Asda’s premium mince pies are crowned Which? Best Buys in the supermarket category of the 2018 festive food taste test.
After blind tasting more than 100 premium mince pies, Which? experts have declared Asda the top of the supermarkets category and worthy recipient of one of the two Best Buys awarded for mince pies this year.
Asda’s Extra Special Mince Pies scored an impressive 71%, wowing the expert panel with their “subtle spicing” and tasty pastry. At £1.50 for six, or 25p per pie, the panel admired the “lovely, buttery aroma” of pastry as these came out of the oven.
Hot on Asda’s heels in supermarket category were Lidl’s Deluxe Luxury Mince Pies. Priced at £1.79 for six, or 30p per pie, these pies were praised for their “pleasantly fruity taste” and awarded a commendable 69% by the panel.
On the whole, however, our panel of experts felt that the standard of mince pies has slipped in recent years. They reckoned that a major contributing factor is the rising cost of food, including dried fruit and butter, which has led to many supermarkets using cheaper ingredients to keep prices low.
At the bottom of the supermarket ranking, with a score of only 51%, was Waitrose. The Waitrose 1 All Butter Mince Pies disappointed our experts, who described them as “beige-tasting” and ”devoid of any notable flavours”. These were also the joint most-expensive pies in the test, retailing at £2.50 for six, or 42p per pie.
For those wanting to indulge in luxury this year, Which? also tasted posh pies from high-end retailers Fortnum & Mason and Harrods.
Fortnum & Mason’s Traditional Mince Pies stood out from the rest of the pastries on test, being tall, rustic and heavy (80g versus 60g for most other pies). Retailing for £10.95 for six (or £1.83 per pie), these pies were awarded the highest score in the test (74%), earning them a Which? Best Buy and plaudits from the experts, who declared them a “sure fire winner” and “rammed with mincemeat”.
Proving the price doesn’t always guarantee quality, Harrod’s mince pies were found to be underwhelming. Described as “overly sweet” and having a “sour aftertaste”, at £9.50 per pack, or £1.58 per pie, these “half-filled” pies disappointed the panel.
Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, said:
“Nothing smells or tastes more festive than delicious mince pies warm from the oven. Despite concerns over falling quality in recent years, our research shows that there are still great pies on offer this year, at a range of price points.
“Whether you splash out at Fortnum’s or treat yourself at Asda or Lidl, our expert testing means you will be getting a real taste of Christmas with these excellent mince pies.”
Notes to Editors:
The Which? expert panel took 288 bites of mince pies this year. They were:
Dan Lepard: food writer and award-winning baker
Charlotte Marrifield: owner of Harrogate Cake Company
Kathryn Roberts: general manager at Bread Ahead bakery and cookery school
Patrick Moore: multi-award winning artisan baker and food awards arbitrator
Prices correct as of 12th October 2018
For the full table of results, visit www.which.co.uk/mince-pies
For the results of our gluten free mince pies taste test, follow Which? on instagram