/ Food & Drink, Shopping

Chocolate taste test: supermarket own-labels beat luxury brands

Premium supermarket own-label boxes were top of the chocs in our recent taste test, but wouldn’t you be disappointed to see a supermarket logo on a present from that special someone?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who picks up a last minute present in the supermarket, but up until now I’ve always gone for branded assortments rather than the attractive looking premium own-label boxes of chocolates. I haven’t quite been able to believe that they could match up to established chocolate brands.

However, our recent taste test on luxury chocolate assortments showed quite clearly that they could be as good, if not better.

Open the box

We removed the packaging before our experts tasted the luxury assortments of chocolates, so that they didn’t know what brand they were assessing. Of course, that’s not what happens in real life. The packaging on premium chocolates can be top notch and really adds to the enjoyment of a special present.

In our recent test, the Tesco Finest Belgian assortment box looked expensive and attractive with its silver and purple box, and although the Tesco branding was still there, it was very subtly done. Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Milk, White and Dark Belgian Chocolate Assortment looked luxurious too, with its ribbon and gift wrap style packaging.

Our design team judged the packaging and they rated these two packs attractive enough to give and get as gifts.

Taste of luxury

Rather than the lovely ribbons and gift wrap, our expert panel was concerned with the appearance of the individual chocolates. They were looking at the delicate finish on some of them, and the way the chocolates had been moulded.

Most of all though, they were interested in taste. Marks & Spencer’s Belgian Collection (£8.99 for 310g box) came top of the pile, followed by runner-up Waitrose Belgian Dark, Milk and White Chocolate Collection (£2.99 for 210g), with Tesco’s Finest assortment (£5.10 for 200g) in third.

Further down the list were boxes from big name brands like Lir, Lindt and Thorntons.

Better to receive than to give?

So after seeing the results of our expert tasting, I now know I’d be delighted to receive supermarket own-label luxury chocolates. Still, I am a bit hesitant about giving own-label boxes as a gift, even though I know how good premium ranges can be, as I worry that the recipient will think I don’t think they’re worth the best.

Of course, that’s obviously not the case anymore, but what do you think? Would you feel a little let down if your luxury birthday chocolates were a box of supermarket own-label chocs?

dr shumi says:
21 February 2012

I do not offten eat chocolate, but I like to give it as a present. This text will help me in the futher how to choose good own brand chocolate, which is as good as a branded assortments.

As I don’t go near the shops mentioned – I’d buy the usual universal brands. Though did try one supermaket’s chocolate and they were far worse.

Eat 70% plus dark chocs for the health benefits they supposedly confer.

Luxury packaging says:
4 March 2012

To make your Luxury packaging more attractive in the eyes of your customers you need to use some premier materials for packaging. Some 3D effects can also be used to make the luxurious products more noticeable. If for any leading brand the brand image has more priority then that brand or company should use a luxurious way of packaging.

Luxury packaging is a total waste of money and resources.

@Wavechange – I’d certainly agree in principle. Should we start a campaign now to have Easter eggs sold as flat-packs?

Somehow I feel it’s not going to take off. Maybe about as successful as an engagement ring made out of graphite.

For eating at home, I much prefer a slab of good quality, plain cooking chocolate to some of those horrible, sickly confections worthy of Monty Python’s Whizzo Chocolate Company sketch (“Crunchy Frog”, “Cockroach Cluster”, etc.).

If you want to present the chocolate as a gift, you might need to do some homework. Melt 150g of chocolate and blend with 40g scalded double cream, add a suitable flavouring (rum’s popular – I can’t imagine why), form into balls and leave to set. Dip in more melted chocolate and dust with cocoa. Voila! Truffles that will beat any factory-made box and cost a fifth of the price.