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Christmas Consumer Panel - Shop Bought Christmas Cakes

Thursday, 18 December 2008

This is the final week meeting our Christmas Consumer Panel. They have been road testing Christmas Cakes from four different stores and they will be in studio to tell our viewers their thoughts on the best of the four.

Our Consumer Panel
Niamh Craven -Dublin
Marguerite Murray - Dublin
Aida D'Arcy - Meath

Our Three panelists will vote for their preferred Christmas crackers based on:
. What was the presentation like? Was the box appealing? Was the cake decorated well? Would you buy this as your Christmas cake this year?
. Did it have a nice smell? Did the smell remind you of Christmas?
. What did the icing taste like? What did the marzipan taste like? What did the fruit part of the cake taste like?
. Was it dry or moist?
. Was it value for money?

The four products:
Tesco Iced Rich Fruit €10.99
M&S Iced Top €8.99
Dunnes Top Iced €5.49
Rowan Hill Bakery (Lidl) €5.29

The Results are: (All out of 15)
In 4th place is Tesco with 5.5 out of 15
In 3rd place is M&S with 8 out of 15
In 2nd place is Dunnes with 8.5 out of 15
In 1st place is Lidl with 13.5 out of 15

Points about the Winning Christmas Cakes

Rowan Hill Bakery (Lidl) (13.5 out of 15)


. This packaging was the most appealing to me
. Marzipan was lovely and icing tasted like icing should
. Cake is lovely and moist
. 4.5 out of 5

. This was the closest one to homemade
. Just the right amount of icing and marzipan
. At €5.29 you would not be bothered making one
. 5 out of 5

. After tasting it, I would buy it
. Lovely smell as soon as it is opened
. Icing was very hard to cut
. 4 out of 5

Points about the other crackers:

Tesco Iced Rich Fruit (5.5 out of 15)

. Definitely wouldn't buy this cake
. Icing was peculiar, awful and rubbery
. Fruit was heavy and bitter
. 1.5 out of 5

. Taste was hollow in flavour
. Icing was rock hard
. Too chewy and bland
. 2 out of 5

. Lovely presentation
. Icing was very nice and it comes on a tray
. Cake was very moist
. 2 out of 5

M&S Iced Top (8 out of 15)

. Presentation is fancy with holly and berries
. The icing had no particular taste, quite rubbery
. Nicest marzipan of the lot
. 2.5 out of 5

. Box was nicely presented
. Lovely Christmas tree iced on it
. Too many currants, like a brack
. 3.5 out of 5

. Presentation of the box would catch your eye
. Nice rich fruit smell
. Not a bad price
. 2 out of 5

Dunnes Top Iced (8.5 out of 15)

. This cake had a nice smell
. There was no almond taste from the marzipan
. Not great value for money because the cake wasn't great
. 2.5 out of 5

. It was like a brick
. The presentation looked the part
. Crumbled when you try to slice it
. 3 out of 5

. Lovely smell, rich and fruity
. Icing lovely and soft
. Only bow on the cake, no edible decorations
. 3 out of 5