Friday, 16 March 2012

The Jaffa Cake Challenge!

Aldi have yet again given me a fabulous challenge!  This time it involves the most contentious of snacks...the Jaffa Cake....Is it a biscuit?  Is it a cake?  The debate continues. However, the question that I will be asking is does a more expensive brand mean a better product?!

I was sent a box of McVities Jaffa Cakes, the brand leader with an RRP of £2.19 for 300g and a box of Belmont Jaffa Cakes that cost just 85p for 300g.   That is a significant difference in price.  Aldi's own research shows that from 188 people who liked McVities Jaffa Cakes, 96% of them also liked Belmont Jaffa Cakes.  Impressive!  But what did we think!

To look at, the McVities Jaffa Cake was slightly bigger but both had the same dark chocolate top and spongy base.  I am not a huge fan of Jaffa Cakes so I had no preconceptions about the brand leader, so I tucked in to each without any bias.

The brand leader, in my opinion tasted a bit stale.*  The base was neither crunchy or was rather bland and a bit rubbery.  The orange filling was pleasant enough. The Belmont Jaffa Cake had a thinner, lighter base and more orange filling, and I have to say that it had a far more intense and tangy orange flavour which I thought was much nicer.  That was the main difference between the two and I definitely preferred the Aldi product regardless of the price.  (*I actually checked the sell-by dates to be sure that they were of a similar freshness and the McVities actually had the longer date on the packet.)

As my taste test was carried out with me knowing which Jaffa Cake was which, I did a blind taste test on Ian who is a massive Jaffa Cake fan.  He was more than willing to take on the task! I asked him to rate each out of 10 and write down the scores for each.

Here was the result.  He said he liked both but one had the higher score because of the tangier, orange filling!

Surprise, surprise!  He scored Aldi's Belmont Jaffa Cakes above his usual brand.  He was quite shocked...and even more shocked when I told him how much the winning brand costs!

The Aldi brand costs significantly less than half the price of the brand leader and we both preferred them.  The brand leader is slightly bigger but that was the only thing it had over the competition.  I know what I'd buy!

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