Supermarkets at opposite ends of the price spectrum have had their products named best buys for the festive season in an annual Christmas taste test.
Rating the best Christmas staples from 13 of the UK’s top supermarkets, judges for BBC Good Food magazine blind tested more than 150 products across 20 categories from leading UK supermarkets.
Marks and Spencer took home the most wins in the 2020 Christmas Taste Awards, but discount supermarket Aldi triumphed over other high street brands.
And while 12 supermarkets entered the contest for the best mince pie, it was Spar’s luxury version at £2 which won the top prize in the category for the first time.
The judges said: “These have a lovely golden colour and crumbly, buttery pastry. The filling is sweet and jammy, with nice big chunks of plump, soaked fruit and a good hit of citrus from the candied peel.”
Morrisons The Best deep-filled mince pies (£2) and Aldi’s specially selected mince pies (£1.49) were highly commended in the same category.
Marks and Spencer ran away with a total of eight wins in the categories of gravy, vegetarian main course, vegan main course, gluten-free mince pies, Christmas cake, stollen, yule log and vegan dessert.
Awarding the supermarket’s turkey gravy (£4) the top prize, the judges said it “could pass as homemade”.
Waitrose was awarded four wins, including for best pigs in blankets with their No.1 free-range pork chipolatas wrapped in bacon (£4.25), praised as attractive and succulent.
Aldi won two awards, including for best Christmas pudding with their Specially Selected Damson, Plum and Pink Gin Pudding, at £8.99 for 800g, described as sweet and fruity with an almost jelly-like plum centre.
Booths also won in two categories, including best turkey centrepiece for their Ultimate Turkey Feast (£85 for 3.5kg).
Judges said: “With turkey, two types of stuffing and pigs in blankets all in one package, this truly is a feast. A succulent turkey crown is stuffed with moist, well-flavoured pork, sage and onion.”
Tesco, Asda and the Co-op took home one win each and both Morrisons and Sainsbury’s were highly commended in three categories each.
BBC Good Food editor-in-chief Christine Hayes said: “Getting the most for your money will be more important than ever this Christmas so be sure to check our winners before planning your big shop.
“It’s good to see some great-value wins in this year’s taste test, all blind-tested by the expert BBC Good Food team.”