Journalist Bethan Shufflebotham set out to discover which tomato ketchup was the best and wanted to know if any could beat the named brands, and her results were surprising
With the cost of living going through the roof people around the country are going to be looking at where they can save a few pounds, and the weekly shop is a good place to start.
Everyday items could be costing you more than you realise, as while own-brand products may only be a bit cheaper it still adds up over the course of a year.
Now, Manchester Evening News reporter Bethan Shufflebotham has bravely put her tastebuds on the line to settle the issue once and for all.
She’s visited six different supermarkets and bought their own-brand tomato ketchup to see if any can compare to the big name in the business, Heinz – and the results may surprise you.
Who do you think makes the best tomato ketchup? Let us know in the comments…
Bethan said: “A medium sized bottle of Heinz will set you back more than £2. Of course, you could opt for a larger bottle and save a couple of pence in the long run, but then you run the risk of taking up valuable cupboard space.
“The condiment offers a sweet but balanced flavour – one we all know and love – with a slight acidity from the vinegar. It offers a smooth and consistent texture, and it’s easy to see why it sits in so many UK cupboards.”
Bethan continued: “In terms of price, all of the supermarket own-brand ketchups from Sainsbury’s Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and M&S all came in under £1.
“Already, just by switching to the tomato sauce from your regular weekly shop spot, you’ll be saving more than a quid on your condiment.
“Surprisingly, it wasn’t M&S with the most expensive sauce, but Morrisons, whose bottle cost 80p. M&S did come in second at 75p, with Tesco coming in closely behind at 65p.
“Aldi was next with a 62p bottle, but it was Sainsbury’s and Asda both offered the cheapest bottles for 60p.”
Bethan added: “When pulling in the purse strings, you want to get more bang for your buck. All of these tomato ketchups vary in size, with the smallest bottle coming from Morrisons, who also had the highest price.
“Their bottle was only 450g, while the cheapest bottle at Sainsbury’s was 460g. Marks and Spencer’s offered 495g, and Asda’s bottle weighed in at 550g, with Tesco 5g more at 555g.
“Aldi sold the largest bottle at 650g, making it the most for your money, followed by Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys, M&S and Morrisons, in that order.”
Appearance, taste and texture
Bethan said: “Heinz offered a medium consistency sauce with a vibrant red colour and balanced flavour – but could any of the supermarkets live up to it?
“Morrisons’ sauce looked very similar in terms of colour and texture, but Asda’s sauce was on the runnier side. Marks and Spencer’s tomato ketchup was much thicker and deeper in colour, while Sainsbury’s had that more classic consistency.
“Both Tesco and Aldi’s were quite watery, but the most important test was how well they would taste.
“Most of the tomato ketchups all tasted fairly similar, very sweet, zingy with a hint of vinegar. I did find Aldi’s to be too acidic, Asda’s texture was off for me and it lacked any real flavour, and Tesco’s tasted on the artificial side.
“There was one that really outshone the rest though, and that was Marks and Spencer with their sweet and tangy Tommy K. It tasted really rich, and complemented food rather than masked the taste of it.
“It edges on the side of a relish, and feels like a restaurant-style quality sauce.”
In the end, Bethan thought that the Marks and Spencer’s own-brand tomato ketchup was the best, beating Heinz in both taste and price.
She said: “For me Marks and Spencer blew even Heinz out of the water. At 75p it was still cheaper than the big name brand, and offered good value for the size of the bottle. It tasted amazing and I’ll definitely be ditching Heinz in favour of this tangy tomato ketchup.”
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