LIFESTYLE

Christmas Food 2017: Good Housekeeping Reveals Annual 'Tried And Tested' Supermarket Guide

Spoiler: The best Christmas pudding is at Aldi.

17/10/2017 00:01 BST | Updated 17/10/2017 17:17 BST

Good Housekeeping has revealed its 2017 recommendations for buying Christmas food and this year, the best Christmas pudding is an absolute steal.

Budget supermarket Aldi won the award for best Christmas pud, for its Specially Selected Golden Topped Christmas Pudding, which costs just £7.99.

Aldi did well overall this year, with nine of its products either winning a category (best Christmas pudding, meat stuffing, vegetarian alternative and port) or being shortlisted.

Meanwhile the taste testers gave Tesco the coveted award of best mince pies, while Iceland bagged the prize for the best pigs in blankets.

However, Marks & Spencer won the battle for the greatest number of high scorers overall this year. The premium supermarket boasted a whopping 14 products in the top five for each category and received the award for best Prosecco thanks to its £10 bottle. 

MS
Marks & Spencer’s award-winning turkey.

Taking the turkey crown this year is Marks & Spencer’s British Oakham Turkey Crown with Pork, Sage & Onion Stuffing (£27).

Marks & Spencer also apparently has the best cranberry sauce (Cranberry & Port Sauce, £3) and the best brandy butter (Christmas Brandy Butter, £3).

Commenting on the results, Angela Trofymova, food testing manager at Good Housekeeping, said: “Supermarkets understand that consumers tend to trade up over Christmas and many have focused on their premium ranges.

“Luxury supermarket Marks & Spencer has proved that shelling out a little more where possible can take your festive dining experience to the next level, while budget supermarket Aldi shows you can get cost-effective quality without breaking the bank.”

In the quest for the best Good Housekeeping, together with consumers, tested 316 individual items - a 50% increase in the volume of food and drink tested compared to 2016. It also increased the number of categories tested to 16 (12 last year) introducing pigs in blankets, vegetarian alternatives and port.

“Christmas is stressful enough without worrying whether your Christmas pudding will have the wow factor and whether your turkey will come out dry,” said Caroline Bloor, consumer director at Good Housekeeping.

“Fortunately, our testers have tasted a whopping 316 products to find the very best for your Christmas feast.”

The full results of Christmas Tried & Tested are:

NV Brut Champagne under £49 (26 tested)

Winner: Taste the Difference NV Champagne Brut (79/100), £18, Sainsbury’s (available 11th November)
Runners up:
:: Sainsbury’s Winemaker’s Selection Blanc de Noirs Champagne Brut NV (78/100), £20, Sainsbury’s
:: Oudinot Brut Champagne NV (78/100), £27, Marks & Spencer
:: Nicolas Courtin Brut NV Champagne (78/100), £20.99, Majestic.co.uk
:: Champagne Gremillet Brut Selection NV (78/100), £23.99, Virginwines.co.uk
Budget buy: Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut NV (77/100), £10.99, Aldi 

Prosecco under £15 (24 tested)

MS

Winner: Marks & Spencer Prosecco (82/100), £10
Runners up:
:: Tesco Finest* Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco NV (78/100), £10
:: Allini Prosecco Spumante Conegliano (78/100), £7.99, Lidl
:: Fillipo Sansovino Prosecco (77/100), £7.98, Asda
:: Co-op Irresistible Prosecco (77/100), £7.99
:: Freixenet Prosecco (77/100), £12, Ocado.com 

Frozen turkeys and crowns (16 tested)

Winner: Marks & Spencer British Oakham Turkey Crown with Pork, Sage & Onion Stuffing with Bacon Lattice (88/100), £27 (serve 4-5)
Runners up:
:: Marks & Spencer British Whole Turkey (87/100), £11.25/kg (serves 4-5)

:: COOK Stuffed Crown of Turkey (83/100), £45, Cookfood.net

:: Tesco’s British Frozen Medium Turkey Breast Crown (80/100), £13

:: Sainsbury’s Large Whole British Turkey (77/100), around £19.50

Smoked salmon (23 tested)

Waitrose
Waitrose's smoked salmon. 

Winner: Waitrose 1 Chestnut Smoke Salmon (86/100), £5.99
Runners up:
:: Lidl Deluxe Scottish Smoked Salmon with Ben Bracken Whisky & Honey, Beetroot and Orange & Champagne (83/100), £5.99
:: Morrisons The Best Whisky Bronze Smoked Salmon (84/100), £4.50
:: Marks & Spencer Scottish Lochmuir Oak & Applewood Smoked Salmon (79/100), £4.50
:: Inverawe Organic Scottish Smoked Salmon (79/100), £7.99, Whole Foods Market

Meat stuffing (16 tested)

Winner: Aldi Specially Selected 6 Pork & Carmelised Red Onion Baubles Wrapped in Bacon (90/100), £2.29
Runners up:
::Tesco Family Festive Christmas Tree Stuffing (85/100), £4.50
:: Aldi Specially Selected Outdoor Bred Gingerbread and Apricot Stuffing Portions (80/100), £2.29
:: Waitrose Cranberry Burst Christmas Pudding Stuffing (78/100), £5.99
:: Morrisons The Best Apple & Cranberry Pork Stuffing Bacon Wrap (75/100), £3

Vegetarian alternatives (23 tested)

Aldi
Aldi's vegetable parcels. 

Winner: Aldi Specially Selected Vegetable Parcels – Spinach, Leek & West Country Cheddar (81/100), £1.99
Runners up:
:: Aldi Specially Selected Vegetable Parcels – Mushroom Trio (80/100), £1.99
:: Marks & Spencer Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Rosti (79/100), £6
:: Lidl Deluxe Luxury Nut Roast (78/100), £3.99

Vegetarian stuffing (5 tested)

Winner: Tesco Cranberry, Apricot and Clementine Stuffing (69/100) £3.00
Runners up:
:: Waitrose Christmas Baubles with Edible Glitter (68/100) £3.50
:: M&S Vegetarian Buttered Onion & Herb Stuffing (66/100) £ 2.80
:: Ocado Dee’s Vegan Sausage meat Stuffing (62/100) £4.99

Cranberry sauce 

Winner: Marks & Spencer Cranberry & Port Sauce (80/100), £3
Runner up: Stokes Cranberry & Orange Sauce (78/100), £3.50

Pigs in blankets (14 tested)

Winner: Iceland Luxury 10 Pigs In Blankets (82/100), £3
Runners up:
:: Aldi’s Butcher’s Select 12 Bacon Wrapped Sausages (81/100), £1.99
:: Marks & Spencer 16 British Outdoor Bred Pigs In Blankets (79/100), £5
:: Aldi Specially Selected 10 Sausages Wrapped in Bacon (76/100), £2.19
:: Co-op Irresistible Cocktail Sausages Wrapped in Bacon (73/100), £3

Christmas pudding (33 tested)

Aldi
Aldi's Christmas pudding.

Winner: Aldi Specially Selected Golden Topped Christmas Pudding (80/100), £7.99
Runners up:
:: Aldi Specially Selected Exquisite Vintage Christmas Pudding (78/100), £9.99
:: Marks & Spencer Collection 12 Month Matured Vintage Christmas Pudding (78/100), £14
:: Morrisons The Best Pedro Ximénez Sherry and Pear Christmas Pudding (78/100), £8
:: Selfridges Selection Traditional Christmas Pudding (77/100), £11.99

Brandy butter (13 tested)

Winner: Marks & Spencer Christmas Brandy Butter (78/100), £3
Runner up: Marks & Spencer The Collection Brandy Butter (76/100), £2.50

Stilton cheese (19 tested)

Winner: Sainsbury’s TTD Tuxford and Tebbutt Blue Stilton (83/100), £2.50
Runners up:
:: Co-op Long Clawson Dairy Potted Blue Stilton (81/100), £4
:: Tesco Finest* Mature Blue Stilton (78/100), £4
:: Morrisons The Best Blue Stilton (77/100), £3.72
:: Booths Potted Blue Stilton (77/100), £13

Mince Pies (26 tested)

Tesco
Tesco's mince pies.

Winner: Tesco Finest* 6 Mince Pies (82/100), £2
Runners up:
:: Iceland 6 Luxury Mince Pies (81/100), £1.50
:: Gail’s Mince Pies (76/100), £1.50 each, £8 for 6 pack
:: Lidl Deluxe 6 Luxury Mince Pies (74/100), £1.49
:: Marks & Spencer Collection 6 Mince Pies (73/100), £2.50

Late Bottled vintage port (13 tested)

Winner: Maynard’s LBV Port 1992 (82/100), £9.99, Aldi
Runner up: Taylor’s LBV 2011, (80/100), £14, Amazon.co.uk

Mulled wine (11 tested)

Winner: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Mulled Wine (78/100), £5.50
Runner up: Ocado Mulled Wine (74/100), £4.99

Christmas Cake (23 tested)

Bettys
Betty’s Christmas cake.

Winner: Betty’s Soft Iced Star Christmas Cake (84/100), £30 (or £40 with a tin)

Runners up:
:: Marks & Spencer Collection 6 Month Matured Snowflake Bauble Cake (78/100), £20
:: Morrisons The Best Poinsettia Cake (73/100), £12
:: Iceland Luxury Christmas Cake All Over Iced (72/100), £7.50
:: Meg Rivers Large Fully Iced Classic Christmas Cake (72/100), £40

Read the full Good Housekeeping Christmas tried and tested results in the December issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale 25th October, or online.

This article originally featured Asda’s Extra Special Chunky Christmas Pudding Stuffing as the winner in the Vegetarian Stuffing category. This is not a vegetarian product and was listed in the wrong category by Good Housekeeping. Good Housekeeping would like to apologise for any confusion caused.  

Primark Christmas Jumpers