Best and worst frozen pizzas

Is a gourmet image on a frozen pizza box an indicator of better taste?
 
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01.Do gourmet frozen pizzas taste better?

pizza slice

Gourmet images on packaging and fancy-sounding ingredients make frozen pizzas seem more appealing.  But do they taste any better and are they any healthier? CHOICE decided to test a range of frozen pizzas to see if they lived up to their enticing packaging.

We took spin down the pizza aisle of several supermarkets and noticed very few of the pizzas we looked at had old-style cheap, budget-looking frozen pizza packaging.

Instead, most offered artfully shot, luscious images of gourmet-style pizzas, with descriptions such as “mild goat’s cheese with spinach, roasted mushrooms and juicy cherry tomatoes”, “premium leg ham”, “stone baked in a wood fired oven” or “only the finest ingredients”.

Although these pizzas are mass produced in a factory (sometimes on the other side of the world), the boxes showed rustic wooden chopping blocks, with a glimpse of farm fresh ingredients in a rustic kitchen, a tasteful linen napkin or an enticing glass of red wine.

CHOICE pizzas taste test

We recruited a team of enthusiastic, hungry tasters to see how gourmet a sample of Hawaiian and vegetarian frozen pizzas tasted. Sadly, the tasters’ anticipation turned almost immediately to disappointment – and in some cases revulsion – once the tasting process began.

The topline response from the tasters was that the vegetarian pizzas were OK, but the Hawaiian pizzas were so dire they had some trouble picking a favourite.

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Hawaiian pizzas

The tasters were generally unenthused and struggled to pick a winner. Ultimately, When in Rome, the pizza with the highest kilojoules and fat was the best pizza at a budget price of $0.67 per 100g.

However, the vast majority of testers were united in their condemnation of the worst pizza, the Weight Watchers, which has the lowest kilojoules and saturated fat. It was also the most expensive at $3.59/100g and for the price, a measly 175g compared to 450g for the When In Rome.

Taste tester's comment about When In Rome:
"This pizza won by a whisker, it's not great, but is the best of a bad bunch".

Taste testers' comments about Weight Watchers:
"Barely fits into the pizza category"; "Foul artificial taste"; "Weird little shrunken pizza".

frozen-pizza-hawaiian-ranking

 

Hawaiian Frozen Pizza Taste Test - Best to Worst


ENERGY
(kJ per 100g)

FAT
(g per 100g)

SAT FAT
(g per 100g)

SODIUM
(mg per 100g)

WEIGHT
(g)

SERVES
PRICE
($)*

PRICE ($
per 100g)
When in Rome Hawaiian (Coles) 974 7.4 3.2 339 450 8 3.00 0.67
International Cuisine Hawaiian (Aldi) 963 6.3 3.4 340 500 8 3.00 0.67
Dr. Oetker Papa Giuseppi’s Hawaiian 939 6.9 2.6 600 445 4 6.99 1.57
McCain Ham & Pineapple 963 6.3 3.4 340 500 4 6.25 1.25
Woolworths Home Brand Family Hawaiian 920 5.9 2.2 290 500 8 3.00 0.6
Weight Watchers Hawaiian 645 2 0.9 310 175 1 6.28 3.59

Vegetarian pizzas

The vegetarian pizzas highlight the tendency for fancy marketing jargon on the box such as “wood-fired” and “Mediterranean”. But our testers didn’t pick up on these gourmet traits; instead, some were perplexed by what they called the “burnt taste” on the bottom of a “wood-fired” pizza.

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Spinaci came top and just like the vegetarian favourite, it has the highest fat and salt. It was the second most expensive ($1.79/100g) after the McCain Mediterranean ($2.25/100g) which also came a close second on taste.

The Coles When in Rome Margherita was voted worst pizza by an overwhelming majority and was the cheapest at $0.67/100g

Taste Tester's comments about Dr. Oetker Ristorante Spinaci:
“Looked like a rabbit vomited on it, but was the best tasting one, with generous quantity of toppings.”
“Tastes like real spinach on top, nice and simple.”

 Taste Tester's comments about Coles When in Rome Margherita:
“Gross, soggy, gluey, bland. Yuck.”
“Smelled, looked and tasted bad. Base was doughy and cheese flavourless.”

 

the best and the worst vegetarian pizzas as judged by CHOICE taste testers

Vegetarian Frozen Pizza Taste Test - Best to Worst
   

ENERGY
(kJ per 100g)
FAT
(g per 100g)
SAT FAT
(g per 100g)
SODIUM
(mg per 100g)
WEIGHT
(g)
SERVES PRICE
($)*
 

PRICE ($
per 100g)
 
Dr. Oetker Ristorante
Pizza Spinaci
943 11.7 2.8 482 390 1  6.99  1.79
McCain Mediterranean Vegetable 899 9.7 5.1 440 310 4  6.99  2.25
Woolworths Select
Roasted Mediterranean
797 3.6 1.5 510 420 8  4.99  1.19
Casa Barelli Vegetable (Aldi) 789 4.2 1.9 310 400 8  3.99  1.00
When in Rome Margherita (Coles) 901 5.9
3.4 280 450 8  3.00  0.67

   

For more information on food and groceries, or for nutrition information, see food and drink.

 
 

 

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