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Whether it’s on toast, next to your fish fingers and chips, or as part of a traditional fry-up, baked beans are a UK staple, with Brits munching their way through more than two million tins worth every day.
If baked beans are one of your store-cupboard essentials, it’s worth reconsidering your loyalties, as we found some supermarket own-brand offerings beat the big brands in our blind taste test.
We enlisted 62 baked beans fans to try tins from Heinz and Branston alongside supermarket own-brands including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Lidl and Morrisons.
Two own-brands topped our tests, and these budget Best Buy beans are less than half the price of branded options, making them a savvy buy for anyone looking to cut the cost of their weekly shop.
Not all supermarket beans are worth swapping in though. Our worst-rated beans were also from a leading supermarket brand, and were panned by tasters for their weak, insipid flavour and watery sauce.
Head to our best baked beans guide to discover which tins to add to your trolley, and what’s best left on the shelf.
Best Buy beans for less
All supermarket own-brand beans are significantly cheaper than the branded varieties. Most average around 30p per tin, compared to 75-85p per tin for branded beans.
If you tend to get through a couple of tins per week, switching to an own-brand option from Heinz could save you more than £50 per year.
While you can sometimes save on the big brands when they’re on special offer, or if buying larger packs, you can avoid worrying about complicated maths in the shopping aisle by simply opting for the cheaper cans instead.
But it pays to know the cheap baked beans worth snapping up, so you don’t end up with a disappointing dinner.
Does sugar or salt content make a difference to taste?
You don’t have to worry that the best-tasting beans are less healthy. We compared the rankings for baked beans in our taste test against their sugar and salt content and found that there was no correlation between the salt and sugar content and how tasty our consumer panel thought the beans were.
In fact, our top-rated tins had lower salt or sugar content than many rivals.
With that said, all the products have an amber rating for salt and sugar under the government food traffic light labelling system.
If you consume half a tin at a time, but are watching salt and sugar intake for you or your family, consider what you’re serving the beans with to ensure you don’t start overdoing the salt and sugar, particularly if you’re serving them with oven chips and ketchup.
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