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CALORIES IN CHRISTMAS FAVOURITES: HOW THE SUPERMARKETS STACK UP

CALORIES IN CHRISTMAS FAVOURITES: HOW THE SUPERMARKETS STACK UP

8 minute read time

‘Tis the season to be merry, argue about whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and consume copious amounts of festive snacks that only appear in your fridge for one month a year.

With consumers across the UK starting to prepare and plan their food for the big day, there’s plenty on offer this year from the supermarkets to help fill your tables, no matter how many people you’re cooking for.

But for mince pies, Christmas puddings and camembert, how does the nutrition stack up between each supermarket?

We looked at Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Iceland, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Waitrose and M&S to see how many calories are in our favourite snacks, so if you’re trying to be a little more conscious this year, you can be well-informed. To make it a fair comparison, we compared their best ranges:

We looked at each food portion per 100g and took the information from each supermarket’s own website.

How does each brand stack up for our favourite festive foods? We’ve revealed the top 3 most and least calorific for each.

CHEESES

Brie

Brie, glorious brie. Whether you have it with a baguette, grapes, wine, or just on its own, it’s a staple of Christmas. Tesco Finest dominates the list for most calorific brie varieties, while Aldi, ASDA and Sainsbury’s have slightly fewer calories per 100g.

Most calorific

Tesco Finest Baking Brie with Festive Fruits and Brandy Glaze with Walnuts – 371 calories per 100g

Tesco Finest Smoked Baking Brie – 357 calories per 100g

Tesco Finest French Brie with Truffle – 339 calories per 100g

Least calorific

Aldi Specially Selected Brie De Meaux – 305 calories per 100g

ASDA Extra Special Brie De Pays Cheese – 302 calories per 100g

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Brie De Meaux – 273 calories per 100g

Camembert

Some people have it throughout the year, but this gooey French cheese has its moment at Christmas. Aldi’s Specially Selected Camembert with Spanish Chorizo has 375 calories per 100g, while Morrison’s The Best offering has almost 125 calories fewer, for when you’re ready to dig in.

Most calorific

Aldi – Specially Selected Baking Camembert with Spanish Chorizo – 375 calories per 100g

ASDA – ASDA Extra Special Camembert De Pays – 317 calories per 100g

Aldi – Specially Selected Baking Camembert – 307 calories per 100g

Least calorific

Asda – ASDA Extra Special Nouvelle-Aquitaine Goat’s Milk Camembert – 264 calories per 100g

Morrisons – The Best Baking Camembert with Cranberry, Port & Orange – 254 calories per 100g

Morrisons – Morrisons The Best Caramelised Onion, Garlic & Thyme Baking Camembert – 252 calories per 100g

TRIMMINGS

Cranberry sauce

Perfect with brie, turkey, chicken and ham, some people opt to make their own cranberry sauce, as all you need to do is combine cranberries, water and sugar in a saucepan. But if you’d prefer to purchase it from the supermarket, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference has the most calories per 100g. Aldi’s offering is the lowest, with just 134 calories for a third of its tub of sauce.

Most calorific

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Mulled Wine Cranberry Sauce – 251 calories per 100g

Tesco Finest Cranberry Sauce – 236 calories per 100g

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Cranberry Sauce – 235 calories per 100g

Least calorific

ASDA Extra Special Cranberry Sauce with Ruby Port – 148 calories per 100g

Morrisons The Best Christmas Cranberry Sauce – 139 calories per 100g

Aldi Specially Selected Cranberry Sauce – 134 calories per 100g

Pigs in blankets

Apparently, over 128 million pigs in blankets are eaten on Christmas Day in the UK. For some reason, unknown to us, we only eat these once a year, despite them being one of the best parts of our Christmas dinner, if we do say so ourselves.

Most calorific

Tesco Finest Pigs in Blankets – 326 calories per 100g

ASDA Extra Special British Pigs in Blankets – 314 calories per 100g

Aldi Specially Selected British outdoor bred pigs in Blankets – 310 calories per 100g

Least calorific

Sainsbury’s Truffle Flavoured Pigs in Blankets, Taste The Difference – 256 calories per 100g

M&S Our Best Ever Pigs in Blankets – 254 calories per 100g

Sainsbury’s Butcher’s Choice British Pork and British Bacon Pigs in Blankets – 249 calories per 100g

Cauliflower cheese

Another iconic part of a Christmas roast dinner, homemade cauliflower cheese can be easy to make, and you can add as much cheese and as many varieties as you want. However, if you opt for the supermarket brands, Morrison’s will set you back 215 calories per 100g, while ASDA’s only has 104 calories per 100g, despite it containing double cream and two types of mature cheddar.

Most calorific

Morrisons – Morrisons The Best Cauliflower Cheese – 215 calories per 100g

Iceland – Iceland Luxury Cauliflower Cheese – 136 calories per 100g

Aldi – Specially Selected Cauliflower Cheese – 131 calories per 100g

Least calorific

Tesco – Tesco Finest Three Cheese Cauliflower Gratin – 128 calories per 100g

Sainsbury’s – Taste the Difference Cauliflower Cheese – 106 calories per 100g

ASDA – ASDA Extra Special Creamy Cauliflower Cheese – 104 calories per 100g

Stuffing

From your go-to sage and onion, to more creative offerings, there’s a variety of choices for you to choose from when it comes to stuffing at supermarkets in the UK. M&S Collection’s Stuffing Mix Duo, which features cranberry, apple and clementine stuffing and smoked sage and shallot stuffing, has the most amount of calories at 354 per 100g. Tesco Finest has the lowest offering, with just 166 calories per 100g – less than half M&S’ offering.

Most calorific

M&S Collection Stuffing Mix Duo – 354 calories per 100g

Aldi Specially Selected Pork Stuffing with Fig & Stilton – 348 calories per 100g

Aldi Specially Selected Lightly Seasoned Pork Stuffing – 328 calories per 100g

Least calorific

Morrisons The Best Spiced Cranberry and Apple Stuffing – 149 calories per 100g

ASDA Extra Special Cranberry and Clementine Stuffing – 161 calories per 100g

Tesco Finest Sage & Red Onion Stuffing – 166 calories per 100g

DESSERTS

Mince Pies

Whether you have them with a dollop of cream, mulled wine or a simple cup of tea, mince pies are the ultimate Christmas nibble. If you’re thinking of purchasing some for your office mates, Sainsbury’s has the highest number of calories, while Aldi has the fewest, however there’s less than 70 calories difference between all on offer.

Most calorific

Sainsburys – Sainsbury’s Frangipane Mince Pies, Taste the Difference – 443 calories per 100g

ASDA – ASDA Extra Special Crumble Mince Pies – 439 calories per 100g

Waitrose – Waitrose Christmas All Butter Mince Pies – 435 calories per 100g

Least calorific

Tesco – Tesco Finest Mince Pies – 386 calories per 100g

ASDA – ASDA Extra Special Extra Indulgent Orange Zest Mince Pies – 381 calories per 100g

Aldi – Specially Selected All butter Classic Mince Pies – 379 calories per 100g

Christmas pudding

Love it or hate it, Christmas pudding is always a staple at family get-togethers on Christmas Day – even if you prefer the cheeseboard. M&S Collection’s Golden Blonde Star Christmas Pudding, which comes with blended golden blond chocolate and fudge, has the most calories out of each pudding, if you’re thinking of setting a flame to this one.

Most calorific

M&S Collection Golden Blonde Star Christmas Pudding – 361 calories per 100g

Tesco – Tesco Finest Black Forest Christmas Pudding – 347 calories per 100g

Aldi – Specially Selected 30-Month Matured Christmas Pudding – 346 calories per 100g

Least calorific

Morrisons – Morrisons – The Best 18 Month Matured Christmas Pudding – 314 calories per 100g

Aldi – Specially Selected Rich & Fruity Christmas Pudding – 306 calories per 100g

M&S Collection Vintage Christmas Pudding Perfectly Matured – 304 calories per 100g

Brandy cream

Traditionally served with Christmas pudding and mince pies, brandy cream is nothing short of delicious, and can add an extra touch of elegance to your desserts. Waitrose’s offering topped the list of most calorific, with its extra thick cream having 440 calories. Alternatively Aldi’s pouring brandy cream had just 382 calories.

Most calorific

Waitrose Christmas Extra Thick Brandy Cream – 440 calories per 100g

ASDA Extra Special Extra Thick Brandy Cream – 439 calories per 100g

Morrisons The Best Extra Thick Brandy Cream – 430 calories per 100g

Least calorific

Tesco Finest Extra Thick Brandy Cream – 413 calories per 100g

ASDA Extra Special Brandy Pouring Cream – 383 calories per 100g

Aldi Specially Selected Pouring Brandy Cream – 382 calories per 100g

Yule Log

No, it’s not just a posh swiss roll. A Yule Log is a Christmassy, decadent treat which the whole family enjoys. The chocolate log is a perfect alternative to Christmas pudding, and the tradition began when a log was burnt on a hearth to mark the first 12 days of Christmas. If you opt for M&S Collection’s Woodland Yule Log, you’ll consume 522 calories. That’s if you get your hands on it – it’s currently sold out.

Most calorific

M&S Collection Woodland Yule log – 522 calories per 100g

Aldi Specially Selected Yule log – 466 calories per 100g

Morrisons The Best Hand Rolled Fudge Yule log – 465 calories per 100g

Least calorific

ASDA Extra Special Luxury Yule Log – 433 calories per 100g

Tesco Finest Chocolate Yule log – 422 calories per 100g

Iceland Luxury The Ultimate Chocolate Log – 398 calories per 100g

SO, HOW DO THEY STACK UP?

Number of products in the most calorific list:

Aldi – 7

Tesco – 6

ASDA – 4

Sainsburys – 3

Morrisons – 3

M&S – 3

Waitrose – 2

Iceland – 1

Number of products in the lowest calorie list:

ASDA – 8

Morrisons – 5

Aldi – 5

Tesco – 5

Sainsbury’s – 4

M&S – 2

Iceland – 1

Waitrose – 0

CHRISTMAS SANDWICHES

Coffee shops across the UK are not only handing out festive-flavoured lattes and hot chocolates, they’re also stocking up their shelves with epic Christmas sandwiches. Some are the usual suspects (brie and cranberry, turkey dinner), but there are also some more unique creations this year.

We’ve revealed the most calorific sandwiches from the UK coffee chains – Pret, Caffe Nero, Starbucks and Costa:

Most calorific

Caffe Nero – Pigs in Blankets Tostati Melt – 594 calories

Pret a Manger – Vegan Christmas Nut Roast Sandwich – 575 calories

Starbucks – Tis the Season Turkey Sandwich – 543 calories

Costa – British Turkey and the Trimmings Toastie – 440 calories

Least calorific

Costa – Vegan Turkee, Cranberry and Stuffing Bloomer Toastie – 397 calories

Caffe Nero – Truffle Cotto Ham Tostati Melt – 400 calories

Starbucks – A toastie to be thankful for – 407 calories

Pret A Manger – Pret’s Christmas Lunch Sandwich – 531 calories

A spokesperson at YorkTest, said:

“At Christmas, many of us indulge more than usual – and understandably so. This season is full of parties, gatherings, and events which are often focused on food. You shouldn’t feel guilty for eating a mince pie or three, or consuming more cheese than you normally would. Indulging for a few days won’t usually affect your diet progress, but we just wanted to show how different the calories can be, if you want to prevent going over your recommended calorie intake throughout December.

“Aldi not only had the products with the highest amount of calories, but it’s also joint second for the lowest amount, suggesting that it has one of the widest ranges of food for the big day. ASDA frequented the list the most for the lowest number of calories in Christmas favourites, with Morrisons and Tescoclosely following it. There are so many food items available when shopping at Christmas that it can easily get a bit overwhelming to know where to start, so we hope this research makes it a little clearer for people when planning their shopping list for this year’s celebrations.”

If you’re concerned that your gut health is not as it should be after consuming any types of food at Christmas, check out our Premium Food Sensitivity Test.

ENDS

Methodology

To reveal the calories in each Christmas staple in each supermarket, we took the calorie amount for 100g of each item, to ensure that there was a balanced comparison between each product.

We also compared each supermarket’s best ranges, and took every piece of information from the supermarkets own websites, therefore the information used is subject to the accuracy of the respective websites.

For the Christmas sandwiches research, we took the information from each of the coffee chain’s websites. To allow for an accurate comparison, we looked at sandwiches only, omitting baguettes and paninis from our research.

Figures are correct as of 3 December 2021.

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