Easter egg taste test 2013
Easter is on its way although the shops have been stacked full of chocolate eggs, bunnies and just about every other spring-like animal you can think of for several months now.
But when it comes to picking an Easter egg – be it for your child, your partner or a colleague – you can end up paying a small fortune.
There is also the problem that you can't really try before you buy; therefore it's hard to tell if it'll actually taste any good.
Luckily, we've once again taken on the task of tasting eggs from all the leading brands and have compiled the ultimate list of the top eggs for 2013 looking at taste, packaging and value for money.
We ate our way through 16 different eggs (it's a tough job but someone's got to do it) to find out which ones we think you should be buying.
The 16 eggs we tested were first judged on their packaging, then they were spirited away, broken up and blind tested for taste.
Each egg was given a score of between one and 10 for taste. As we had 13 testers this meant each egg had the opportunity to gain 130 points in total.
Here's how the eggs fared among our testers.
1. The Co-operative
Top of the table with 95.5 points was the Co-operative's Truly Irresistible egg, which our tasters said had a "striking, expensive-looking box". It was also reasonably priced and at £5 for a 285g egg it was the fifth cheapest egg in our test, when looking at the price per 100g.
Our taste testers loved this one, especially the raspberry pieces, and described it as being "subtle but with enough to keep you interested", "sweet, crunchy and yummy", and having a "lovely crunch and texture to the chocolate with an interesting twist of fruit".
In second place with 90 points was the Cadbury's egg, which many people liked because of its familiar taste. The packaging was described as being simple and promoting the product well.
Taste testers agreed it was "smooth and milky but not too sweet" with a "nice, solid flavour". It was the eighth cheapest.
3. Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer took the third place with 88.5 points. It was the third most expensive egg. Our testers said the packaging was "very luxurious" and "looked expensive" and the taste was described as being "nice and light" with a "creamy, chocolatey flavour".
One tester even said: "It's so creamy, feed me more".
Next on the list is the Lindor spring egg, the seventh cheapest. The packaging didn't go down well as a "standard green box with a few butterflies on it" which is "dull and unimaginative" and an egg "you'd only give to people that you know will love the Lindor chocolate".
But the taste was well received and the testers said it was "milky, smooth and creamy" and "had a nice familiar taste" with a great silky texture.
5. Nestle Munchies
In fifth from the top was the Nestle Munchies egg which didn't go down well when looking at the packaging. "The 70s called and they don't want this packaging back" is how one tester described it.
The taste comments were better and although one person said it was "sludgy" on the whole most people said it had a great taste and was a "very nice solid performer".
The Tesco egg was next and the box impressed our testers as being "very slick" with an "enticing brown box which allows just enough of a window for the egg to flash its (multiple chocolate flavour) wares".
It was the fourth cheapest and a good all-rounder in the taste test. One tester said it was "pretty average despite the extras" while another said it "looks like it might be for kids but tastes surprisingly sophisticated".
7. Nestle After Eight
The classic After Eight branded egg came in seventh place and was also the most expensive egg when looking at a 100g pack but had a pack of After Eight chocolate mints included.
Although the box "looked good" and was described as being "immediately attractive", the taste split testers. Those who liked mint chocolate loved it with comments such as "a very nice balance" and "if you like minty chocolate, this definitely is a winner".
But those who didn't like this flavour combination weren't so keen with one saying "it's like dark chocolate toothpaste, that's not a good thing".
The giant Asda egg – the second cheapest – was slightly overwhelming with testers saying they'd be put off it as it's so big and "too much of a good thing".
When we looked at taste the responses were mixed. One tester said the "quality wasn't the best" and several testers said it "tasted cheap" although another said it had a "lovely, strong flavour".
9. Nestle KitKat
The KitKat egg, which also includes two KitKat Chunky bars, came in ninth position with the box being described as "cheap" and having no Easter colours or designs.
It was the fourth most expensive, but also included a mug, and one tester on the taste test said it was "better than it looks". One said it "was not bad but had nothing distinctive about it" while another said it was "a bit bland and rather unremarkable".
As the cheapest egg on offer, the Aldi egg didn't fare too badly. The box didn't go down well and was described as being "very basic and standard – to the point that it's boring" while the taste was "very sweet" with a "not too pleasant aftertaste".
Several testers noted the nutty flavour and one said it "doesn't taste like chocolate" but another broke the negative trend and said it was "a lovely familiar tasting egg".
Joint 11. Guylian and Sainsbury's
Surprisingly, luxury chocolate brand Guylian didn't come out well in the test and was joint fifth from the bottom with Sainsbury's. The box, however, scored well and one tester said it "looks expensive with the gold foil and it feels like you get a lot inside with the separate box of chocolates sat next to it".
Several taste testers said the chocolate was "cheap" with "no chocolate flavour" and one said it had a "weird salty aftertaste". However, there were some positive comments; one person said it was "the sort of egg I could eat until I'm sick" but overall it didn't seem to leave a lasting impression.
Meanwhille, the Sainsbury's egg box was described as "a grown-up Easter egg" with "sophisticated packaging which allows you to see the whole egg".
The taste, however, produced varied results with most people agreeing it was only a good choice for dark chocolate lovers. One said it was "not bad for dark chocolate" while another said it was "quite bitter" and "a bit too sour".
Some really didn't like this one with one saying, "I like me dark chocolate but I hate this egg – absolutely foul, avoid like the plague".
Coming in fourth from the bottom was Lidl's Easter hen, the third cheapest product in our list. Our testers said its plastic bag packaging looked cheap and the chocolate didn't go down well either.
Most commentators said it tasted "cheap" while one said it had a "foul aftertaste", although another said it was "nice but not very intense".
14. Holland and Barrett
Holland and Barrett's dairy-free egg wasn't very popular. It was the second most expensive, in terms of the price for 100g, and the images on the box were described as "lousy clipart". Tastewise, one taster thought it was "a bit plastic tasting".
Other comments included: "tastes a bit like raisins" and another said it was "bland, tasteless and cheap".
Second bottom, with 52 points, was the Waitrose egg, although its box was described as being "cute and interesting" and good for children.
Testers didn't like the mixture of chocolate and sweets and said it was "unremarkable" and tasted cheap. One said it was "cheap tasting chocolate mixed with sweets – like a bad school tuck shop."
16. Elizabeth Shaw
Bottom of the list with a lowly 49 points was the Elizabeth Shaw offering, the fifth most expensive egg. The box was slated for being "boring and dull" with orange and brown colours which had no reference to Easter.
The taste of the egg was also panned as being "artificial, too sweet and cheap tasting". One tester said it "didn't taste like chocolate" and another described it as "very thin and horrible".
The Co-operative's top spot was a surprise result, especially as it managed to beat such well-known 'luxury' names as Guylian and Lindor to the spot. At only £5 it was at the cheaper end of the scale and therefore represents a good all-rounder.
Shockingly the 'luxury brand' Elizabeth Shaw egg didn't go down at all well with our testers and neither did the entry from Waitrose – proving again that sometimes the most expensive eggs aren't the best.
Interestingly when dividing the overall egg score by the cost of a 100g chunk of chocolate, the results are slightly different. Elizabeth Shaw is still in bottom place, with the Holland and Barrett egg second from last and the Nestle After Eight egg third from bottom.
On the other end of the scale, Aldi is top for value for money with a score of 88, followed by Asda in second with 77 and the Co-operative in third with 54 points.