Breakfast of champions: which porridge will be named the victor?
Four oats go head to head in this penny pinching mission
Pricewatch: putting porridge oats to the test. Photograph: iStock
Flahavan’s Microwave Quick Oats
€3.09 for 500g (€6.18/kg)
For many people in this country the only porridge to buy is Flahavan’s, one of the most beloved brands we have. These microwaveable oats add a layer of convenience to an otherwise traditional product. It takes two minutes to make a bowl of very good porridge and while we are not entirely convinced that the microwave option is as good as the traditional one, when we are in a rush these can be a godsend. All the speed and ease come at a price, however, and this product is substantially dearer than the cheapest options. We are also not entirely convinced Flahavan’s needs to include a hard plastic measuring spoon with every packet.
Verdict Nice and easy but dear.
Star rating ★★★☆☆
Ready Brek Original Porridge
€3.19 for 450g (€7.08/kg)
Pricewatch is pretty sure that we had no idea Ready Brek was porridge when we were small. Had we known, we probably would not have eaten it with such alacrity. These oats are very finely milled, which gives it a baby-food-like texture, which might appeal to some but will most likely cause porridge purists to fly into a fury. It also has added vitamins and the like, which is, perhaps, a good thing but, again, it runs contrary to the purity of the cereal. The biggest concern is the price. This is the dearest of the options tried and runs contrary to our penny pinching mission this week.
Verdict Too fine and too dear.
Star rating ★★☆☆☆
Tesco Organic Porridge Oats
€0.79 for 750g (€1.05/kg)
Okay, so this product costs only a sixth as much as the microwaveable option from Flahavan’s, so it’s great value. We like the fact that it is organic too, although we’d be lying if we said we’d noticed any real difference in taste. With at least 20 breakfasts from a packet, we could have a healthy breakfast between now and the end of January for around 4c a day, although we’d have to make our porridge with water and ain’t nobody got time for that. Add milk to the mix and we could be having a nicer breakfast for around 30c, which isn’t too shabby.
Verdict Amazing value.
Star rating ★★★★★
Oatilicioius Jumbo Oats
Lidl, €1.99 for 500g (€3.98/kg)
These fare very well against the Flahavan’s option: they come with the same microwaveable convenience, and are a lot cheaper. That they are jumbo oats make us struggle to get through a bowl. We are as unhappy with the presence of the hard plastic spoon in the mix and wonder if both the microwave options could come up with a more sustainable measuring option for their oats.
Verdict A decent product at a nice price
Star rating ★★★★☆