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Blind veterans tackle mince pie taste test

Published on 13 Dec 2023

December is now well underway and so is the consumption of Christmas treats.. well it certainly is for Blind Veterans UK!

Each year our blind veterans take on a taste test to review some festive fayre, and during Turkey and Tinsel week at our Llandudno Centre of Wellbeing our tasters took on the challenge of judging which mince pie is top of the shops for 2023.

Ten retailers came under scrutiny from our judges who were looking for perfect pastry, generous fillings and value for money.

Plates of mince pies laid out on table
Supermarket mince pies ready for tasting

Judges were tasked with rating the mince pies out of five in the following categories:

  • Taste
  • Fruit content
  • Ratio of filling to pastry
  • Pastry texture
  • Overall score

And they took on the challenge with great enthusiasm!

Our judging panel

Blind veterans sitting in armchairs eating mince pies
Blind veterans rating mince pies
A group of blind veterans tasting mince pies
The judging panel hard at work

It was a close competition with just a few pie points separating the top three traditional treats.

The votes have been counted and verified and you can find out below where you should be heading to stock up on our blind veterans' favourite..

1st place and our winner!

Waitrose All Butter Mince Pies

A contender from the first bite, our tasters described the Waitrose Christmas All Butter Mince Pies as being full of filling and having very crispy pastry. At £2.50 for a box of six, they weren’t the cheapest available, but our judges said it was worth the higher price for the delicious flavour combination of fruit, mixed peel and festive spices, and just the right amount of sweetness. We’re hoping the local branch hasn’t sold out as there wasn’t a crumb left for us to sample this winning combination!

5 pies out of 5

A couple sitting in armchairs with a box of mince pies
Brian and Maureen with the winning Waitrose mince pies

Tied 2nd place

Marks & Spencer

Another pie at the higher end of the pricing scale at £2.50 for 6 but that didn’t put off the high scoring. The M&S Classic All Butter Mince Pies received positive comments by almost all of our judging panel. A tasty combination of deep filled classic mincemeat and shortcrust pastry. The buttery pastry was a highlight for several tasters, whilst others liked the generous dusting of sugar.


Crumbly shortcrust pastry with lightly spiced mincemeat was a top flavour combination for our judging panel. Combined with a pocket friendly price of £1.09p for a 6 pack or just £2.15 for 12, our judges rated this mince pie the “best taste, best value” mince pie.

4 pies out of 5

Runners Up

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Co-op all scored closely in the middle of the pack. Tesco mince pies were described as “best value for money and taste” by one discerning judge and Morrisons were said to have “good filling and crisp pastry” by another.

3 pies out of 5

On the naughty list

Aldi and Asda scored the lowest from all of our judges, with Aldi mince pies having “soggy pastry and not much fruit”. Asda’s mince pies proved inconsistent with judges noticing that “some had a lot more sugar than others”.

2 pies out of 5

And if you thought sampling 10 different varieties of mince pies wasn’t enough, at the end of the session we even had a request for a puff pastry selection from one judge!

More veteran reviews

Curious about how our blind veterans' taste tests have evolved over time? Discover how this year's winning mince pie compares to the champions of 2021, and explore other past reviews of tasty treats.