Breaking down flavour, texture and quality – this is a comparative analysis of Bakers Marie biscuits and its rival Marie biscuit brands!
Marie biscuits are typically round or oval in shape and are characterised by their light, crispy texture. Made from wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil and sometimes including a touch of vanilla for flavouring, they are known to be less sweet, but although more subtle in flavour, there’s nothing quite as blissful as having a good Marie biscuit in hand!
They’re an absolute pantry staple item, because nothing is more versatile than a Marie biscuit. Aside from their superior ability to make just about any sweet recipe great, they can also be enjoyed as a simple snack (either on their own or accompanied by tea, coffee or milk), creatively sandwiched together between butter spread and Marmite, or simply topped with lush amounts of caramel treat or even topped with golden syrup – the options are really endless!
On top of their versatility, they’re usually quite affordable, which is probably what made them, and especially the characteristic Bakers Blue Label Marie biscuit, a constant feature in most South African childhoods.
Which is why we at Food24 were left wondering about Marie biscuits and if the original Bakers Marie biscuits can be rivalled by other, and in some cases more affordable, Marie biscuit brands.
So, we decided to taste test eight different Marie biscuit samples to see if any of the seven rival brands can stand up to the famed Bakers Marie biscuits!
Even though it came as no surprise that Bakers Blue Label failed to be rivalled in the Marie biscuit category, we were able to identify why they’re the preferred go-to brand and also which brands offer more affordable Marie biscuits without compromising on flavour and quality too much.
1. Bakers Blue Label Marie Biscuits
They’re iconic, and it’s definitely for a very good reason, because even in a blind taste test they were the preferred Marie biscuits. While all the samples were crisp and Marie-esque, the buttery Marie-flavour depth packed into each crisp biscuit is something that is unique to Bakers.
Comments tasters left: “Tastes good and love the crispness,” and “Good flavour depth to it, nice and buttery. Defs Bakers with that crisp texture and buttery flavour,” and, lastly, “Bakers Marie for sure! Could dunk that in a glass of milk. Mmmmmm!”
Cost: R18.99 for 200g packet
2. Chelsea Golden Marie Biscuits
While this sample was quite similar in taste to the Bakers original formula and the runner-up sample on the day, it failed to rival the OG brand.
Tasters noted that although it had a good Marie-approved flavour to it, it lacked that favoured flavour depth. Tasters also noted that the sample was crisp with a good amount of crunch to it. It is slightly more affordable if you’re looking for a good Marie dupe, though!
Here’s what the tasting team had to say about the sample: “I enjoyed this sample. Tasted like Bakers but not quite. A little blander,” and “I think this is a good sample. If it weren’t for the colour (I think it’s darker than the regular Marie biscuits), I’d think it was the OG,” and lastly, “Tastes like a Marie biscuit. Nice crispy crunch to it.”
Cost: R14.99 for 200g packet
3. Baumann’s Marie Biscuits
Some tasters found that although this sample took toasted crispness a little too far, noting: “Tastes very burnt, and a bit on the dry side,” others were happy with the toasted hues: “Good Marie vibes – maybe a little more ‘toasted’ than others.”
But overall most tasters found the sample to be lacking slightly on flavour and noted: “I enjoyed this sample but slightly on the bland side,” and “This biscuit is super light and airy. Flavour is lacking, sadly. No real ‘Marie’ flavour to speak of!”
Cost: R14.99 for 150g packet
4. Checkers Housebrand Marie Biscuits
Tasters found this sample to be a good all-rounder and would have preferred a little more flavour in order to score more favourably.
Comments tasters left: “A decent biscuit that has a nice colour, texture and flavour. A good all-rounder in my opinion. Would purchase them,” and “This one is very middle-of-the-road. Good texture, but only a little bit of flavour.”
Cost: R11.99 for 200g packet
5. No Name Marie Biscuits
This Marie biscuit truly brought the vanilla flavour, with most tasters picking up on this prominent flavour note. The downside was that most tasters found the vanilla flavour to be quite artificial tasting.
Comments tasters left: “More blonde in its appearance but nice vanilla flavour comes through. Not Bakers though,” and “I don’t like the flavour – it tastes artificial and too strongly flavoured,” and “Strong vanilla flavour on the palate.”
Cost: R10.99 for 150g packet
6. Pick n Pay Marie Biscuits and SPAR Marie Biscuits
These two brands tied for 6th spot on our Marie marvel list. While tasters found the SPAR sample to be a bit bland overall, tasters found the sample from Pick n Pay to be oddly fragrant.
Comments tasters left about the SPAR sample: “Good texture, but the colour is too pale and the flavour is non-existent,” and “A little bland but still crisp.”
Cost: R11.99 for 200g packet
Comments tasters left about the Pick n Pay sample: “Tastes coconutty and a bit oily,” and “Too fragrant for my liking. Coconut water flavour coming through. Not dunk-worthy,” and “Tasted a bit like watered-down artificial coconut with a funny lingering aftertaste.”
Cost: R15.99 for 200g packet
7. Food Lover’s Market Marie Biscuits
Tasters found this sample to be crisp and crunchy but there seemed to be some confusion around the actual flavour of the sample.
Comments tasters left: “Has an odd taste to it,” and “Also tastes burnt, but has a nice taste and crispness,” and “Burnt marshmallow flavour coming through,” and “Reminded me of old marshmallows for some reason… a little stale tasting,” and “Also quite vanillary vibes happening here.”
Cost: R12.99 for 200g packet
Prices correct at time of publishing
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The rules of Food24 Taste Tests:
– All tasters tasted and scored all samples. Each individual taster’s preference impacts the score they give.
– The samples were tested without packaging and were not easily identifiable.
– The samples were not labelled and were tasted in random order.
– This article is not sponsored in any way, and Food24 was not paid to come to any particular result.
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