I couldn’t stop thinking about the chocolate plagiarism plot line in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory during this chocolate taste test.
In the classic Roald Dahl story, Willy Wonka’s rival chocolatiers (Slugworth, Fickelgruber and Prodnose) set out to steal the secret recipes to Wonka’s treats, sending spies into his factory.
Wonka’s chocolate factory is subsequently almost sent into ruin when his chocolate recipes are replicated by his rivals – hence why he chooses to close its doors to the public, only employing the mysterious oompa loompas as staff.
And for anyone else who is aware of the hot water Aldi have recently got themselves into over their ‘Cuthbert the caterpillar’ dupe of Marks and Spencers’ famous Colin the Caterpillar cake, this storyline may sound all too familiar…
Regular shoppers at Aldi will know that Cuthbert barely scratches the surface of the budget supermarket’s huge range of chocolatey dupes.
A whole host of other major chocolate bar and snack food brands have fallen foul of the food retailer’s copycat products in recent years.
But I wanted to dig deeper and find out if Aldi’s chocolate bar dupes really are all they are cracked up to be.
I bought Mars, Snickers and Twix chocolate bars, as well as Biscoff’s famous spread, along with all of their Aldi dupe equivalents.
At face value – unwrapped – most of these treats look the spitting image of the original brands.
But I wasn’t about to judge a book by its cover – so I bit the bullet, and carried out a blind taste test to find out how the nation’s favourite chocolate bars compared to Aldi’s notoriously cheap versions.
Mars vs Aldi Titan
Original Mars bar (51g): 55p
Aldi’s Titan bar (38g): 9p
The proportions of chocolate, nougat and caramel in Aldi’s ‘Titan’ bar were almost bang on the traditional Mars bar.
The inner nougat centre was slightly smoother and less chewy than the original Mars – but at less than a fifth of the price, I wasn’t about to get hung up on nougat texture.
All in all, Aldi’s version stood up really well to the original – so far, so good for Aldi – I would definitely buy the Titan bar for the savings.
Snickers vs Aldi Racer
Original Snickers bar (48g): 55p
Aldi’s Racer bar (38g): 9p
Once again, Aldi’s proportions were a pretty perfect match to the Snickers, with the ratio of chocolate, nuts, nougat and caramel bang on the money.
My main issue here was that Aldi’s version – the ‘Racer’ bar – tasted distinctively less nutty than a classic Snickers – the nuts tasted more sugary and synthetic and less like real peanuts.
It wasn’t a bad match, and at 9p per bar instead of 55p this might be a no-brainer for some people; but as a massive peanut-lover, the Snickers just topped it for me.
Twix vs Aldi Jive
Original two-finger Twix (50g): 60p
Aldi’s two-finger Jive bar (40g): 11p
Aldi’s version of a Twix was by far the biggest disappointment of the lot.
The shortbread was dry, crumbly and flavourless, you could barely identify the caramel, and Aldi had been tight with the chocolate layer, which was paper-thin and barely held the contents inside.
Despite the huge savings, I would never buy Aldi’s ‘Jive’ bar over a Twix after this taste test.
Lotus Biscoff spread vs Aldi Belmont Biscuit Spread
Lotus Biscoff Spread jar (400g): £2.28
Aldi Biscuit Spread jar (400g): £1.79
If I was Aldi and I wanted to show off how one of my products compared to a real brand, I would pick this one.
The likeness between their ‘Belmont Biscuit Spread’ and original Biscoff spread was absolutely uncanny – taste, texture, smell – I couldn’t tell the difference at all.
Once you try them both you literally could not justify the extra 49p for the original Lotus, especially seeing as Aldi’s packaging is almost exactly the same anyway.
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The taste test turned out to be more of a mixed bag than I was expecting – whatever Aldi’s product-duping method, it clearly isn’t consistent across the board.
While I will definitely be buying Aldi’s Mars and Biscoff dupes from now on, when it comes to Snickers and Twix I will be sticking to the originals.
But, frankly, if you’re looking to save money now that there are places other than supermarkets open to spend it again, you could do worse than to become an Aldi convert for your chocolate-buying.
You might not find the subtle differences in nougat texture in your chocolate bars so offensive when your wallet is five times fatter next time you make it to the pub.
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