Budget treats roast posh rivals in Christmas taste test

Budget treats roast posh rivals in Good Housekeeping’s Christmas taste test as McCain wins best roasties and Morrison’s Prosecco is awarded best bubbles with other popular picks from budget supermarkets Lidl and Iceland

  • Good Housekeeping revealed their top Christmas treats from blind taste test 
  • Tesco came out as top supermarket, winning four out of 20 categories 
  • Test included best ham, mince pie, meat stuffing and top pigs in blankets 
  • Budget supermarket Iceland came out on top for best Christmas Pudding at £4

In the bleak midwinter, the pricey prospect of Christmas can lead many British householders to start tightening their belts.

But despite evidence of festive frugality on the High Street, a taste test survey suggests families on a budget can still enjoy a cracking Christmas.

Cheaper turkey and trimmings do not necessarily mean a drop-off in quality and taste, according to an annual study from the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Products from Tesco, Lidl, Iceland and Marks & Spencer scored particularly well in blind taste tests of 383 products across 20 categories. 

An annual study by the Good Housekeeping Institute sampled everything from pigs in blankets to cheese 


Marks and Spencer won Best Turkey with its Turkey Breast Crown with Pork, Sage, and Onion Stuffing, which costs just £14.40 (left). Roast Potatoes are a family favourite, and this year, ‘McCains Roasts,’ £3.10 for 1.4kg, came out on top scoring (right) 

Tesco was the supermarket with the most wins this year, securing the top spot in the Meat Stuffing, Gluten-Free Mince Pies, Veggie Mains, and Christmas Ham categories.

There was also good news for cost-conscious shoppers as budget supermarket Lidl won three categories in this year’s Christmas taste test. 

The survey looked at frozen turkeys rather than fresh, and gave first place to the M&S Turkey Breast Crown with Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing, a modest £14.40 for 1.2kg.


Meanwhile Morrison’s came out on top for their Prosecco, which only costs £10, in the fizz category 

Those testing it loved the pork, sage and onion stuffing seasoned with black pepper and parsley, which enhanced the smoky flavour of the turkey meat.  

There were joint winners of the Christmas pudding award with Iceland’s Luxury 12-Month Matured Christmas Pudding, £4 for 400g, tying with the 907g Lidl Deluxe 24-Month Matured Christmas Pudding, at £11.99. 

The mince pie category was won by little-known Baking Agent, which sells frozen ‘Mini Bake at Home Mince Pies,’ at £3.79 for 12, via Ocado.com.   

Good Housekeeping’s testers loved the bite-sized mince pies. Rich, buttery pastry with a satisfying crunch, filled with a delicious mix of vine fruits and apples, reminding testers of a festive apple pie. 

Meanwhile Baking Agent won the title of top Mince Pie with their bite sized pastry treats, which cost just £3.79 for 12 

Meanwhile COOK’s Portobello Mushroom Wellington, which costs just £10, was named the top Veggie dish 

Meanwhile, ready-prepared spuds McCain Roasts, coated with beef dripping and costing £3.10 for 1.4kg, came top.

Good Housekeeping revealed that tasters loved the fantastic crunch and deep flavour of these spuds, which were also praised for its beef dripping coating.  

Morrison’s The Best Prosecco DOCG,’ £10, secured the top spot for prosecco, with testers praising the easy drinkability of this light and refreshing fizz.

Aldi’s British Smoked Strung Gammon Joint, which costs just £5.49, came joint first in the Best Ham category 


Tesco came out as top supermarket for festive food, winning in four of the 20 categories, including joint first for the Finest Stuffing Wreath with Pigs in Blankets and Cranberry Compote,’ £4 (left). Budget supermarket Morrisons also came out on top for their Mulled Wine categories, with a bottle costing just £3.75 (right) 

Best Yule Log went to PAUL Chocolate Praline Yule Log, £35.95, for 805g scored 83 out of 100

Angela Trofymova, Food Testing Manager, for Good Housekeeping said: ‘Every year, we’re seeing the supermarkets and brands step up their game when it comes to Christmas – which is great for consumers! 

‘We’ve tested and tasted great products from a wide range of retailers and brands from Aldi and Lidl to EAT, Ocado and M&S, proving that regardless of price, more and more thought is being given to the taste, dietary requirements and versatility of all products being sold this Christmas. 

‘We hope our test helps make it easier for consumers to choose from the extremely crowded market out there at this busy time of year.’

So which supermarket won what? 

FROZEN TURKEYS AND CROWNS (17 TESTED)

Winner: M&S Turkey Breast Crown with Pork, Sage, and Onion Stuffing, £14.40 for 1.2kg, (84/100)

Joint Runners-Up: ASDA Stuffed Turkey Crown Roast in Bag, £13.00 for 1.75kg, (79/100)

Lidl Free Range Bronze Turkey Crown with Pork, Chestnut, Onion and Thyme Stuffing and Dry Cured Oak Smoked Bacon Lattice, £16.99 for 1.5 – 2.5kg, (79/100)

CHRISTMAS HAMS (16 TESTED)

Tesco Crackling Gammon Joint with Maple and Bourbon Glaze, £16.00 for 2.8kg scored 84 out of 100 

Joint Winners: Tesco Crackling Gammon Joint with Maple and Bourbon Glaze, £16.00 for 2.8kg, (84/100)

Aldi British Smoked Strung Gammon Joint, £5.49 per kg, (84/100)

Joint Runners-Up: Ocado The Jolly Hog Treacle Cure Gammon Joint, £14.00 for 1.4kg, (83/100)

Waitrose & Partners Honey Cured Gammon with a Plum and Ginger Glaze, £11.99 per kg, (83/100)

MEAT STUFFING (14 TESTED)

Joint Winners: Tesco Finest Stuffing Wreath with Pigs in Blankets and Cranberry Compote,’ £4 for 534g, (80/100)

Asda ‘Extra Special Pigs in Blankets on Festive Feast,’ £5 for 694g, (80/100)

Runner-Up: Donald Russell Festive Fruity Stuffing, £14 for 450g, (76/100)

Tesco Finest Stuffing Wreath with Pigs in Blankets and Cranberry Compote,’ £4 for 534g scored 80 out of 100 

PIGS IN BLANKETS (17 TESTED)

Winner: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 6 British Outdoor Bred Pork Chipolatas wrapped in Bacon, £3 for 260g, (83/100)

Runner-Up: Jolly Hog Gluten-Free Pigs in Blankets, £4 for 240g, (78/100)

TRADITIONAL SMOKED SALMON (20 TESTED)

Winner: The Fish Society Fishrjumpin’ Smoked Salmon, £8.90 for 200g, (78/100)

Runner-Up: Co-op Irresistible Beech Oak Smoked Salmon £4 for 100g, (77/100)

FLAVOURED SMOKED SALMON (15 TESTED)

Winner: Lidl Scottish Gravadlax, £3.49 for 100g + 30g sauce, (86/100)  

Runner-Up: Waitrose & Partners Citrus Cured Smoked Scottish Salmon, £6.99 for 100g, (83/100)

VEGGIE MAINS (20 tested)

Joint Winners: COOK Portobello Mushroom Wellington, £10 for 360g, (82/100)

Tesco Finest Butternut Squash, Mushroom & Chestnut Wreath, £2.50 for 260g, (82/100)

Lidl Deluxe Mature Blue Stilton, 2.99 for 220g scored 86 out of 100 

Vegan Winner: Asda Vegan Festive Wellington £3 for 500g, (77/100)

Best of the Rest: Booths Pearl Barley & Vegetable Risotto, £6 for 400g, (81/100)

Aldi Spinach, Leek and Cheddar Lattices topped with Flax Seeds, £1.49 for 300g, (79/100)

Waitrose & Partners Vegetarian Mushroom, Cavolo Nero and Mascarpone Parcels, £6.99 for 300g, (78/100)

ROAST POTATOES (17 TESTED)

Winner: McCain Roasts, sold through Ocado, £3.10 for 1.4kg

Runner-Up: Asda Extra Special Wagyu Beef Dripping King Edward Roast Potatoes, £1.50 for 400g, (81/100)

MINCE PIES (25 TESTED)

Winner: Baking Agent Mini Bake at Home Mince Pies, £3.79 for 12 sold through Ocado, (90/100)

Runner-Up: Costa Coffee’s All Butter Mince Pies, £2.10 each, (82/100)

Costa Coffee’s Mincemeat Tart, £2.10 each scored 79 out of 100 

GLUTEN-FREE MINCE PIES (10 TESTED)

Joint Winners: Costa Coffee’s Mincemeat Tart, £2.10 each, (79/100)

Tesco Free From Deep Filled Mince Pies, £1.50 for 4, (79/100)

Runner-Up: Aldi Gluten Free Mince Pies, £1.35 for 4, (78/100)

MINCE PIES WITH A TWIST (18 TESTED)

Winner: EAT Mince Pies, £1.50 each, (82/100)

Runner-Up: Co-op Irresistible Winter Eve’s Pudding Tart, £2 for 4, (75/100)

CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS (26 TESTED)

Joint Winners: Iceland Luxury 12 Month Matured Christmas Pudding,’ £4 for 400g, (79/100)

Aldi Specially Selected Morello Cherry Christmas Pudding, £6.99 for 800g, scored 81 out of 100 

Lidl 24 Month Matured Christmas Pudding,’ £11.99 for 907g, (79/100)

Joint Runners-Up: Harvey Nichols Classic Christmas Pudding, £6.50 for 454g, (77/100)

Booths 18 Month Matured Brandy, Port & Walnut Christmas Pudding, £11.95 for 908g, (77/100)

CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS WITH A TWIST (14 TESTED)

Winner: Aldi Specially Selected Morello Cherry Christmas Pudding, £6.99 for 800g, (81/100)

Joint Runners-Up: Morrisons The Best Pannetone Crumb Pudding, £8 for 800g, (79/100)

Tesco Finest 9 Month Matured Hidden Clementine Christmas pudding with COURVOISIER® VS Cognac, £5.00 for 400g, (79/100)

CHRISTMAS CAKE (21 TESTED)

Winner: Waitrose 1 Richly Fruited Christmas Cake, £16 for 1.3kg, (82/100)

Runner-Up: Iceland Luxury Christmas Cake, £8 for 1kg, (76/100)

YULE LOG (12 TESTED)

PAUL Chocolate Praline Yule Log, £35.95, for 805g scored 83 out of 100 

Winner: PAUL Chocolate Praline Yule Log, £35.95, for 805g, (83/100)

Runner-Up: Lidl Deluxe Luxury Hand Finished Festive Yule Log, £2.99for 463g, (79/100)

DESSERT CENTREPIECE (22 TESTED)

Winner: M&S Sticky Toffee Pudding Trifle, £12 for 1kg, (86/100)

Runner-Up: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Triple Chocolate Puddings, £12 for 6 mini puddings, (85/100)

STILTON (14 TESTED)

Winner: Lidl Deluxe Mature Blue Stilton, 2.99 for 220g (86/100)

Runner-Up: M&S Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton, £8 for 500g (84/100)

CHAMPAGNE, £45 AND UNDER (34 TESTED)

Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee, £45.00 for 75cl sold through Waitrose and Berry Bros & Rudd scored 83 out of 100 

Winner: Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee, £45.00 for 75cl sold through Waitrose and Berry Bros & Rudd. (83/100)

Joint Runners-Up: Herbert Beaufort Grand Cru Champagne, £35 for 75cl, M&S (79/100)

Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur Non-Vintage, £32 for 75cl, Waitrose, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols (79/100)

PROSECCO, £16 AND UNDER (38 TESTED)

Winner: Morrisons The Best Prosecco DOCG Conegliano Valdobbladene Prosecco Superiore, £10 for 75cl, (89/100)

Runner-Up: Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, £16 for 75cl, Harvey Nichols, (83/100)

MULLED WINE (12 TESTED)

Winner: Morrisons Mulled Wine, £3.75 for 75cl, (88/100)

Runner-Up: Sainsburys Taste the Difference Mulled Wine, £6 for 75cl, (85/100)

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