Need to know
- 75 CHOICE staff took our blind taste test and voted for their favourite tasting biscuit.
- Some people couldn't tell the difference between the Aldi and Arnott's biscuits.
- Aldi's knock-off Tim Tams are less than half the RRP of original Tim Tams.
If there's one thing that really tickles our fancy here at CHOICE, it's finding cheaper products that perform as well as (or even outperform) big-name brands.
We found it with the $89 Kmart espresso machine that held its own against a $900+ model, the Aldi ice cream that tied with the Connoisseur product costing more than twice as much, and the $49 Target food processor that outperformed leading brands. We love helping you get a great deal and save money.
Can you tell which is which?
We also love chocolate. So we combined two of our favourite things into the taste test to end all taste tests: the Tim Tam challenge. We pitted Aldi's knock-off version against the original Arnott's bikkie to find out whether the impostor was a convincing enough fake.
That's right: we ate our way through a whole lot of chocolate biscuits in the name of empowering consumers. You're welcome.
Which one takes the biscuit? (It's Arnott's on the left, Aldi on the right, in case you were wondering.)
And the winner is…
Okay, okay. We'll put you out of your misery - no doubt the question of Aldi vs Arnott's has been keeping you up at night.
Did the Aldi product take the biscuit? Well, no.
The Arnott's bikkie took out 61% of the votes, and most of our testers could tell the difference between the two - so the Aldi product wasn't so convincing that it evaded detection.
BUT (and it's a big but) the Aldi version actually didn't do too badly compared to the original - 39% of the vote is not to be sneezed at. And a number of our testers were duped by the impostor Tim Tam.
In short: we think Aldi's product is not a bad buy. Just don't expect it to be exactly the same as Arnott's Tim Tams. And for less than half the price per biscuit, you can eat twice as many, right?
It's a lot closer than I'd thought. They're almost identical.Jason
How did we do it?
Ranking chocolate biscuits is serious business. So we took a very CHOICE-y approach to our testing.
Seventy-five brave CHOICE staff put their tastebuds on the line in a blind taste-test. We asked them to taste both the Arnott's and Aldi biscuits, then vote for their favourite.
As you can imagine, we really struggled to find volunteers.
I was born ready for this taste-test. Keen to help out!Amy
Then, in the interest of gathering more data (and eating more chocolate biscuits, naturally), we held a sub-challenge: the 'Are they Arnott's or are they not?' challenge. We asked each taste tester to tell us which biscuit they thought was the original Tim Tam. Again, volunteers were hard to come by.
I am more than happy to devote my time, my tastebuds and my waistline to reaching the answer to the age old question of 'is it a Tim Tam?'Sarah
And just for fun, we put our senior media advisor JB through a blind Tim Tam Slam challenge. We gave him one of each biscuit and asked him to chomp the ends off and slurp his tea through them. Strangely enough, he was more than happy to oblige.
JB takes his Tim Tam Slamming very seriously.
What were the results?
- 38.67% of CHOICE taste testers preferred the Aldi biscuit.
- 61.33% of CHOICE taste testers preferred the Arnott's biscuit.
- 26.98% of CHOICE taste testers thought the Aldi biscuit was the original Tim Tam.
- 66.67% of CHOICE taste testers correctly identified the Arnott's Tim Tam.
- 6.35% said they couldn't tell which biscuit was which.
- A number of testers said they'd happily buy the Aldi version.
- Several testers correctly identified the Arnott's biscuit, but voted the Aldi biscuit as their favourite.
Number 2 is the Tim Tam but I prefer number 1.Jen
The Aldi biscuit was a favourite among testers who have less of a sweet tooth. It has less sugar but more sodium per biscuit compared to the Arnott's biscuit, which might explain why.
Number 2 is definitely the real Tim Tam but I like number 1 better. Number 2 is too sweet; number 1 struck a good balance.Andrea
And JB preferred the Aldi biscuit for his Tim Tam Slam. Your results may vary - but hey, it'll be fun testing it out!
Christine takes the Tim Tam Challenge.
Not surprisingly, the Tim Tam Challenge was one of the favourite in-house taste tests we've conducted recently - we're already fielding demands for repeat tests.
In the interests of rigour I demand we conduct several repeatable trials over the course of the next couple of years so we can be confident of the results. Science demands it.Ashley
And our testers took the responsibility very seriously: people who correctly picked the original Tim Tam went home to brag to their families about their tasting prowess.
I can finally sleep at night. I'm going to add to my LinkedIn profile: 'Can spot a fake Tim Tam' skill.Adam
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.