About the BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2020

Who was invited to enter?

Supermarkets with more than 25 branches or a comprehensive e-commerce offering, which sell own-brand, fresh, frozen and dry goods are eligible to enter these awards.

The judging

We asked each supermarket to submit their star products across 20 categories. There was no charge to enter. Each product was removed from its original packaging, cooked or prepared following pack instructions, portioned out and judged blind, with taste and flavour as the most important criteria. For products where appearance is also a factor, judges saw photographs of the whole item before cutting, for reference.

This year, we had to adapt our judging process to be socially distanced. The panel was made up of members of the cookery and editorial teams, who sat over two metres apart from each other. Each judge was given their own plate and cutlery, as well as their own portion of each product. They filled out online forms to write comments on each product and cast the vote for their favourites. The judging took place in silence to ensure panel members wouldn’t influence each other’s decisions, and the entire process was overseen virtually by an independent adjudicator who compiled the results and feedback, after discussing the results of each round with judges via video call.

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Categories

Turkey centrepiece
Criteria: a turkey sharing dish that could be carved to serve four or more. This could include plain, wrapped or stuffed turkey crowns, parcels or joints.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Booths, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Smoked salmon
Criteria: a top-quality smoked fish. We wanted the best, sustainable smoked salmon, served sliced or whole.
Judged entries from: Asda, Co-op, M&S, Morrisons, ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Vegetarian main course
Criteria: a meat-free main that’s every bit as tasty as its meat counterparts (either individually portioned or sharing size, to serve two or more).
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Booths, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco

Vegan main course
Criteria: a vegan main that’s every bit as tasty as its meat and its vegetarian alternatives (either individually portioned or sharing size, to serve two or more).
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose & Partners

Fish centrepiece
Criteria: a hero fish dish to rival its meat and veggie counterparts. We wanted a shareable dish to serve four or more, with fish as its main ingredient. It could include more than one type of fish, as well as additional seafood.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Booths, Lidl, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Beef wellington
Criteria: a shareable, ready-made beef wellington. We wanted a traditional beef filling and perfect golden pastry but additional flavours were permitted, including new spins on the duxelle and ham wrapping.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose & Partners

Gammon
Criteria: a raw or partly cooked joint of ham ready to cook on the hob or in the oven. The ham could come with a glaze made from other flavourings.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Pigs in blankets
Criteria: pre-prepared sausages wrapped in bacon, ready to cook in the oven. Variations of pigs in blankets, such as flavours, coatings or unconventional shapes, were permitted.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Gravy
Criteria: gravy that tastes homemade but takes only minutes to prepare. We looked for a fresh gravy that complements the traditional festive dinner (but a vegetarian gravy could be submitted).
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Cranberry sauce
Criteria: a ready-made cranberry sauce, ready for spooning onto your meal, it could be served in a jar or fresh and be flavoured, as long as the primary flavour is cranberry.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons

mince_pies_6_testing_1-4366575-scaled

Mince pies
Criteria: we take mince pies very seriously at BBC Good Food – they’re our most popular online recipe every Christmas. We looked for mince pies made from shortcrust or puff pastry, featuring a traditional fruit filling and a lid. Pies without a pastry lid could have an alternative, such as fruit or crumble, as long as the pie filling is fully enclosed.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Booths, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Spar, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Flavoured mince pies
Criteria: mince pies with a twist. We wanted alternatively flavoured mince pies, such as those featuring chocolate, caramel, or a creative use of fruit. The pies should still feature a shortcrust or puff pastry case, and a lid (either made from pastry or an alternative such as nuts or crumble) and be sold as a mince pie.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Spar, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Gluten-free mince pies
Criteria: gluten-free mince pies to rival the original, complete with fruit filling and lid.
Judged entries from: Aldi, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco

Panettone
Criteria: the best festive panettone, in either a traditional or alternative flavour.
Judged entries from: Aldi, M&S, Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Christmas cake
Criteria: a traditional Christmas cake, iced or decorated and ready to serve.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Vegan dessert
Criteria: a superb vegan pudding with fantastic, multi-dimensional flavours to serve after the main event (can be frozen or fresh and served iced, warm or cold).
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Co-op, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Sharing dessert
Criteria: a show-stopping festive pudding. It should be easily shared between four or more people, and could be frozen or fresh, served iced, warm or cold.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Christmas pudding
Criteria: a traditional, fruity basin pudding that serves four or more, looks great on the table and can be cooked in the pan, oven or microwave.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Iceland, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Stollen
Criteria: a whole stollen log or individual stollen pieces with strong marzipan flavours, served either dusted or iced.
Judged entries from: Asda, Booths, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

Yule log
Criteria: a ready-to-eat chocolate yule log cake which is iced or decorated.
Judged entries from: Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners

The results

Find out which products won our taste tests…
Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2020

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