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CONSUMER PANEL - Fresh Vegetable Soups

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Who are the guests?

1. Victoria Doyle
The dog loved the soup if that's any help to your survey!

2. Liz Wycherley
She doesn't really like vegetables, so wouldn't be the biggest fan of vegetable soup in particular, but she actually quite liked the Avonmore and Supervalu soups!

3. Niamh Craven
Nutritional value is very similar with them all. They are all low in Fat and Kcal all come in between 45 & 55 for 1/2 carton which is very good. They were all very filling soups.

4. William (Wally) Sheridan
He'd make his own soups, with every kind of vegetable. He'd choose Marks and Spencer, nearest in Drogheda if he was short on time and didn't have time to make it himself. Before he would have bought the Avonmore but now he will buy the M&S one.

Each panelist has been asked to give their marks out of five taking the following points into consideration.

The main things to look for are:
. Taste - did it have a good natural flavour? Was it too salty or sweet?
. Texture - did it leave a residue on your tongue?
. How easy it was to make? Did it have a nice consistency?
. Was it difficult to clean the mug/bowl if you left it for a while before cleaning it?
. Presentation - what was the packaging like? Would you buy it?
. Price and value for money - this is a major factor at this time.

Marks and Spencer
- Country Vegetable Soup - 600g - €2.99 (50cent per 100g)
Avonmore - Farmer's Choice Mixed Vegetable Fresh Soup - 600g - €2 on special offer at the moment (33cent per 100g)
SuperValu - Farmhouse Vegetable Soup 500g - €2.09 (42cent per 100g)
Dunnes - Vegetable Soup 500g - €1.85 (37cent per 100g)

The Results are: (All out of 20)
1st Place - 16pts Avonmore Farmer's Choice Mixed Vegetable
2nd Place - 14pts Supervalu Farmhouse Vegetable
3rd Place - 11.5pts Marks & Spencer Country Vegetable
4th Place - 9pts Dunnes Vegetable


Marks and Spencer

. Lovely Soup, nice & thick, plenty of vegetables through it. She really liked the soup - to me it could pass as homemade
. The microwave cooked it really well,
. It cleaned off the bowl really easily
. The packaging was fairly plain, as with all - but then I don't think you could jazz soup packaging up - although you could see through plastic so you could see what soup looked like before buying it.
. The most expensive, so at €2.99 was not good value for money.
. 3 out of 5 - because of high price - overall it was my favourite!! But could not pay €3..!!

. Taste - No real flavour, unnatural taste, needed to add salt to get any flavour.
. Texture - Residue left, with very unpleasant after taste.
. Easiness/Consistency - Full of chunky vegetables, extremely thick and gluppy.
. Cleaning - A bit of elbow grease and the staining was removed.
. Presentation - Too much writing and info on the label. I would buy if it was on a special offer maybe.
. Very expensive not great value. It would only give 2 people a medium size bowl of soup and 1 person a big bowl, so for €2.99 not great value at all.
. 2.5 out of 5

. It had an oniony smell which you wouldn't expect of a vegetable soup. The taste was onion, leek or parsley, but it was strong and wasn't very nice. If I had wanted a soup like this I would buy a potato and leek soup. Too many vegetables, it was nearly more vegetables than soup!
. All were the easy to make, just put onto the hob (microwave) and pretty quick to heat up.
. Easy to clean
. Presentation: It came in a plastic container, which is easier to open, microwave and reseal
. Price / Value: The Marks soup is the most expensive and the least nice in terms of flavour, so is not good value.
. 1 out of 5

. The texture was very, very good
. Very nice soup, first nice flavour. A pinch of salt necessary to make it nicer.
. It left no residue
. I would be happy to pay this price, not over priced. He'd pay €4 for it.
. 5 out of 5


. A really lovely soup plenty of vegetables through it and big pieces of potato, which gave a really nice texture to it.
. Cooked in the microwave and again with no problems cooked really well
. The bowl cleaned off really easily as with the others.
. As in a carton, you cannot see the inside, but all the same it is done really well and when you open it is very easy to pour
. Priced at €2 on special offer is a good price, but I think this soup is up at €2.84 when not on special - so pricey enough
. At a price of €2, I would mark this 4!

. Taste - Lovely natural homemade flavour, salt just right.
. Easiness/Consistency - Lovely consistency, poured out very well and even.
. Cleaning - Needed a powerful blast of the water and it cleaned straight away.
. Presentation - Simple to the point of produce, simple storing and pouring.
. It's good value at €2. I'm not sure how much more I would pay for it if it wasn't on offer. It was delicious, so I suppose you know you're getting value for your money anytime you eat it.
. 4 out of 5

. Quite flavoursome and enjoyable to eat. It had a fresh and Irish feel to it. It was also the only soup to say it was one of your five a day of fruit and veg, which would be something I would consider
. Easy to clean
. Presentation: As it's in a carton, like milk, it was the only one which couldn't be heated in its original packaging. I find this kind of packaging annoying to open and to reseal.
. It's pretty good value for money, especially seeing as it is on offer for only €2 and has a nice taste. Seeing as it comes in 600g it works out cheaper than the Dunnes soup.
. 4 out of 5

. It was alright. He was going to give this number 1, but changed his mind. Usually buys this but now will buy M&S
. He likes the flavour, but it could do with a bit more salt
. A little bit harder to wash
. The plastic packaging is easier to handle and to open
. 4 out of 5


. Lovely creamy texture to this soup, really tasty, again lots of veg through it
. This soup was cooked in Microwave and had no problems
. Bowl cleaned really easily
. Packaging same as above - fairly plain - they were all packaged the same except Avonmore..the one thing you do know when you buy soup like this is you know it is fresh
. Very well priced at €2.09, I would put this one in among my favourites
. 4 out of 5 - really good value and lovely soup

. Taste - A bit salty but tasty anyway and it has a fairly natural flavour.
. Texture - No residue left
. Easiness/Consistency - Microwaved in 45seconds, but went cool very quickly. Nice consistency not too lumpy.
. Cleaning - Under the tap it didn't all wash away it needed a quick scrub with the J-cloth
. Presentation - I found the label boring and way too green. I wouldn't buy it if there were others on the shelf.
. Good value for money would only ever expect to pay about €2 for soup, so it would fit into my buying power.
. 3.5 out of 5

. The initial aroma of the hot chocolate was really nice
. Easy to clean
. Presentation: It came in a plastic container which is easier to open, microwave and reseal.
. The Supervalu soup is reasonably priced and is quite nice so it's good enough value for money.
. 3.5 out of 5

. An awful lot of parsnips in it. Very strong. He likes parsnips, but as there was nothing else in it he wouldn't buy that again. It is listed 2nd on the ingredients.
. Didn't like the flavour. Enough salt in it, but very flat.
. No bother washing the cup. It left no residue
. He wouldn't buy it even if he got it for nothing.
. 3 out of 5

Dunnes Own Brand

. This was my least favourite soup tasted a bit artificial (what I mean by that is you could nearly taste the plastic carton.. vegetables were not as prominent
. Cooked in the Microwave and again with no problems cooked really well and
. The bowl cleaned off really easily as with the others
. I felt although it was priced very well, I probably would not buy it.
. 2 out of 5

. Taste - Distinct taste of celery and parsnips, tasteless apart from that. Unnatural.
. Texture - Definite residue and bad after taste.
. Easiness/Consistency - Quite liquidized with no chunky vegetable bits made it seem unnatural, very gluppy to pour.
. Cleaning - Would have needed hot water and fairy to get rid of the bowl staining.
. Presentation - Plain packaging, but good that you can see the entire produce and colour. I like the bright vibrant purple.
. Didn't like the soup, so no it wouldn't be value for money even though it's less that €2, don't think it would fill you either if you were having it for lunch think you'd need bread with it.
. 3.5 out of 5

. The soup had an odd smell and while at first it had a nice taste it had a weird aftertaste, which I think had something to so with the plastic packaging.
. a good amount of vegetables in them
. Easy to heat on the hob or microwave
. Easy to clean
. Presentation: It came in a plastic container, which is easier to open, microwave and reseal than a carton.
. This is the cheapest, but not if you look at the fact that its 500g not 600g, the taste isn't great so while you might save on money, it's not great value.
. 2.5 out of 5

. There was too much turnip in it, even though he loves turnips. Wouldn't have it whatsoever. He'd give it back.
. Packaging was good but when you poured it out it had a poor presentation
. It left no residue
. I wouldn't buy it at all.
. 1 out of 5 - lucky to get 1.