Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Aldi cream of tomato soups have beaten the iconic Heinz Classic variety in the latest Which? taste test. Would you swap a much-loved brand for a supermarket label?
I must admit I was surprised when the results of the latest taste test arrived at the Which? offices. I didn’t think for one minute that a supermarket own label soup would measure up to the nation’s favourite soup brand.
But three supermarket soups were voted tastier than Heinz – which came joint-fourth in the rankings.
Supermarket soups beat Heinz soup
To find the tastiest soup, we pitted 11 supermarket labels and best-selling brands against each other in a blind taste test. The soups were rated on taste, texture, appearance and aroma, according to the palates of 100 members of the general public.
Sainsbury’s cream of tomato came top for flavour and scored 76% overall; Tesco’s version came a close second with 74%; and Aldi’s Soupreme cream of tomato scored 72%.
And because there was a clear distinction between these three and all the rest – we’ve made them Best Buys.
Blinded by big brands
Before seeing these results in black and white, nothing would have tempted me away from Heinz Classic Cream of Tomato soup. Until now, it’s always been my soup-of-choice, bringing to mind a comforting snack on blustery autumn days, with a freshly-baked white crusty roll. On the other hand, if someone said ‘supermarket soup’ I’d imagine a thin, vinegary and unappetising poor substitute by comparison.
This kind of unconscious ingrained bias is the main reason we carry out ‘blind’ taste tests. Not one of our soup tasters could identify any of the soups they were sampling. But are these indisputable findings enough to make me switch the soup I buy?
Even when you consider that all three soups are a lot cheaper than the brands – Aldi’s soup is less than half the price of a can of Heinz – I have to admit I’m not sure I’ll reach for the own-label tomato soup the next time I’m in Sainsbury’s. OK, I will try it; but the pull of my affinity to Heinz might stop me from enjoying it.
Would you switch soups?
This all got me thinking about other brands I wouldn’t dream of ditching. I mean, I’ll happily switch my bank, insurance or energy supplier at the drop of a hat if it means I’d get a better deal, but choose cola over Coke, or generic chocolate over Cadbury’s? Never!
I’m curious to see whether our taste test results would encourage any Heinz Classic Cream of Tomato Soup fans to give our supermarket Best Buys a try. Or will you stick with what you love? And more generally – which brands would you be happy to sacrifice, and which brands won’t you be parted from?