The blind taste tests which could help shoppers save hundreds of pounds a year

With the cost of living crisis continuing to rise, more people are foregoing their favorite food because it’s providing too pricey. And who can blame them given that households can save hundreds of pounds by ditching expensive brands and opting for supermarket own-makes instead.

In a series of blind taste tests, consumer champions Which? found that the latter are cheaper when it comes to everyday essentials such as beans, orange juice and honey nut cornflakes. Not only that, they can also taste better than their well-known branded counterparts.

Results from six out of the eight groceries tested indicate that shoppers willing to make the swap could save themselves hundreds of pounds a year without compromising on taste.

Read more: Families have forgotten ‘centuries old tip’ for making meals cheaper

  • Save over £70 a year on baked beans
    Which? found Lidl’s budget-friendly Newgate baked beans (32p for 420g, 8p per 100g) are the best value option. They cost less than half the price of Heinz beans (£1 for 415g tin). For shoppers buying two tins a week, switching from Heinz to Lidl could save more than £70 a year.

  • Save almost £100 a year on orange juice
    Aldi’s The Juice Company Smooth Orange Juice is the best value option Which? tested – costing just £1.69 per 1.75L carton (10p per 100ml). Innocent orange juice was the priciest option (£3.60 for 1.35 litres, 27p per 100ml) and came in last place for taste. Overall, shoppers could save £99.32 a year by swapping expensive Innocent juice for Aldi’s budget option.

  • Save £51.60 per year on Crunchy Nut Cereal
    Pitted against Kelloggs’ Crunchy Nut cornflakes (£3 per 500g pack, 60p per 100g), Aldi’s Harvest Morn Honey Nut Crunchy Cornflakes is the best value cereal, costing only 85p per 500g pack, 17p per 100g and saving shoppers £2.15 per pack and £51.60 per year if they buy a box every two weeks.

  • Save £9.90 per year on Crunchy Peanut butter
    Testers compared popular peanut butter brands WholeEarth, Sun-Pat, and KP against supermarkets and again found Lidl’s Mister Choc Crunchy Peanut Butter is the best value pick, costing just 85p for 340g (25p per 100g). Sun-Pat, costing £2.50 per 400g jar (63p per 100g) was ranked near the bottom. Shoppers could save £1.65 per jar by switching to Lidl’s offering.

  • Save £10.86 per year on chocolate hazelnut spread
    Nutella’s popular spread, costing £2.90 per 350g jar, was beaten by Which?’s best value pick, Lidl’s Choco Nussa Spread, which scored highly on taste and costs only £1.09 per 400g jar. Opting for Lidl’s spread will save shoppers £1.81 per jar and £10.86 a year.

  • Save £4.80 per year on Marmite
    Branded Marmite sets shoppers back £2.49 per 250g jar (£1 per 100g), whereas Aldi’s Grandessa Mighty Yeast Extract was ranked at the top for taste and only costs £1.69 per 240g jar (70p per 100g), saving £4.80 per year.

And, while the top brands couldn’t always be beaten on taste, Which? found supermarkets can offer great value alternatives.

  • Save £3.85 on a jar of instant coffee
    While Nescafe Original (up to £5.50 a jar, £2.75 per 100g) remained a favorite with coffee aficionados, Aldi’s cheap instant coffee costs less than half as much per 100g, offering a potential saving of £3.85.

  • Save £1.70 Tomato Ketchup
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup was a firm favorite in terms of taste, but sets shoppers back £2.30 for 460g (50p per 100g). Sainsbury’s Tomato Ketchup is the best value for money at 60p for 460g (13p per 100g), saving £1.70.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said, “No one wants to overpay for basic groceries, especially when the cost of living crisis is putting huge pressure on household budgets. Shopping around and buying own-brand products is an easy way to save hundreds of pounds to year.

“Those prepared to switch to a cheaper supermarket for their regular shop will likely find some great value alternatives to their favorite brands – with many even beating their well-known rivals for taste in Which?’s tests.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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