Mince Pies Research


Each year a number of press stories announce that a particular brand is the preferred mince pie of the year.  Very often there is no information about the methodology and the results are superficial and often contradicted by other ‘surveys’. 


Bright Blue Foods commissioned Howdo Research to undertake a detailed survey that looked at both the appearance and taste of the product, and also the impact of brand of mince pies.  Bright Blue Foods is the new name for the company previously known as McCambridge; they are a major UK baker and bake a comprehensive range of cakes and pies.

The challenge was to design and implement a test that incorporated both a visual and taste test of nine own-label, premium mince pies...all within a limited budget!


A hall test approach was adopted, in order that both visual and taste tests could be accommodated efficiently.  The sample comprised people with at least shared responsibility for purchasing mince pies.

The questionnaire comprised five key elements.  The final four elements were rotated to mitigate order effects:

·         Understanding the importance of various factors, including brand / retailer when deciding which mince pies to buy

·         Rating the appearance of the packaging of all nine retailers

·         Rating the appearance of all nine mince pies

·         Rating the appearance of a cross section of all nine mince pies

·         Rating the taste of all nine mince pies


The core outputs comprised league tables for each of the four rating elements of the research.

However, league tables do not tell the whole story and the questionnaire allowed for the collection of verbatim comments that were used to explain the bare statistics.