Budget mince pies received good ratings in a taste test on the website of independent consumer group Which? Netto’s mince pies were the cheapest tested at £1.19 for a box of six, but were rated more highly than Harrods’ pies which cost five times more at £5.95.

Marks and Spencers’ pies triumphed with an 80% rating. The testers gave it full marks for appearance and it was praised for its ‘buttery taste’ receiving four out of five stars for taste and aroma.

The mince pies available at Netto, Aldi and the Mr Kipling brand were named as Best Buys, and all cost less than £1.50. Co-op Truly Irresistible Luxury All Butter Mince Pies were also named a Best Buy receiving a 77% rating. They cost £1.59.

Waitrose All Butter Mince Pies, Harrods Luxury Mince Pies, Asda Extra Special Rich Fruit Brandy Mince Pies and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference received only three stars for taste.

“Nothing epitomises Christmas more than that first bite into a mince pie. And there’s no need to worry about being Scrooge if you opt for a cheaper pack - the budget stores, like Netto and Aldi, are giving expensive brands a run for their money,” commented www.which.co.uk editor Jess Ross.

Full results are available at www.which.co.uk/christmasfood