I love snacks; all kinds – from crisps and other savoury snacks to sweets and chocolate. But peanut M&M’s are right up there in my top 5 favourite snacks because they’re a candy/sweet, chocolate and nut all in one. Perfection!
Since moving to the Netherlands, I’ve hardly bought any because I found them expensive compared to buying them back home in England, where you can often find them in a multi-buy offer or with another type of discount. See, even back in 2018 (almost a year after I moved to the Netherlands), I tweeted about the cost of buying them here….
With more and more own-brand versions of food available across the various supermarkets, it’s time to try and find a suitable, cheaper alternative to the original M&M’s. To do this, I enlisted my partner – who loves peanut M&M’s as much as I do – to do a blind test of 4 brands: Albert Heijn, Lidl, Jumbo and the original Mars brand.
With the sleepmask on so he couldn’t peek, I handed over 3 chocolate candies of each brand at a time so that he could have a good taste and give me his feedback. I was looking for his thoughts on:
- the candy shell
- the chocolate layer
- the peanut
- his overall impression
- his rating out of 5 (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest).
Brand 1: Albert Heijn (€0,89 per 250g)
Candy Shell: “Nice – it’s sweet but not too much and it has a really good crunch.”
Chocolate: “Good aftertaste, very chocolatey.”
Peanut: “It’s there… but it’s not very strong.”
Rating & Overall Impression: 3/5 – initially thought this could have been the original brand and did want some more.
Brand 2: Jumbo (€0,99 per 250g)
Candy Shell: “A lot of sugar! The shell is soft with not a lot of crunch.”
Chocolate: “I can’t really taste it as all I can taste is sugar.”
Peanut: “I don’t taste the peanut unless I eat more than one at a time.”
Rating & Overall Impression: 1/5 – found them really grainy and quickly stated: “I don’t want to eat more of those”.
Brand 3: M&M’s Peanut (€2,59 per 250g at Albert Heijn, €2,56 per 250g at Jumbo)
Candy Shell: “Good crunch, definitely better than the first two.”
Chocolate: “I like the flavour but it feels dry in my mouth, like it sticks in my throat.” (I suggested after the test that this may be because it’s a better quality chocolate and not as sugary as the others.)
Peanut: “Nut taste really comes through strongly – as if it’s been roasted.”
Rating & Overall Impression: 4/5 – best balance between all the elements with the nut taste prominent and his final comment being: “I could definitely eat a lot more of those”.
Brand 4: Lidl / Mister Choc (€1,42 per 400g)
Candy Shell: “Not much to say about it… it’s ok. It has a good crunch.”
Chocolate: “It’s nice but it could do with some more chocolate.”
Peanut: “Peanut really stands out as the main flavour.”
Rating & Overall Impression: 3.5/5 – liked the strong nut flavour but the balance between the elements wasn’t good enough to give it a higher rating.
Following the blind test, we cut a few from each brand in half to take a look at the proportions of candy to chocolate to peanut…….
The shell of the Jumbo ones was really easy to cut through (not a hard crunchy shell at all) and disintegrated into so many little bits – this explains the grainy texture that my partner reported in the taste test. The peanuts in the original brand ones were a lot darker than the others which might explain the more roasted flavour. The chocolate in the Albert Heijn ones was a very thin layer and the Lidl ones didn’t have anything stand-out about them.
Taste Test Conclusion
The overall winner based on my partner’s ratings and comments from the taste test are the original Peanut M&M’s. However, for the price as well as a positive overall impression the Mister Choc Big Hit chocolate peanuts from Lidl are a really excellent alternative and definitely the ones that we’ll be adding more regularly to our shopping trolley.
This was a real giggle to do together so I’ll definitely be subjecting my supportive partner to more taste tests in the future to share with you all. If you have any suggestions for what you’d like him to try then let me know!