Value for money: Chocolates
This week, we compare four leading brands of chocolates
Cadbury’s Roses €6/850G, €7.05 per kg
Cadbury’s has pulled off several great marketing tricks when it comes to its Roses. They linked them with saying thank you and they have somehow, over the last 30 years, made them as much a part of an Irish Christmas as a turkey, a boozy trifle or a family row. They have a familiarity that cannot be found elsewhere. The range of chocolates on offer is impressive and the array of colourful wrappings on view when the tin is popped open will gladden the coldest heart. They are also very cheap – at least when compared to the high-end options. The thing is the chocolate is not that great. Does that matter? Probably not at this price.
Star rating:* * *
Marks & Spencer Christmas Chocolate Tree, €45 per kg
This is a brilliant idea. Who could not love a chocolate Christmas tree with dozens of dark, white and milk chocolates doubling up as decorations. All you have to do is lazily pick off treats. Not all the chocolates were to Pricewatch’s taste – but you can say that about every box of chocolates – but the ones which were good were very good indeed. The best thing about it is when all the chocolates are eaten, there’s the actual tree to get through
Verdict:Very sweet, in the best way.
Star rating:* * * *
Valrhona Ganache Grands Crus Noir, €22.95 for 155g, €148.06 per kg
These are very high-end dark chocolates. The fillings are unusual and you can expect four varieties including tea and pepper. Make no mistake these are absolutely brilliant and anyone who knows anything about chocolate will be delighted to get them. There are, however, horrendously expensive – and don’t look it – and if you are looking for chocolates you can mindlessly eat while watching Downton Abbey, you best look elsewhere.
Star rating:* * * *
Lidl Deluxe Irish Chocolate Selection €5.99 for 200g, €29.95per kg
These are nearly five times cheaper than the most expensive option we reviewed and while they are not the cheapest chocs we tasted, they are the best value for money. There is a nice selection of truffles, pralines and warming liqueurs in the mix. While the retailer selling these is German, the chocolates are actually made by an Irish artisan producer. The only problem is your local Lidl might be wedged with panicked people ahead of closing time today.
Verdict:Great value, great chocolates.
Star rating:* * * * *