Marks & Spencer wins big at Good Housekeeping Institute’s Christmas taste test awards. Marks & Spencer appeared most frequently in the guide’s top five, in 10 of the 12 categories, closely followed by Asda and Lidl.

Budget brand Iceland was voted to have the best mince pie in the UK. At £1.50 for a pack of six, the pies beat 24 other brands including luxury offerings from high end retailers. The blind taste tests – which feature in Good Housekeeping’s December edition, commended Iceland’s mince pie for its “juicy mincemeat with a rich flavour in a lovely crisp and buttery pastry case”.

Supermarket chain Asda bagged one of the top awards in Christmas taste tests with its improved Christmas food range. Asda Extra Special Cranberry Port With Ruby Port Cranberry Sauce was a winner in its category and was highly commended for its smoked salmon, free range turkey, mince pies, stuffing and brandy butter.

And there was further good news for budget retailers, with Lidl’s £5.29 Allini Prosecco Spumante voted best bargain prosecco. Iceland’s £4.95 a kg Luxury British Whole Brined Turkey with Orange & Thyme Butter was found to be top of its class.

The taste test team ate and drank around 211 different festive foods from more than 30 stockists across 12 categories: Champagne, sparkling wine for under £10, smoked salmon, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Christmas pudding, brandy butter, Christmas cake, mince pies, mulled wine and stilton.

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