola, Pizza Hut thin and crispy, extra sauce, light cheese (because I can make my own salad there, too), Dell PC’s (my last one lasted, with hardware upgrades, 13 years), Adidas sneakers (cause they fit best) Heinz ketchup, PikNik sticks, home-made cookies over anything store bought!, BLT’s without the mayo.

  48. So many to choose from! As a teacher who still does some grading with pens, I absolutely have to have the PaperMate Profile 1.4. No gel pens – I need real ink. They were hard to find for awhile, so I would stockpile them. Also, I am very particular about the Post-It notes I use for research. The colored tabs have to be the small red, blue, yellow and green tabs, which are no longer popular. Last time I needed them, I had to order them from the Post-It webpage, and I had to order a lot of them so they would ship them to me. Also, the small yellow Post-It notes. It seems the larger ones or the neon colored ones are popular, and the small yellow ones are hard to find.

    Other brand obsessions: Coke Zero, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (so stretchy and comfy for an ever expanding middle aged body), Moleskine notebooks, and Starbucks mocha ground coffee beans.

  49. Nabisco saltines, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, Collier’s Welsh cheese

  50. Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap since 1973 and Shikai Shampoo since 1982 (both by the gallon to cut down on plastic), Colgate since forever – just tastes right, Dr. Pepper regular (never diet) when I drink soda at all, Revere Ware made in Clinton Illinois, LL Bean turtlenecks and Keen’s sneakers – they just look like something Mickey Mouse would dance in.

  51. Let me preface this by announcing that any attachments I have are de facto completely rational and sane. That being said, you can have my Lays potato chips when you pry them from my greasy orange hands.

  52. I’m another fan of Hellman’s Mayo. I won’t buy anything else. Rational? How would I know, I’ve never tasted another mayonnaise. Maybe it comes from a time when someone gave me a sandwich with one of those mayo-looking ‘salad dressings’. She told me it tastes just like mayo…. and it didn’t. So Hellman’s for me!

  53. I bought my first pair of Levi’s 501s at thirteen for $6.00. Wore them exclusively until my late 50s when they no longer accommodated my time- and gravity-ravaged body. So now, I just wear baggy khakis and cargo shorts. And my one suit for weddings and funerals (same suit–different ties).

    Oh, and I am inordinately loyal to Dr. Pepper, Best Foods, Thorlo socks, Cholula and Makers Mark.

  54. Key bib overalls. I’ve worn ’em since hippiehood and they are the sh*t. Levi’s for Sunday-going-to-meeting jeans, but Keys otherwise.

  55. I’m fussy about writing implements. Used to be Sanford Liquid Expresso, until Papermate bought them out and screwed up the product. Now it’s Pilot Jetstream 1.0 for writing, Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 for drawing.

    Oh, and Clay Art Center DWS cone 10 stoneware. Used to use Seattle Pottery Supply’s Pine Lake White but their quality control is crap…

  56. I’m not generally a big believer in brand loyalty, but I do have a thing for Publix supermarkets. This is as opposed to the other major supermarket around here, Winn-Dixie, and the last time I was in one of those I saw an awful lot of flies.

  57. It’s a depressingly long and diverse list.

    Noodler’s fountain pen ink + Lamy Safari fountain pens (same two pens for … 20? years)
    Kewpie mayonnaise
    Wrangler jeans (enough room in the legs to do real work)
    Diet Coke (and yes it is night and day difference from Diet Pepsi!)
    Yokohama tires
    Jif peanut butter
    Crystal hot sauce (three ingredients yields perfection)
    Let’s not get started on hand tool brands …

    And one more – PBR! If it’s one of those rare beer evenings after helping a friend move (or paint the house, or …), I don’t want to have an intellectual conversation with a beer. I want it cold, bubbly, and easy to talk to. Lots of brands fit that description, but I always choose the PBR.

    Perhaps more interesting are list of things that are not on the list. Some of the most highly branded goods like cars, cell phones, watches, and fashion items don’t do it for me.

  58. Yes, Levi’s. Specifically, 501s. I got back into the S.F. Giants a couple years ago after having lost touch with baseball for a number of years. They have the best announcers in sports. And products from Anchor Brewery and Anchor Distilling. The common thread? All from my home town.

  59. Best Foods mayonnaise, like so many others. Philly cream cheese and Neufchatel. Levi’s 580s are currently the only jeans that come close to fitting my curves, so I’ll probably stick with those for the foreseeable future. Onion dip must be made with Lipton’s soup mix (okay, Recipe Secrets) although both sour cream and plain Greek yogurt are acceptable bases for it. Caffe d’Vita powdered cappuccino + Cafe Francais is my standard morning “coffee” and I have been known to hug the Costco cans of the former when I find them. I can’t find Cafe Francais locally so I used to have my mom bring it when she’d visit but now I have an Amazon subscription for it. Have never found a powdered coffee-ish substance that I care for more than those two. Likewise, Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream is in its own category even though other coffee ice creams are sometimes more coffeeish. My husband always brings Golden Dragon Lite Soy back when he visits his family in Vancouver BC because he’s never found a soy sauce that was light (flavorwise, I mean) here he likes.

    Also Pilot erasable pens (the ones for the Japanese market, which have many more colors) and the Sanford Kuru Toga mechanical pencils, designed for writing kanji and the least smudgy I can find. Not that I’ve looked really thoroughly, I admit. Got them for doing knitting designs on 8 or 10 to the inch graph paper.

    Xopher, IIRC Land O’ Lakes has a patented flavor-seal packaging (I feel I should put quotes around that, but it’s probably not a direct quote) that really does work well to keep out other refrigerator flavors, so that could account for the better taste. I too have found it very good though even though I usually keep butter in a sealed glass container.

    Most of us are coming up with individual food items (and occasional nonfood items) rather than brands, it seems. I have a harder time thinking of entire brand lines that I get just because I get them. Certain hand-dyed yarns and videogame series, I suppose.

  60. Swanson’s Natural Goodness chicken broth. It’s a lower salt canned broth. I’ve been faithful since it hit the shelves. College me no Inns.

  61. Caffeine-free Coke with sugar (or HFCS, whatever). I want the sweet but not the caffeine.
    Dawn dish detergent. Works so much better.
    Pilot BP-5 fine-point pens with blue ink. The ink flows just how I like it and the line is thin.
    St. Ives collagen elastin lotion in the tub (*not* the bottle). Been using it for 35 years.
    Suave coconut shampoo.

  62. NVIDIA over ATI graphic cards. Sure the NVIDIAs run a bit hotter, but they just seem to run better.

  63. Illy caffè. Better than any other Italian brand available here in the States. In a pinch I can use Lavazza, but Illy, is better. Of course – so long as I can find the medium-roast Illy caffè, not the “dark roast” so clearly designed to cater to American tastes.

  64. Vittoria coffee.

    Lamy fountain pens.

    Vegemite (but that’s not irrational – marmite is awful, and the non-Kraft foods vegemights vegedon’t.)

  65. When I started drinking beer (15/16) Coors was popular and just breaking away from a regional brand. Despite better beers being available, I find myself drinking it more than other brands.

  66. Well, let’s see.

    — Diet Coke over others.
    — LEGO brand bricks beat out Mega Blox.
    — And finally, I’ve got an irrational love for Microsoft Keyboards. They’re not the best out there, but if I’ve got to buy my own tools, then I’ll buy a good enough keyboard that isn’t too expensive. I’m fond of their ergonomic keyboards, especially.

  67. DH has an irrational brand name lust: Best Foods, Advil, Levi’s are all preferable to the generic equivalents. I tend to go with whatever is least expensive but will fill the need. The only thing I tend to prefer is Macy’s house brand of jeans, Style & Co., which is a brand I can buy online or secondhand, and still have them fit. I grew up with an imported type of specialty licorice, Salmiak Pastillen, which is hard to find, possibly discontinued, and I suspect I may be getting old stock.

  68. My loyalties are measured mostly in local pizza places. Specifically the greasy, terrible, cheap place that delivered 24 hours when I was in college I will still order, despite how much better several place are objectively because this is what pizza is SUPPOSED to be like, dammit…

  69. Oscar Mayer bacon.

    Intellectually, I’m sure it’s indistinguishable from other bacon brands. But when the store only has an off brand, I swear it tastes different, has a different texture, cooks differently.

    I cook a *mean* bacon and egg breakfast.

  70. Mostly I’m not really fixated on brand identity when it comes to buying things – more on price and availability. That said, I do have some definite preferences in taste/formula when it comes to buying certain things, to the point where if I’m going to give the shopping list to my partner, I will mention the brand for those particular things. This includes:

    Pataks brand curry pastes
    Continental brand stock powder
    Continental brand cup-a-soup
    Continental brand seasoned rice or pasta and sauce packet mixes
    Bonne Maman brand jam (because this is the brand currently in supermarkets which has the most actual fruit in it)
    Roses brand lime marmalade (this is sort of a “gotcha”, because I don’t think any of the other jam brands actually *makes* a lime marmalade)

    I also have an irrational preference (well, irrational to other people – makes perfect sense to me) for Pilot GPS-BP fine-point blue pens for when I have to take or make notes. Earth Choice green tea and lime dishwashing concentrate. Oh, and Libra brand sanitary pads.

    That said, I actually have a more comprehensive list of brands I won’t purchase unless I can’t possibly avoid it. Things like Dole brand pineapple (we have an Australian brand which doesn’t go to supporting the US political system); Nestle brand anything (for Reasons); and I’ll generally avoid the “big” brand names in just about everything if I can (particularly the whole Coca-Cola Amatil/Pepsico rivalry – they don’t sell the flavours I’m interested in, to start with).

  71. Lee and Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce

    French’s Yellow Mustard (Forget that brown or spicy mustard and don’t even get me going on Dijonnaise. why would you ruin Mustard by adding mayonnaise??? Plain yellow mustard and French’s has the best)

    Budweiser beer (My go to beer that is easy to drink)

  72. creekwood pants and shorts purchased online at casual male (for my oversized waistline). Plus i use loggers buttons and wear them with suspenders.

  73. Coke, Best Foods mayo, Skippy peanut butter, A&W root beer (I miss the waitresses on roller skates), Lee jeans, Hanes undies, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Dr Pepper, Campbell’s soup, Dawn dishwashing detergent (they use it on seabirds!), Cascade dishwasher detergent, and my Le Creuset oval Dutch oven from back when they were actually made in France (not China).

    Other than that, I’m all about the generic brands because money.

  74. Yeah, Levi’s 501 button-fly shrink-to-fits. That last bit is the important one. I’ve been wearing shrink-to-fits since 1971, and I see no reason to stop now. It’s tremendously inconvenient; there’s only one place in the entire city of 800,000 people where I live that still carries them, a general store out on the southeast corner of town. But once every couple of years I’ll go out there and buy a new pair to work into the rotation. They’ll last me like ten years before they’re too holed to patch any longer and have to be thrown out.

    And Utilikilt Mockers. I’ve looked at all the other models of Utilikilt, and a whole bunch of their clones, and none of them suits me as well as the Mocker does. I love the front slit and back welt pockets that give ’em a straight, smooth line like chinos (as they were designed to do), and I can (and do) wear them to the office week in and week out.

  75. Californians are usually addicted to In-n-Out, but since moving here I found that the best fast food in the state BY MILES is El Pollo Loco.

  76. Also too, for the past 17 years (ever since it came on the market), I only use Aveeno shaving gel. To the point when a few years ago it disappeared from the shelves (due to some faulty valves in the can design), I wrote to the company and demanded to know when it will come back. Got a $5 coupon for my loyalty too….

  77. I buy only Skechers tennis shoes, but that’s completely rational because I try on other brands and they don’t fit right. Or the other brands insist that I wear bright colors on my feet, while Skechers always seems to offer something in white.

    I also have a strong brand loyalty to Bubbie’s for pickles and sauerkraut.

    If it’s irrational you want, there’s New Belgium. Seeing as how I’m allergic to malt, wheat, and barley, this makes no sense whatsoever.

  78. Apple products. My last experience with Windows was less than great and, while I know intellectually that they’ve improved since 95…

    New Balance sneakers. At least at one time, they were the only brand that fit properly, and I haven’t looked into whether that’s still true.

    Frito-Lays over the equivalents from other companies in general (except sour cream and onion, where I have a preference for Wise).

    I’m positive the Zebra Airfit pen I have is at least an order of magnitude better than any other pen i’ve used.

    I’m also probably addicted to Pocky, regardless of flavor.

  79. My absolute Irrational need? Black Classic Reebok high tops. Mens preferred, cause I got wide feet. My current pair are actually a size too big cause I couldn’t find any others. I lucked out though, the outlet store actually had two pair in that size, for heavy clearance. Lowtop tennis shoes bug the daylights out of me, and other brands aren’t as comfortable to wear without socks.

    Another need is the only “out of the box” type Pad Thai mixes I’ve found that I like to eat is made by Thai Kitchen, the Peanut type instead of spicy. Although they’re irritating the heck out of me by cutting the amount of noodles in the box. So I buy extra noodles to put in with it. I’d buy the spice packs on their own if they’d market it that way. [i got a wimp of a tongue, this mix gives me a lot of the Pad Thai flavor without the spicy ow]

    The last Have to Have is Panera Bread’s Fuji Apple Vinaigrette dressing. They sell it in grocery stores and I usually grab 2-3 when I find it, cause everyone else loves it too.

    Soda of addiction is Pepsi. And I do mean addiction. I’ve tried to kick it four times now and it just keeps creeping back onto me. At my worst it was all I drank. At my best, I went 6 months without. Nowadays I’m trying. TRYING. to limit myself to one a day.

  80. I, for some reason. refuse to use any Linux distro which isn’t openSUSE or Debian. (Out of the two I’m partial to Debian.) I also am extremely attached to my Aeropress, which strikes me as a little irrational.

  81. Converse sneakers for casual, Asics for running.

    Baby Ruths over Snickers.

    Apple computers, Android phones.

    Mexican Coke.


    Dr. Grip pens.

  82. Polar Diet Ginger Ale, and that Tangerine Zero soda they sell at Walmart. ‘Micro’ ball point pens, with BLUE ink, dammit!

  83. Craftsman hand tools, lifetime guarantee. I’ve broken shovel handles trying to get out shrubs, took the thing in, they point to the shovels on the wall rack, and I go pick one out, they do their cashier thing and I walk out with a new shovel. They keep spare ratchets at the cashier’s station, take the broken one in, they give you a repaired or refurbished ratchet, works fine for me. I don’t purposely abuse my tools, either, but sometimes, they do break.

  84. Kind of a product these days I think. My great irrational attachment is to the Melbourne Football Club. They haven’t won a premiership in 50 years, the current incarnation has the worst win/loss record in the history of the game and most experts have them in the bottom two for the upcoming season. On top of that they were quite recently investigated for deliberately losing games to get access to better draft picks, something that at least five other sides have also done but apparently not so blatantly. With all this I still fork over money for my membership every year and show up to games in the vain hope that I’ll see an improving team with some chance of playing finals in the near future.

  85. I like BMWs. I’ve owned two in my life: a new 318i that I drove as a company car in Germany in the late 1980s, and a 1998 Z3 for the past two years. It’s arguably irrational in that while these were both fun to drive, other cars I’ve had were just as much fun.

    Now I’m thinking about whether you can tell whether a single attachment, on its own, is irrational. (Two attachments can be irrational, as with cyclic preferences.) But a lot (most?) of people’s preferences expressed here seem to me to be pretty rational: a brand looks better, or works better, or is simply liked more than the alternatives. It’s not enough for a brand to cost more than alternatives, because cost isn’t everything, and many people find that a premium logo is worth paying for. I guess if someone were to say, “I buy Brand X even though I hate it–I don’t know why I keep doing it,” that would be irrational.

  86. Patagonia.

    There’s a lot I like about the company: their stance on environmental issues and applying it to how they make products; the fit, low weight, and durability of their gear; their awesome return/repair policy. A lot of that is matchable by other companies, sometimes (not always) at a lower price.

    What Patagonia really has is a home base in Ventura, CA, where I grew up, and wearing their gear gives me a little memory hook now and then back to that place.

  87. Moxie soda; Cracker Barrel cheese (and that’s a big part of the “reason” I don’t like the Cracker Barrel chain restaurants – not related to the cheese!!). That’s it, I think; my irrational brand attachments are food-related. I think that may be a good thing?

  88. Mad City coffee. I’ll buy it even over Starbucks. I have a meal I get at Mad City: medium skim latte, one packet of sweetener; humus platter, no sprouts, no peppers, no pickles, extra avocado, pita bread untoasted; chocolate chip cookie. Gotta have it. No substitutes allowed.

    Well, okay, sometimes I substitute some scrumptious, even more fattening desert for the cookie.

    With jeans, when I was a kid, I bought hip-hugger, bell-bottom jeans with a little bit of flash. Very trendy back then. Of course 2015 is a completely new decade, far removed from the fashion styles of my youth. A few months ago I went to the store and asked the girl in charge to help me pick out some jeans. And she did: boot-cut, low-rider jeans with the latest style in bling on the pockets. In other words — bell-bottom, hip-hugger jeans with a little bit of flash.

    I’m a creature of habit. Either that, or styles stay pretty constant despite what I believed back in the days of my rebellious youth.

  89. The Chicago Cubs baseball team. Hey, any team can have a bad century. Or, err, 106 years. Right?


  90. My Mac mini
    Tide detergent.
    Easy Spirit clogs. They don’t fall off my feet.
    Goya black beans.

  91. Tab. I still think it is the best diet soda. The fact that I can now buy it in sleeves of 12 at my local supermarket makes me irrationally happy.

  92. WINDOWS! for both sides of the equation. loved 3.11, 98se, xp, and 7 on one side, absolutely despised 95, 2000, millennia, vista, and 8 on the other.

  93. Oh, yeah- Oscar Mayer hot dogs and Crazy Richard’s peanut buttet. The first peanut butter to show me that Crunchy is Good.

  94. Since our host started with an affinity for certain type of jeans, I’ll continue on with that particular topic.

    I found that starting as young adult, Lee brand jeans were the only ones that I found that I was able to comfortable wear. I’m somewhat overweight and I wear suspenders, so it’s really important to find a pair of jeans that I can comfortably pull over my stomach to that phantom waistline that I have not seen since I was thin at the age of 9. All the other brands really don’t do it for me.

  95. Twinings tea over all others (except Harrods store brand).
    Leatherman over Swiss Army.
    KDE over Unity.
    Westbrae over Miso Master.

  96. John Fluevog shoes, and I’m also a recent but fervent convert to Lululemon yoga gear. Both are hometown brands, which helps me rationalize my affinity, but the size of my wardrobe collection is testament to my obsession.

  97. Actually, I wish this were a topic about products we hate with a passion beyond all reason. Like Fords…

  98. Wrangler jeans, because they are more comfortable to wear than any others, and because that was where I got my paycheck for several years — it really was a good place to work.

  99. Tide Detergent, Hellman’s Mayonnaise, Ann Taylor clothes (their petites fit me perfectly!). And I agree, Oscar Mayer Bacon is the best, especially the center cut – Yumm!

  100. King Arthur Flour, Thorlo socks, Viking sewing machine, regular Coke (or Mexican Coke). Maybe Subaru (but I’ve only had the one, so I’m not sure when that would start to count). Nordstrom, because they’re all so darn nice, and they carry more than one brand of narrow shoes. I’ve got a bit of a thrifty gene, so part of me feels like any brand preference at all *must* be irrational.

    Oh, and Nike Pegasus Air running shoes. The last time I tried a different brand they gave me killer shin splints.

  101. Crocs. I only wear Crocs shoes and have about 25 pairs. This is one of the many things I have in common with Helen Mirren, who proclaimed her Crocs love on Jimmy Fallon just last night. Crocs 4-evah!

  102. Laura Scudder’s peanut butter. (Which is Smuckers/Fred Meyer’s/Kroger’s “natural” PB outside California.)

    Tejava unsweetened iced tea.

    Lochmead Dairies ice cream.

    John Smith’s Bitter. (And Anchor Steam – I used to live two blocks from the brewery.)

    Every Man Jack and Aramis toiletries (EMJ body wash, deodorant and shaving gel; Aramis cologne and hair cream.) Schick razors.

    McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits.

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