With their soft, creamy centre and slightly chewy rice-based dough coating, mochi ice creams have become an increasingly popular snack in the UK, with many supermarkets consistently selling out of the Japanese-treat-inspired confectionery.
We pitted the brand that brought the craze to our shores, Little Moons, against Aldi's own-brand mochi ice cream balls in a blind taste test to see if the budget supermarket could deliver tasty mochi for less.
Our consumer tasting panel tried mango flavour mochi from each brand, rating each on flavour, smell, look and colour to find the best-tasting sweet treat.
The taste test revealed it's a pretty close-run thing, so if you're a mochi fan either should hit the spot, but Aldi's version will save you money.
Aldi cinched a win over Little Moons in our taste test, scoring higher overall, but only by a smidge (3%).
That's by no means a decisive victory, so Little Moons are still a delectable option if you're on the hunt for your nearest mochi ball fix.
Aldi's Wao Mango Mochi Ice Creams won out in our head-to-head, impressing our tasting panel across the board.
They scored well for flavour and getting the level of sweetness just right. Our panel loved the colour of these little balls too, giving them top marks for looks.
They're also the slightly cheaper option (and ever so slightly bigger).
We tested the mango flavour, but there are also strawberry cheesecake, caramel, coconut and tropical flavours available.
Little Moons weren't far behind, tying with Aldi for look, overall texture, and how creamy the ice cream filling was. Our panel also thought they smelled more appealing than Aldi's mochi balls.
They're roughly £1 more expensive than their budget counterparts, which could really add up if you're a regular purchaser.
We tested the mango flavour Little Moons, but there are plenty of other flavours to choose from, including chocolate & hazelnut, salted caramel, raspberry, vanilla, strawberries & cream, matcha green tea, yuzu lemon and roasted hazelnut. There are also vegan options.
Little Moons are a brand of mochi ice cream, a sweet treat with multicultural influences.
Mochi balls consist of a dough-like Japanese rice cake made of short-grain glutinous rice, giving it a sweet, chewy texture, wrapped around a centre of smooth gelato ice cream to create the Western-Japanese fusion mochi ice cream.
The invention of mochi ice cream balls is credited to Japanese-American businesswoman Frances Hashimoto, but UK-based brand Little Moons, which makes a wide range of flavours, gained huge popularity on the social platform TikTok in early 2021, sending sales rocketing.
Mochi ice cream balls are a sweet treat, so will naturally not be the most healthy food and should be eaten as part of a balanced diet.
Both brands have similar calorie content, with Aldi's Wao containing 196kcal and Little Moons containing 200kcal (per 100g).
In terms of saturated fat, Little Moons contained almost twice as much (per 100g) as Aldi - 3g vs 1.3g, though per ball this isn't very much.
However, Aldi's mochi ice cream makes up for it with much higher sugar content - 45.2g per 100g compared to Little Moons' 26g per 100g.
All are vegetarian and some are vegan.
We tested mango flavour mochi ice creams, and both Aldi's and Little Moons are vegan and vegetarian friendly, but some other flavours or brands aren't as they contain dairy.
Always check the label if you're not sure.
These products were taste tested by our panel of 102 consumers. The products were tasted blind, so panellists didn't know which brand they were trying.
They were then asked to rate each option in terms of appearance, aroma, flavour and texture, how important each feature was to them, and give comments as to anything they particularly liked or disliked.
Little Moons states that its product packaging is 96% recyclable. The cardboard box and the plastic tray (once washed) are both fine to go in your recycling bin, while the plastic film over the tray must be disposed of in your general waste bin.
Recycling instructions could not be found for Aldi's Wao, but it's likely a similar process. Most supermarkets will sell mochi ice cream in plastic containers in cardboard boxes, so check the back for recycling instructions if you're not sure.
* All prices correct as of 4 July 2022