MSE Mince Pie Taste Test 2022

With the festive season in full swing, the Deals Team put their heads together to uncover answers to the true questions of Christmas. No, not Why is my turkey always so dry? or Who writes those terrible Christmas cracker jokes? But Who sells the best mince pies? Is it mince 'pie in the sky' to think that a 99p box could be tastier than one retailing at £12.95? Wait and see. Brandy butter and forks at the ready all, as this is: The MSE Mince Pie Taste Test 2022.


I found 20 very willing office volunteers, who tried 10 of the cheapest supermarket brands in blind taste test. All mince pies were taken out of their packaging and numbered, to ensure total anonymity. 

Our contenders were...

Anonymous Number Brand and Product Name Price
1 Sainsbury's: Six Mince Pies £1.25
2 Marks and Spencer: Six All Butter Mince Pies £2
3 Asda: Yummy Mince Pies £1.25
4 Tesco: Six Mince Pies 99p
5 Lidl: Favorina Six Mince Pies £1.09
Fortnum and Mason: Traditional Mince Pies (six) £12.95
7 Aldi: Holly Lane Six Deep Filled Mince Pies  99p
8 Co-op: Six Mince Pies £1
9 Waitrose: Six All Butter Mince Pies  £2.25
10 Morrisons: Mince Pies (six) £1.25

Prices correct when we checked on Wednesday 7 December 2022

The cheapest mince pies came from Tesco and Aldi at 99p for six, closely followed by Co-op at £1. Most expensive was Fortum and Mason at £12.95. Not so closely followed by Waitrose at £2.25 a box and Marks and Spencer at £2. We asked our taste-testers to consider two main questions:

  1. Which one is your favourite?

  2. Which one do you think is the most expensive?

We also asked them to give us any general thoughts they had about the mince pies. This turned out to be even more fruitful than the mince pies themselves, with some budding food critics making their opinion very well known.
 

The Results

Top three 'tastiest' mince pies Price Votes
WINNER Aldi: Holly Lane Six Deep Filled Mince Pies 99p 7
Marks and Spencer: Six All Butter Mince Pies £2
5
Waitrose: Six All Butter Mince Pies £2.25 2
Top three 'most expensive' mince pies Price Votes
Fortnum and Mason: Traditional Mince Pies (six) £12.95 8
Waitrose: Six All Butter Mince Pies £2.25 7
Marks and Spencer: Six All Butter Mince Pies  £2 3

And the winner is... 

Aldi! Clearly these MSE'rs are savvy at sniffing out a tasty deal with Aldi's 99p mince pics coming out top, beating the likes of M&S and Fortnum & Mason for taste. This isn't the first time MSE staff have preferred a cheaper alternative – see our Brownie Downshifting blog and Baileys Taste Test

All three of the premium-priced mince pies were spotted too, and in the correct price order. Fortnum and Mason pies were a fairly easy spot, with their size giving the luxury game away. Waitrose, the second most expensive, was noticed for its "pretty" design. Turns out you can judge a pie by its cover. Here's what else our tasters thought... 

The Feedback 

Product Brand Price

 

Sainsburys

Positive Comments:

 

  • “Good structure”

 

Negative Comments:

 

  • "Very dry”
  • “Under-baked, quite doughy”
  • “Bit bland”

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

No

 

 


Marks and Spencer

Positive Comments:

 

  • “Really Fruity”
  • “Delicious”
  • “Buttery pastry”

 

Negative Comments:

 

  • “Nothing to write home about”
  • “Too boozy and raisiny”

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

Yes (5 people)

 

 

Asda

Positive Comments:

 

  • “Nicely spiced”
  • “Moist and tangy filling”

 

Negative Comments:

 

  • “Claggy”
  • “Basic”

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

Yes (1 person)

 

 

 

Tesco

Positive Comments:

 

  • “Very raisiny”
  • “Nicely spiced”

 

Negative Comments:

 

  • “Dry and too chewy”
  • “Not enough filling”
  • “Underbaked”

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

No

 

 

 

Lidl

Positive Comments:

  • “Subtle but reminds me of Christmas”

 

Negative Comments:

 

  • “Too much pastry”
  • “Too chewy and sweet”
  • “Funky…in a bad way”

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

No

 

 

 

Fortnum and Mason

Positive Comments:

  • “Luxury feeling”
  • “Pastry like shortbread”
  • “Unique”

 

Negative Comments:

  • “Artificial, bizarre flavour”
  • "Tastes like a bath bomb”
  • “Non-traditional”

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

Yes (1 person)

 

 

 

Aldi

 Positive Comments:

  • “Tastes like a Christmas cake”
  • "Nicely spiced”

 

Negative Comments:

 

  • “Bog standard”
  • “Pastry heavy”

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

Yes (7 people)

 

 

Co-op

Positive Comments:

 

  • "Looks fairly expensive"

 

Negative Comments:

 

  • “Heavy and chewy"
  • "Dusty pastry and too raisiny”

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

Yes (1 person)

 

 

Waitrose

Positive Comments:

 

  • "Looks the prettiest"
  • "Nice sugar topping and buttery pastry"

 

Negative Comments:

 

  • “Aftertaste of dish soap"
  • "Citrussy in a bad way"

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

 

Yes (3 people)

 

 

 

Morrisons

Positive Comments:

 

  • “Delicious”
  • “Classic”

 

Negative Comments:

 

  • “Sweet but flavourless”
  • “Boring and bog standard”

 

 

Was it anyone’s favourite?

 

Yes (2 people)

So there it is. Is it worth paying more for mince pies? According to MSE staff, probably not. Hopefully the comments from the team will help you navigate your way around buying mince pies this Christmas. As far as the taste buds in MSE towers are concerned... Aldi is our Mince Pie 2022 winner. 
Do you have a favourite mince pie brand? I'd love to know your thoughts on Twitter @MSE_Deals or on Facebook.