An expert Which? taste test panel has awarded two coveted Best Buy recommendations to mince pies this year, including one top pick that works out at just 29p per pie.
Winning the top spot in the rigorous blind tasting was Waitrose’s Brown Butter Mince Pies with Cognac. They received a distinguished 74 per cent rating, earning themselves a Which? Best Buy recommendation and wowing the panel with their ‘buttery aroma’ and ‘citrussy aftertaste’. At £3.50 for six, or 58p per pie, the panel also noted that the almonds and chunks of fruit provided plenty of texture and praised their ‘home-made’ quality.
Hot on Waitrose’s heels and proving that paying less does not have to mean compromising quality, Aldi’s mince pies also earned a Best Buy award – as well as Which?’s Great Value endorsement. They scored an impressive 73 per percent, just a fraction behind the top-rated premium pies. As the cheapest tested, Aldi’s Specially Selected Mince Pies are 50 per cent cheaper than those sold by Waitrose, costing just £1.75 for 6, or 29p per pie.
The Which? panel of baking experts – including Great British Bake Off 2021 semi-finalist Jürgen Krauss, food writer Dan Lepard and French pastry chef Nathan Rave – rated each pie on its taste, aroma, texture and appearance.
Which? only awards its Best Buy logo to those products that hit the gold standard for quality in its independent tests. The consumer champion recently launched a ‘Great Value’ award for items which cost much less than the typical price in a category but still score impressively well overall.
Despite not reaching Which?’s Best Buy benchmark, other supermarkets also delivered some tempting and more affordable options. Co-op’s Irresistible All Butter Pastry Luxury Mince Pies (£2.25 for 6), did not disappoint when it came to their ‘buttery aroma’. On the other hand, there was feedback that alcohol dominated the flavour.
Although Asda’s Extra Special Mince Pies (£2.50 for 6) were not ranked the best in the taste test, they were also considered a tasty option and the judges commended their enticing, festive design and well-balanced flavour.
Some mince pies were less impressive. For example, Morrisons’ The Best and Tesco’s Finest mince pies did not stand out from the crowd when it came to the taste test and came bottom of the rankings.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said:
“There’s nothing quite like a deliciously warm and crumbly mince pie straight from the oven to get you in the festive spirit. The competition was tight this year but the luxury mince pie offerings from Waitrose and Aldi have come out on top.
“Our experts tasted pies from the biggest supermarkets in the UK to find out which ones will make the holiday season extra festive this year and found some great options which won’t break the bank.”
Notes to editors
The Which? expert judging panel comprised of three baking specialists, including:
– Dan Lepard: food writer, broadcaster and award-winning baker.
– Jürgen Krauss: Passionate home baker and Great British Bake Off 2021 semi-finalist.
– Nathan Rave: French pastry chef and Bake Off: The Professionals 2022 winner
Prices are correct as of October 2022.
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