Purpose – the objective of this study is threefold. First, the authors want to use taste tests to assess how four store brands that are differently positioned compare to one national brand in terms of perceived brand equity. Second, the authors want to investigate whether brand equity of store versus national brands is determined by current brand loyalty towards these brands. Third, they want to find out whether store patronage has an influence on perceived brand equity of store versus national brands.design/methodology/approach – a total of 225 consumers were involved in a repeated measures design involving two within-subject factors: a blind and non-blind taste test of five orange juice brands. Across our three objectives, we describe the impact of the retailers' positioning strategies on the results generated.findings – the results confirm the common belief that private label products can offer the same or even better quality than national brands, but at a lower price.originality/value – until now, hardly any study incorporates the differences in positioning objectives of retailers and national brand manufacturers. Nevertheless, as is true for any brand, positioning of a store brand can exert an important influence on its performance.