Fruit mince pies can be polarising. For some, they're the very essence of Christmas; for others, they're akin to squashed fly guts mixed with cloves.
But one thing's for sure: they're a common fixture in Christmas celebrations year after year. (Whether or not that's a good thing depends on how you feel about them!)
For some, they're the very essence of Christmas; for others, they're akin to squashed fly guts mixed with cloves
For many Australians, Christmas budgets will be tighter than usual in 2023. That's why this year, we've focused on budget supermarket mince pies, asking CHOICE staff to put their tastebuds on the line by blind taste testing the cheapest mince pie offerings from Coles, Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets.
Here's how they compared.
CHOICE staff take their taste testing responsibilities very seriously.
Which was the best fruit mince pie?
We asked CHOICE staff to taste each fruit mince pie, then vote for their favourite. This was a blind taste test, meaning that no one knew which pie was which.
CHOICE staff take their taste testing responsibilities very seriously, so everyone weighed the options carefully before casting their votes.
And for the second year running the winner is…. Aldi! Once again, it was only by a whisker.
The German giant garnered almost 42% of the votes, while Woolies was hot on its heels with 39% of the votes.
Unfortunately Coles just couldn't keep up with the competition, with only 19% of votes going to their pies.
And while Aldi won the popularity contest, it's also a win for bottom lines: Aldi pies cost just 57 cents each ($3.39 for a pack), compared with Coles' and Woolies' pies, which cost 58 cents each ($3.50 per pack). That's good news for mince pie fans who want to spend a little less this year.
What was on the table
Here are the fruit mince pie offerings from each of the supermarkets, in order of favourite to least favourite in our staff taste test.
1. Aldi Kringle and Co Fruit Mince Pies (42% of votes)
- What the pack says: "Traditional Fruit Mince Pies with a home-style lattice top."
- Price: $3.39 for a pack of 6 (360g)
- Price per pie: 57 cents
What CHOICE staff said: "It tastes more decadent and luxurious than the others. I could easily eat a whole pack of six in one go." – Lou
2. Woolworths Shortcrust Fruit Mince Pies (39% of votes)
- What the pack says: "Shortcrust pastry with fruit mince filling."
- Price: $3.50 for a pack of 6 (360g)
- Price per pie: 58 cents
What CHOICE staff said: "I think it has a better crunch and texture than the other two and seemed less sweet." – Edward
3. Coles Christmas Fruit Mince Pies (19% of votes)
- What the pack says: "Shortcrust pastry filled with fruit mince."
- Price: $3.50 for a pack of 6 (360g total)
- Price per pie: 58 cents
What CHOICE staff said: "I chose this one because the flavour was nice – it suited my palate. The crunch was good, too." – Steve
So there you have it. If you're after a classic fruit mince pie on a budget this Christmas, it's good to know you can save a little on the Aldi option without disappointing your guests.
Unless of course, you're one of those who think all mince pies taste like spiced insect innards, in which case we suggest you stick with the shortbread assortment.