Sunday, 5 October 2014

Jaffa Cakes

Today I did a buy in of Jaffa cakes sold by all the main UK retailers Tesco,  Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, M&S, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl. In total there were 17 different brands ranging from M&S premium to value brands - the prices and tastes were compared to determine the best value. 

Jaffa Cake market in the UK

Of course the packs came in different sizes so all were converted to 300g to allow a comparisons in price, and each one was blind tested by 3 people and given a score out of 5, this score was averaged to get a rating. The value was then determined by combining these two factors to get a percentage score with 100% being perfect. 

The quality difference was surprising, ranging from stale and inedible to delicious. Lidl Sondey brand surprisingly was the best tasting Jaffa Cake out of the 17, with the highest score, the cake element was soft, and the topping was more of a jam than a jelly - it was delicious, this was also one of the cheapest cakes so so the clear winner in Value also. 

Lidl Sondey brand Jaffa Cake - Delicious
Lidl Sondey brand Jaffa Cake - Delicious

The two Tesco options and Asda (Chosen by you) were next in taste (the three were identical - looked the same, tasted the same, same ingredients and made in the same factory) - so buy the Everyday Value. 

The M&S premium Jaffa cake was different, the topping was Passion fruit and Peach flavored and very nice - but more expensive. 

M&S Passion fruit and Peach Jaffa Cake
M&S Passion fruit and Peach Jaffa Cake

Mcvitties came in middle of the pack  in price and reasonably high in taste, however as market leaders you would have expected them to perform better. 

Many of the cheaper options which scored lower ratings were stale and had very little topping - this included M Saver, Asda smart price, Aldi essentials, Morrisons mid-range, Sainsbury's basic and surprisingly also Cadburys - most of these had identical ingredients and the only difference was the varying degree of staleness - Although these are cheap, they are foul and I would not recommend buying these.  

Lastly the Gulten free, and weight watchers cakes were described as "weird" and "awful" in the blind test, however taste is not their selling point (clearly!). 

Gluten free Jaffa Cake - Weird

Weight Watchers Jaffa Cake - Awful

Here is a look at each of the packaging in no particular order:

Tesco Mid-Range Jaffa Cakes £0.83 
M&S Mini Jaffa Cakes £2.20

Tesco Every Day Value Jaffa Cakes £0.95

McVittie's Jaffa Cakes £1.59

Morrisons Saver Jaffa Cakes £0.40

Kelkin Gluten free Jaffa Cakes £1.80

M&S Passion fruit and peach Jaffa Cakes £1.39
Morrisons Mid-Range Jaffa Cakes £0.65

Sainsbury Mid-Range Jaffa Cakes £0.80

Aldi Belmont Jaffa Cakes £0.95

Asda Smart Price Jaffa Cakes £0.40

Aldi everyday essential Jaffa Cakes £0.40

Asda Chosen by you Jaffa Cakes £0.69

Sainsbury's Basic Jaffa Cakes £0.50

Cadbury Jaffa Cakes £1

Weight Watchers Jaffa Cakes £1.19

Lidl Sondey Jaffa Cakes £0.95