The low-price competitors, whose stock has been rising since the credit crunch hit, delivered the latest blow to their upmarket rivals by coming first and joint second in an annual competition run by the consumer group Which?
Aldi's specially selected luxury mince pies – the cheapest tested at £1.69 for a pack of six – beat the likes of Selfridges and Fortnum's, whose £12.95 traditional mince pies came last out of entries put forward by a dozen retailers.
Lidl's £1.79 Snowy Lodge luxury mince pies and Marks & Spencer's handcrafted ultimate all-butter mince pies, at £4 for four, came joint second.
Judges tasted each pie warm and rated appearance, aroma, texture and taste. Aldi's was "lush, spicy and juicy while the rich golden pastry is thin, crisp and light", but Fortnum's "flat-tasting, soft and crumbly" pastry got a thumbs down.
Aldi and Lidl have been attracting more affluent customers with luxury foods such as lobster tails and Serrano ham. Tony Baines, Aldi's UK managing director of buying, said: "Everybody likes to treat themselves at Christmas, and by doubling the size of our Christmas range we have ensured that our customers can do just that without either breaking the bank or compromising on quality."
Fortnums, based in Piccadilly, London, kept a predictably stiff upper lip. "Our traditional mince pies are a delicious product and we're very proud of them. Our customers agree and we are trading significantly higher than last year, " it said.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010