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Heinz price row: how do Tesco beans and ketchup compare on taste?

Heinz has pulled its products from Tesco in a dispute over pricing, but switching to own-brands might not be such a bad thing right now
Heinz and Tesco ketchup and baked beans

Baked beans and tomato ketchup are store cupboard staples for many households, but if you favour the Heinz brand versions you might be disappointed when shopping at Tesco, as a dispute over pricing means they’ve been pulled from the shelves.*

While less choice, and yet more price increases, aren't great news for anyone, the silver lining here is that our taste tests show switching to own-brand versions isn't the end of the world - it'll save you money, might taste better, and can sometimes be healthier too.

See how Tesco's own brand beans and ketchup measured up to Heinz in our taste tests, and which other supermarket versions are worth seeking out.

*stock does currently still appear to be available online.

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Tesco vs Heinz baked beans

Heinz and Tesco baked beans

If the prospect of switching to Tesco's own label beans seems unappealing, then it might surprise you to hear that they could actually be a step up from Heinz. 

Tesco own-brand beans edged ahead of Heinz in our baked beans taste test, scoring high marks for both flavour and texture, and beating the leading brand with their enticing smell. Plus, Tesco’s beans are a lot cheaper, costing less than half the price – if you tend to get through a couple of tins a week, switching could save you more than £60 a year.

Rival brand Branston is also one to consider. It was rated similarly to Tesco and Heinz, scoring 74% overall. But while it’s not as pricey as Heinz, it’s still more expensive than opting for Tesco's own label.

Best supermarket baked beans

Lidl and Morrisons tied in first place in our taste test so it’s worth opting for the own label tins if you shop at either of these supermarkets.

  • Lidl Newgate baked beans, 78% score - 32p per 420g tin (8p per 100g). Available from Lidl (in-store only).
  • Morrisons baked beans, 78% score - 45p per 410g tin (11p per 100g). Available from Morrisons.

See the full results from our baked beans taste test.

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Tesco vs Heinz tomato ketchup

Heinz and Tesco ketchup

Heinz reigned supreme in our tomato ketchup taste test, beating all the supermarket versions - but that doesn’t mean Tesco ketchup isn’t worth trying. 

While it didn’t quite live up to Heinz on flavour, it still scored relatively well, with an attractive appearance and texture, and it’s around a quarter of the price at just 65p a bottle. 

It’s also a healthier choice, as it contains half the amount of salt (0.9g per 100g) and less sugar compared to Heinz.

Best supermarket tomato ketchups:

Heinz was our top-scoring bottle, but cheaper ketchups from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons also impressed.

  • Waitrose Essential tomato ketchup, 78% - 70p per 470g (15p per 100g). Available from Waitrose.
  • Sainsbury’s tomato ketchup, 77% - 60p per 460g (13p per 100g). Available from Sainsbury's.
  • Morrisons tomato ketchup, 77% - 80p per 450g (18p per 100g). Available from Morrisons.

See the full results from our tomato ketchup taste test.

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How tasty is Tesco own-brand food and drink vs rivals?

Tesco ice cream and vegan sausages

We’ve tested more than 15 Tesco own-brand food and drink items over the last year as part of our taste tests. 

Aside from a few duff categories, Tesco products tend to do fairly well, with most scoring at least 70% or more. 

Its vanilla ice cream and vegan sausages particularly impressed, with both earning Best Buys:

However Tesco's frozen roast potatoes didn't impress our tasters. They scored just 57%, falling behind the top-scoring spuds from Aunt Bessie and Aldi. 

Coffee lovers would do well to look elsewhere too - instant coffee was another category where Tesco struggled to match up to other supermarket offerings. It finished in sixth place in both our everyday instant and gold blend instant coffee tests.

See the full results of our roast potato taste test, everyday instant coffee taste test and gold blend instant coffee taste test.