Cheap n’ cheerful choccie almost as good as top shelf

Additional reporting by Megan Clark.

We put the quality vs price theory to the (taste) test

We put the quality vs price theory to the (taste) test

Last month’s National Chocolate Week really got us thinking – we work for a website that prides itself on fighting for the consumer, so surely it’s our duty to take the fight to the supermarket chocolate shelves, right? We put the quality vs price theory to the (taste) test, gathering some surprising results.

Typically, a 100g bar of high-end supermarket own-brand chocolate sets you back about £1.50, which may not seem a lot but can quickly accumulate over periods of time (weeks, days, hours – delete as appropriate!).

You can, of course, go for the cheaper options – about 35p for 100g, but chocolate connoisseurs don’t always want to compromise quality for price, while others argue cheap chocolate is only for cooking.

So our very willing guinea pigs (colleagues) here at MSE Towers put the chocolate to the test. To make things fair, we only compared milk chocolate and we removed all of the packaging so no one knew which was which.

  • A – Green & Blacks (100g) – £2
  • B – Sainsbury’s Basics Milk Chocolate (100g) – 35p
  • C – Sainsbury’s TTD Belgian Fair Trade (100g) – £1.55
  • D – Cadbury Dairy Milk (120g) – £1 on special offer, reduced from £1.40

We then asked everyone to vote for both their favourite and the one they believed to be the most expensive.

Chocolate taste test

Chocolate taste test

Let the tasting commence

Let the tasting commence

MSEers love a taste test, as we discovered previously thanks to the Pimms vs Jeeves test run by MSE’s Charlotte (AKA Deals Hunter), and this time was no different. As the crowds gathered, comments such as "this is the best taste test ever" filled the air and within 10 minutes, almost everything had predictably disappeared.

The Results

Fortunately, our 22 testers didn’t end up in so much of a chocolate-induced stupor that they forgot to vote and the results were quite split.

What was the favourite?

Though it was close – there was just one vote between first and second place – here are the very interesting results:

  • A – Green & Blacks
  • B – Sainsbury’s Basics
  • C – Sainsbury’s TTD
  • D – Cadbury’s

Cadbury’s, perhaps surprisingly, was in last place, while Sainsbury’s Basics was one vote off taking joint first place with Green & Blacks.

Which was the most expensive?

In terms of price, MSEers were almost right on the money, predicting correctly that the most expensive was Green & Blacks and the cheapest Sainsbury’s Basics.

But although the most expensive chocolate won, with such a significant price difference and with our testers genuinely liking the taste of the cheaper stuff too, the results suggest you don’t have to pay top dollar to get nice chocolate – cheap no-frills still tastes good.

More chocolate related activities

Check out our Forum, Instagram and Pinterest Chocolate board for the chocolate-related activity we’ve been involved in. And if that isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out MSE Debs’ fabulous chocolate cat – this has to be the best we’ve ever seen.

MSE Debs' amazing chocolate cat

MSE Debs' amazing chocolate cat

Do you have any tips on cutting the cost of chocolate? Please let us know your opinions in the discussion below or in the forum.