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Can supermarket shortbread trump one of Scotland’s most beloved brands?

There is no denying that Walker’s shortbread is a delicacy in Scotland.

Part of the Walker’s range of fine Scottish baking, which also features oatcakes, cakes, cookies, biscuits and tarts, the buttery treat has been admired by families through the generations.

I may be biased – given that the company’s bases are particularly close to home, in Aberlour and Elgin – but I would consider its shortbread fingers one of my favourite bakes.

But how do they compare when tested against the supermarket own brands?

Well we, the Food and Drink team, decided to get on the case.

For our fifth installment of Battle of the Brands, we compared the popular branded product with four supermarket alternatives to find out whether Walker’s does truly produce the best shortbread out there, or if it can be outdone.

Battle of the Brands is our weekly series aiming to help readers grab a food shop bargain as the cost of living crisis continues to affect everyone across the country.

Who knows, you may find yourself preferring one or several of the alternatives – and your wallet would likely thank you for it, too.

The items and supermarkets we tried against Walker’s shortbread include:

  • Asda Shortbread Fingers
  • Co-op’s All Butter Shortbread Fingers
  • Tesco All Butter Shortbread Fingers
  • Morrisons Shortbread Fingers

Walker’s Shortbread

Price: £2.90 for 12 thick shortbread fingers (250)

Walker’s shortbread. Picture credit: Shutterstock.

There are many aspects of a Walker’s shortbread finger to admire. The first? It’s enticing golden colour.

It was clear that the Walker’s product was the thinnest in comparison to the supermarket alternatives. If you’re unsure whether this is a positive or a negative, we can guarantee you it’s a positive.

This gives the bake a more dense texture, yet it has a lovely balance between crunchy and crumbly.

Each of us found it delicious and buttery, and it melted in the mouth.

It also boasted a nice sweetness that lingered for some time after.

Overall team scores: 

  • Value for money: 3/5
  • Taste: 4.5/5
  • Mouthfeel: 4.5/5

Co-op’s All Butter Shortbread Fingers

Price: £0.89 for 10 all butter shortbread fingers (200g)

Co-op’s All Butter Shortbread Fingers. Picture credit: Co-op.

Mariam was the first to pick up on the fact that the Co-op shortbread had more of a bite to it. It did indeed and it produced more crumb than the Walker’s shortbread.

There were a few more grains of sugar than we would have liked, making it a tad on the gritty side. However, this didn’t take away from the great taste.

The fingers weren’t overly rich and there was a deep buttery flavour that we all expect and want in a decent shortbread.

Overall team scores: 

    • Value for money: 4.5/5
    • Taste: 4/5
    • Mouthfeel: 4/5

Meanwhile, to hear our thoughts on the supermarket alternatives from Asda, Tesco and Morrisons, watch our Battle of the Brands video above.

With Co-op coming in first place out of the supermarket alternatives, we decided that Asda was a close second, with Tesco coming in third and Morrisons coming in fourth.


Public’s verdict

The public was torn this time around and the majority of tasters failed to pick out the Walker’s shortbread.

While both were praised, it was the Walker’s shortbread fingers that came out on top overall with tasters describing them as “creamier”, “sweeter” and “tastier”.

However, given the price difference between them and Co-op’s shortbread fingers, most people said they would switch to bag themself a bargain during their next shop.

Tune in next week where we’ll be putting Coca Cola up against supermarket brands to find out if their versions are better.


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