Peanut butter can be pricey, but can you trust cheaper supermarket options to deliver on taste? And which branded option is best?
In November 2021, we asked a panel of peanut butter fans to blind taste Whole Earth, Sun-Pat and KP crunchy peanut butter alongside eight supermarket own labels from the likes of Tesco, M&S and Aldi, to discover which were a hit and which are best left on the shelf.
We uncovered some excellent supermarket nut butters, including two great-value picks costing less than 30p per 100g. But there were some surprises when it came to the brands, with an expensive branded spread coming in last overall.
Read on to find out which crunchy peanut butters our tasters liked best, and see how they compare on price as well as calories, fat, salt and sugar.
Supermarket versions triumphed in our taste test: M&S and Lidl came out on top, impressing our consumer panel the most, while runner up Asda is a great-value pick that's not far off the top two for taste.
All prices correct as of December 2021.
£1.60 for 340g (47p per 100g)
This peanut butter ticked all the boxes, with tasters rating it highly for flavour, texture and appearance. Its peanut flavour and saltiness satisfied our panel, and most thought the texture was just right – not too thick with just the right level of crunch.
At 47p per 100g, it’s one of the priciest own-label peanut butters we tested, although it’s still nearly 30p cheaper per 100g than Whole Earth - the most expensive brand on test.
It contains less peanuts (91%) than others we tested, with sunflower oil, (RSPO-certified sustainable) palm oil, cane sugar and sea salt making up the rest of the ingredients. It’s worth bearing in mind that M&S’ peanut butter has more sugar, fat and calories per 100g than others we tested.
85p for 340g (25p per 100g)
As well as being the joint-cheapest on test, Lidl’s Mister Choc was rated one of the tastiest peanut butters. Its well-balanced flavours and lovely crunchy texture earned it high marks across the board.
It’s excellent value, costing just under half the price per 100g of top scorer M&S. It also contains fewer calories, less fat and less sugar per 100g than M&S, although it does have more salt.
Available from Lidl.
92p for 340g (27p per 100g)
Costing just 27p per 100g, Asda’s cheap peanut butter is another great-value pick.
Its appearance didn’t impress our tasters as much as Lidl and M&S, but it scored well on flavour and texture, with 81% finding the level of crunchiness spot on.
It contains 0.9g of salt per 100g, which is higher than most peanut butters we tested.
£1.30 for 340g (38p per 100g)
Another good own-label option, Sainsbury’s peanut butter scored well across the board in our taste test. It was rated one of the best for crunchiness, with more than three quarters finding it had just the right amount of crunch.
Its flavour was a hit with our tasters and at 97% peanut content it's also the nuttiest of all the products we tested.
£1.30 for 340g (38p per 100g)
Tesco’s peanut butter impressed on flavour, although the texture wasn’t to everyone’s liking, with 41% finding it too thick. Our tasters didn’t think it smelled as appealing as others we tested either. Overall though, it’s still a decent option.
85p for 340g (25p per 100g), £1.55 for 340g (46p per 100g) and £1.60 for 340g (47p per 100g)
Co-op and Waitrose are some of the most expensive own-label peanut butters we tested (although still cheaper than branded options) while Aldi’s is the joint cheapest at just 25p per 100g. All three own-label offerings tied with a score of 70% in our taste test.
They scored well in most areas, but their flavour didn’t match up to other own labels, with some tasters finding them lacking in peanut flavour.
Although not our top picks, they still beat much pricier branded options so are worth trying if you shop at one of these supermarkets.
If you're nearer an Aldi than Lidl or Asda, it's definitely worth stocking up on cheap but decent peanut butter.
£2.50 for 400g (63p per 100g)
Although Sun-Pat doesn’t list palm oil as an ingredient on the label, it contains E471 which is made from palm oil. It was rated the best of the three brands we tested, beating KP and Whole Earth on appearance, flavour and texture.
However, considering it scores lower than all the cheaper own labels we tested, it’s not necessarily worth spending more on. Around 40% found the texture too thick and a similar proportion said the peanut flavour was too weak. So, wherever you shop, it's worth giving the own brand a go instead.
£2.50 for 340g (74p per 100g)
KP peanut butter doesn’t contain any palm oil. Of those we tested, it’s also the lowest in salt (0.33g per 100g) and one of the only peanut butters made without added sugar.
Our panel weren’t big fans of the taste though. Nearly half thought it lacked peanut flavour and 38% thought it wasn’t crunchy enough. However, if less sugar and salt are important for you, it could still be worth trying.
£3.45 for 454g (76p per 100g)
Whole Earth is the only organic peanut butter we tested. It has the least calories and contains no added sugar, although it does have the most salt per 100g out of all the peanut butters we tested.
But while it does have less sugar and fewer calories, not all our panel enjoyed the taste. Some found the peanut flavour too weak for their liking, while a third thought it had too much crunch.
Palm oil is one of the most efficient vegetable oil crops, and its versatility makes it very popular - it’s in around half of all supermarket products. However, its popularity has led to widespread deforestation and it remains controversial.
Not all peanut butter contains palm oil, but cheaper and mid-range ones are more likely to. All of the peanut butters we tested include some palm oil, except for KP peanut butter, but they do all use RSPO certified palm oil, which means the palm oil has been accredited as sustainably produced under the RSPO scheme.
Peanut butter is a great plant-based protein, and it can also be a good source of fibre. It is high in calories and fats, and even though most of the fat is the heart-healthy unsaturated type, the products we tested all get a red traffic light on the label for saturated fat, as they contain more than 5g of saturates per 100g.
Most of the fat in peanut butter comes naturally from the peanuts. Those in our taste test contain added fat, such as palm oil. This is mainly to stop the natural oils separating in the jar, improve consistency and make it easier to spread and increase shelf life.
It’s also worth watching out for sugar and salt. All the peanut butters we tested contain salt and most have added sugar, except for Whole Earth and KP, which only contain naturally occurring sugar.
The table below shows the amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt per 100g in the peanut butters we tested.
Calories per 100g
Fat per 100g
Saturated fat per 100g
Sugar per 100g
Salt per 100g
Aldi Grandessa Crunchy Peanut Butter
Asda Crunchy Peanut Butter
Co-op Crunchy Peanut Butter
KP Crunchy Peanut Butter
Lidl Mister Choc Crunchy Peanut Butter
M&S Crunchy Peanut Butter
Sainsbury's Crunchy Peanut Butter
Our peanut butter line-up was assessed by a large panel of consumers who regularly buy and eat peanut butter.
Each peanut butter was assessed by 64 people, and the make-up of the tasting 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 what they liked and disliked about each.
The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order in which they sampled the peanut butter was fully rotated to avoid any bias.
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:
These weightings are based on consumer rankings of the importance of different peanut butter attributes.
All the peanut butters we tested come in plastic jars, except KP and Whole Earth which come in glass jars.
Glass jars can usually go in your household recycling bin. Only some councils will accept plastic jars in household recycling waste, so it’s best to check beforehand.
Make sure to rinse the jar out to prevent contamination and put the lid back on to reduce the chance of it getting lost during the sorting process.