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Heinz Original vs No Added Sugar baked beans: does less sugar mean compromising on taste?

Our consumer panel blind-tasted both versions to find out

Heinz Original vs No Added Sugar baked beans: does less sugar mean compromising on taste?

Baked beans are a kitchen cupboard staple – handy for quick warming winter lunches and easy weeknight dinners.

They’re a good source of protein, fibre and nutrients, but if you’re looking to cut down on sugar you might be considering switching to a reduced sugar option.

We pitted Heinz No Added Sugar baked beans, which contain less than half the sugar per 100g, against the Original Heinz baked beans to see how much impact the lower sugar content had on taste.

The original version scored highest for taste among our panel, but the no added sugar baked beans were still rated reasonably well overall, so they’re worth a try if you’re looking to scale back your sugar intake.

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Heinz Beanz vs No Added Sugar Beanz – how they measure up

Heinz Original Beanz, 85p for 415g tin

Heinz Baked Beans
  • Preferred by 71% of tasters

Heinz baked beans won over the majority of tasters in our head to head, beating the no added sugar version.

The beans got high marks for their satisfying texture and flavour, with most finding the strength of flavour and level of sweetness spot on.

Our panel were fans of the appearance, too, with 89% deeming the colour just right.

The main ingredients in Heinz baked beans are beans (51%) and tomatoes (34%). They also contain water, sugar, spirit vinegar, modified corn flour, salt, spice and herb extracts.

Heinz Beanz No Added Sugar, 85p for 415g tin

Heinz Baked Beans no added sugar
  • Preferred by 24% of tasters

Only 24% of tasters said they preferred the no added sugar baked beans to the original.

They didn’t score as well on flavour, with more than half of tasters saying they lacked sweetness and 63% wanting a stronger flavour. They also fell behind on texture, with some finding the beans too soft.

However, most of our tasters thought the sauce was the right thickness and they looked as good as the original version.

Although there are still some naturally occurring sugars, these beans contain less than half the sugar (1.9g per 100g) compared with the original version (4.7g per 100g). They do however also contain sweetener and natural flavouring.

What about supermarket own-brand baked beans?

We found salt and sugar levels vary considerably across different own-brand baked beans options, and higher numbers don’t always make for a tastier dinner.

See our full baked bean taste test results to see how supermarket rivals measure up, and compare sugar and salt content across branded and own-brand beans.

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How we compared Original Heinz Beanz and No Added Sugar Beanz

Both products were assessed by a panel of 100 people who regularly buy and eat baked beans.

The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK.

The panellists rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each product, and told us which one they preferred overall.

The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which product they were trying. The order they sampled the baked beans in was fully rotated to avoid any bias and they were prepared in exactly the same way, according to the instructions on the tin.

Each panellist had a private booth so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.

The overall score is based on:

  • 50% taste
  • 20% appearance
  • 15% texture
  • 15% aroma 

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