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Our blind veterans review mince pies

Published on 13 Dec 2021

Season's eatings one and all

There’s nothing quite like that first bite of a traditional mince pie to spark off the festive season. Or first packet. We won’t judge. Best to start as you mean to go on.

For the second year running, our greatly esteemed panel of blind veteran judges have returned to find us the best of the best in Christmas treats. This year, faced with their greatest judgement yet – which mince pie will win the star baker prize?

This year, we asked eight of our Brighton centre residents to help us answer some of the season's toughest questions.

  • As we brave the wintery cold to buy our favourite Christmas treat, which supermarket should be our go-to?
  • Just what is the perfect mincemeat to pastry ratio?
  • Will the priciest mince pie serve up the best taste?

To answer these questions, our veterans put some of the UK’s biggest supermarket mince pies to the test.

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

  • Texture
  • Taste
  • Fruit content
  • Ratio of filling to pastry
  • Overall score

Meet our judges

Photo of blind veteran Win in Christmas hat
Win, Blind veteran
Photo of blind veteran, Joan, in Christmas hat
Joan, Blind veteran
Photo of blind veteran Eric in Christmas hat
Eric, Blind veteran
Photo of blind veteran Rosalie in Christmas hat
Rosalie, Blind veteran
Photo of blind veteran Jim in Christmas hat
Jim, Blind veteran
Photo of blind veteran, Betty, in Christmas hat
Betty, Blind veteran
Photo of blind veteran Ken in Christmas hat
Ken, Blind veteran
Photo of blind veteran Jean in Christmas hat
Jean, Blind veteran

The votes are in. Now, amidst the array of mince pies available on supermarket shelves, which proved to be most memorable with our judges?

1st place and our tied winners

Lidl Deluxe 6 Pack and Waitrose Essential

It’s official, we have a tie! Lidl Deluxe 6 Pack and Waitrose Essential are our tied 1st place winners this year.

At opposite ends of the pricing scale, this was an interesting placement for tied first place. With Lidl’s mince pies coming in at a pleasant £1.99, it packed a punch for its money with an overall review of “very tasty”. Our judges said that the filling ratio was ideal with significant chunks of mincemeat balanced with a buttery pastry. Sounds delicious!

Whereas our tied winner, Waitrose Essential, came in at a more expensive £3. Yet, its equal ratio of pastry to mincemeat, high fruit content and smooth taste led one judge to state that it was the best one!

This raised questions among our judges about whether you are paying for the quality, or the brand? Or in Christmas talk, is this naughty or nice? Either way, now you know where to go, to get the best of the best.

4 pies out of 5

Lidl Deluxe and essentials Waitrose mince pies tied first place
Tied first place winners: Lidl and Waitrose

2nd place

Morrisons, Aldi, M&S and Sainsbury's

This year, our 2nd place position had an unprecedented four-way tie. Showing just how tricky this decision is. With Morrisons, Aldi, M&S and Sainsbury's all tied as second place contenders.

For these four supermarkets' mince pies, our judges found it hard to distinguish between the “average” tasting bunch. A verdict of “too much pastry” and “thick pastry” stopped these pies from being first place contenders. Yet their “pleasant fillings” kept them securely in second place, making this batch not quite a festive favourite but more of merry mediocre.

3 pies out of 5

Morrisons, Aldi, M&S, Sainsbury's mince pies tied in second place
Tied second place: Morrisons, Aldi, M&S, Sainsbury's

Runners up

At the bottom of the sack, we have Tesco and Asda as our competition runners up.

Asda mince pies didn’t seem to float the judge’s festive boat.

Asda mince pies were reported to have a “floury pastry” with a poor amount of mincemeat filling. While the texture was noted to be good, it wasn’t enough to save the day, as the overall ratings came in as “not good”.

2 pies out of 5


Tesco mince pies were described as “plain” with a disappointingly poor pastry to mincemeat filling ratio.

With not much else to add, it’s clear our blind veterans were not keen. After a whirlwind of mince pies and enough mincemeat to come out your ears, we have our verdict.

2 pies out of 5

A huge thank you to our judges! Now off to Lidl…