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Budget mince pies up there with the best

Netto and Aldi trump Harrods in festive showdown

As the credit crunch bites for Christmas 2008, shoppers looking to budget brands for salvation are in for a pleasant surprise – according to a which.co.uk test of 10 luxury mince pies.

Pride of place at the Which? Christmas table goes to top Best Buy Marks & Spencer, but hot on the high street giant’s heels are pies from Netto, Aldi and Mr Kipling, which cost less than £1.50 a box.

Netto beats Harrods

At £1.19, Netto’s pies are rated more highly by Which? than Harrods’ pies, which cost five times more at £5.95. Also among the Which? Best Buys are mince pies from Co-op and Tesco.

Some big names failed to meet the consumer group’s Best Buy standard, with Waitrose, Harrods, Asda and Sainsbury’s all receiving a fairly ordinary three stars for taste.

Which?’s test involved 150 consumers. Each pie was tasted by 60 people – the number required by the International Standard for ‘sensory tests’, such as taste tests – who were asked to rate how they liked the taste, appearance and aroma of each pie.

Jess Ross, editor of which.co.uk, said: ‘Nothing epitomises Christmas more than that first bite into a mince pie.

‘And there’s no need to worry about being Scrooge if you opt for a cheaper pack – the budget stores, like Netto and Aldi, are giving expensive brands a run for their money.’

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