What cost-of-living crisis? Premium butcher is selling ‘Britain’s most expensive turkey’ for a very unfestive £220.50

  • Thomas Joseph Butchery have the 4.5kg herb-fed turkeys to ship across country
  • The birds are apparently fed a diet of herbs to maximise their flavour
  • The turkeys are then left to hang for 10 days after being ‘dry-plucked’ 
  • There is also 24 pigs in blankets, sausage meat and chicken stock for a gravy 

A premium butcher is selling turkeys this Christmas at the eye-watering price of £220.50- despite the cost-of-living crisis. 

Thomas Joseph Butchery have the 4.5kg herb-fed free range bronze turkeys ready to ship to homes across Britain.

The expensive birds are apparently fed a diet of herbs to maximise their flavour and then left to hang for 10 days after being ‘dry plucked.’ 

There is also 24 pigs in blankets, sausage meat and chicken stock to make a gravy.


Thomas Joseph Butchery have the 4.5kg herb-fed free range bronze turkeys ready to ship to homes across Britain

Although it’s set to be a hugely pricey option, supermarket premium ranges are almost as expensive. 

At Waitrose, their most costly turkey comes in at £112. Meanwhile, M&S is charging £144 for its British free-range stuffed turkey crown.

It comes as food prices soar across the country and people seek cheaper alternatives for their Christmas meals.

Last year, the average amount spent on a frozen Turkey was £12.46, according to figures released by Kantar on festive spending habits. 

A plate consisting of Turkey and all the trimmings was found to set back a British family of four £27.48. 


Although it’s set to be a hugely pricey option, supermarket premium ranges are almost as expensive. At Waitrose, their most high-priced turkey comes in at £112 (left). Meanwhile, M&S is charging £144 for its British free-range stuffed turkey crown (right)

Elsewhere, the cheapest frozen turkey this year, said to serve 4-7 people at Asda is £13.50, a £1.04 increase from last year’s price.

Then there is Aldi, offering the same sized turkey for £13.99. Other contenders for cheaper turkeys include Tesco whose 5-6 serving bird comes in at £14.

However, Waitrose is selling the same size frozen turkey for £25 from their essentials range. 

It comes after experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute carried out blind taste tests across 33 festive food and drink ranges to find the best taste and quality.

This year, the Institute also provided details of products that offer the best value for those on a tight budget.

Prosecco at £7.99 a bottle, mince pies at £1.79 for six, and a Christmas pudding at £8 for a hefty 800g all won plaudits, as well as a tasty crown costing £16.99 for 1.5kg.

Looking across all the categories, Marks & Spencer scored best as the single best place to shop in terms of taste and quality.

Deals on mince pies, turkey and all the trimmings to help households cope with the cost of living crisis this festive season were identified in a Christmas taste test. Betty’s Classic Mince Pies were crowned the best 

The prize for best Turkey went to Waitrose and Partners, who took the title thanks to their scrumptious £15.99 per kg bird

Asda’s Extra Special Millionaire’s Edible Bowl, costing £7 for 400g, was crowned best budget dessert 

M&S won high in 19 of the 33 categories surveyed by the experts, who scoped more than 470 products from 130 brands and retailers.

Meanwhile, Aldi proved to be the best budget option, offering both decent quality and value. For example, it won best budget crown with its Specially Selected Roly Poly Stuffed Crown, at £16.99 for 1.5kg.

Budget awards also went to Aldi’s Specially Selected Goose Fat Roast Potatoes, at £1.59 for 800g, and its Specially Selected Mince Pies, at £1.79 for six.

The best budget prosecco was the Waitrose Blueprint Prosecco DOC at £7.49, while the best budget champagne was the Co-op’s Les Pionniers NV at £19.

Elsewhere, the prize for overall best Turkey went to Waitrose and Partners, who took the title thanks to their scrumptious £15,99 per kg bird, while, Sainsbury’s led the way on sweet treats, taking the crown for best Panettone and best Christmas Cake. 

Morrison’s mulled wine, Aldi’s Extra Special Millionaire’s Edible Bow and Tesco Finest’s £23 Champagne were also the expert’s top picks ahead of the festive season.  

Waitrose performed well across several categories but particularly wowed the panel thanks to its Free Range Bronze Feathered Turkey (£15.99 per kg for 3-4.99kg), which won with a high score of 81/100. 

The Good Housekeeping Institute was particularly pleased with the ‘golden-brown colour’ of the birds and its ‘mouth-wateringly’ crispy skin. 

Morrison’s took the title for best starter home with its Best Scallop and Prawn Thermidor Gratin, £5 for 260g

Adli’s Festive Wreath, £3.99 for 480g was crowned the best meat-alternative festive main on the list  

Sainsbury’s scrumptious cherry and almond £10 offering took the title in the best panettone category 

Iceland’s Luxury Iced Christmas Cake, which cost £8.50 for 1kg, was the runner up in the Christmas cake category 

Morrison’s got the best flavoured salmon with its Best Triple Smoked Salmon Dressed with Orange Oil, costing £4.50 for 130g

Waitrose and Partners also won the Turkey crown category with their Duchy Organic Free Range Bronze Feathered Turkey Crown (£74 for 2.97kg) which hit 83/100. 

When it comes to meat-free alternatives, it’s M&S who took the crown home, thanks to its M&S Vegan Butternut Squash and Spinach Pie, £7 for 430g, which scored 81/100. 

Pigs in blankets are always a festive favourite, and this year, it’s The Jolly Hog Posh Pigs in Blankets, £4 for 247g who came out with the highest score of 85/100. 

But Sainsbury’s got the crown for best panettone thanks to its £10 Cherry & Almond Panettone, while Betty’s Classic Mince Pies, which cost £15 for 12, were the best out of the selection, with a score of 77/100. 

No Christmas dinner would be complete without a selection of festive tipples, and the Institute also rated a selection of drinks. 

Morrison’s also took own the crown in the roast potatoes category with its £2.99 Goose Fat Potatoes

Tesco Finest’s £23 Premier Cru Brut scored the highest for supermarket champagne, with a rating of 84/100. 

Daylesford Prosecco, which costs £15 per bottle scored 87/100 and came out on top of the fizzy category. 

Angela Trofymova, Head of Food & Drink Testing at the Good Housekeeping Institute last month said: ‘We’ve been testing for Christmas from May all the way through to October, and are thrilled to be able to share our top picks for the season. 

‘With prices set to surge over the winter, we’ve been dedicated to sourcing delicious, high quality products that are great value for money. 

‘Our consumer panel has been incredibly impressed with the amount of innovative, easy-to-cook options available this year, allowing for minimal time in the kitchen, and more time with loved ones.’

Good Housekeeping Christmas Taste Test 2022 results

 STARTERS

Starters (Number tested: 10)

Best Christmas starter

Extra Special Ultimate Prawn Cocktail with Campfire Charred Tomato Marie Rose Sauce, £6 for 220g

Score: 83/100

Runner-up Christmas starter

Morrisons The Best Scallop and Prawn Thermidor Gratin, £5 for 260g

Score: 82/100

Best presentation

M&S Collection Scallops with Mushrooms & Spinach, £10 for 175g

Score: 79/100

Best budget starter

Tesco Finest Scallops with Bacon and Risotto Starter, £5.00 for 176g

Score: 74/100

Best vegan starter

Waitrose & Partners Vegan Layered Mushroom Parfait, £4.50 for 80g

Score: 71/100

SMOKED SALMON 

Number tested: 21

Best smoked salmon

London Smoke & Cure Sashimi Grade Smoked Salmon £14.95 for 200g

Score: 83/100

Runner-up smoked salmon

Tesco Finest Scottish Smoked Salmon £5.10 for 120g

Score: 82/100

Best flavoured smoked salmon

Morrisons The Best Triple Smoked Salmon Dressed with Orange Oil, £4.50 for 130g

Score: 82/100

Best budget smoked salmon

The Best Orange Triple Smoked Salmon £3.25 for 100g

Score: 70/100

WHOLE TURKEY AND CROWNS  

Number tested: 26

Best whole turkey

Waitrose & Partners Free Range Bronze Feathered Turkey, £15.99 per kg for 3-4.99kg

Score: 81/100

Runner-up whole turkey

M&S Free Range Pembrokeshire Heritage Blue Turkey, £68-£93.48 (£17 per 1kg, average price, £80)

Score: 78/100

Best budget whole turkey

Co-op Whole Turkey, £5.75 per kg for 3.05-4.73kg

Score: 73/10

Joint best turkey crown

Waitrose & Partners Duchy Organic Free Range Bronze Feathered Turkey Crown, £74 for 2.97kg

Score: 83/100

Joint best turkey crown

Tesco Finest Free-Range Bronze Stuffed Turkey Crown with Slow Cooked Stuffed Thighs & Turkey Gravy, £41.40-£55.80 (£18 per 1kg)

Score: 83/100

Best budget crown

Aldi Specially Selected Roly Poly Stuffed Crown, £16.99 for 1.5kg

Score: 79/100

PIGS IN BLANKETS (CLASSIC AND FLAVOURED)  

Number tested: 25

Best pigs in blankets

The Jolly Hog Posh Pigs in Blankets, £4 for 247g

Score: 85/100

Runner-up pigs in blankets

Farmison Traditional Pigs In Blankets £8.50 for 300g

Score: 81/100

Joint best flavoured pigs in blankets

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Truffle Pigs in Blankets, £3.50 for 210g

Score: 84/100

Joint best flavoured pigs in blankets

Lidl Spiced Apple Pigs in Blankets, £2.49 for 210g

Score: 84/100

Runner-up AND Best budget flavoured pigs in blankets

ASDA Maple Pigs in Blanket 232g, £2.50

Score: 83/100

MEAT CENTREPIECES 

Number tested: 15

Best Christmas meat centrepiece

M&S Collection Slow Cooked Osso Bucco, £25 for 1.3kg

Score: 93/100

Joint runner-up Christmas meat centrepiece

Morrisons The Best Beef Shin with Marrowbone & Truffle Sauce, £35.00 for 2.195g

Score: 86/100

Joint runner-up Christmas meat centrepiece

Farmison Classic Beef Wellington for Four, £82 for 1.2kg

Score: 86/100

Best budget Christmas meat centrepiece

Aldi Slow Cooked Wagyu Ribs with a Red Wine Sauce, £6.99 for 600g

Score: 79/100

MEAT-FREE MAINS  

Number tested: 12

Best vegetarian Christmas main

M&S Collection Rustic Potato, Caramelised Onion & Brie Pie, £8 for 500g

Score: 81/100

Best vegan Christmas main

M&S Vegan Butternut Squash and Spinach Pie, £7 for 430g

Score: 81/100

Best budget vegan main

Aldi Festive Wreath, £3.99 for 480g

Score: 70/100

ROAST POTATOES 

Number tested: 12

Best roast potatoes

Morrisons The Best Goose Fat Potatoes, £2.99 for 800g

Score: 79/100

Runner-up roast potatoes

Aunt Bessie’s Duck Fat Roast Potatoes, £3.40 for 700g

Score: 77/100

Best budget roast potatoes

Aldi Specially Selected Goose Fat Roast Potatoes, £1.59 for 800g

Score: 72/100

 

CHRISTMAS PUDDING AND FLAVOURED CHRISTMAS PUDDING 

Number tested: 26

Best Christmas pudding

Waitrose & Partners 12 Month Matured Christmas Pudding, £12 for 400g

Score: 80/100

Runner-up Christmas pudding

Daylesford Organic Traditional Christmas Pudding, £25 for 900g

Score: 79/100

Best flavoured Christmas pudding

M&S Collection Perfectly Matured Cherry and Orange Wreath, £12 for 700g

Score: 83/100

Best budget Christmas pudding

Tesco Finest Christmas Pudding, £8.00 for 800g

Score: 75/100

DESSERT CENTREPIECES 

Number tested: 16

Best Christmas dessert

Waitrose & Partners Heston from Waitrose The Giant Cracking Penny £20 for 700g

Score: 82/100

Runner-up Christmas dessert

M&S Handmade White Chocolate, Passionfruit & Mango Snow Globe £35 for 720g

Score: 79/100

Best budget Christmas dessert

ASDA Extra Special Millionaire’s Edible Bowl £7 for 400g

Score: 74/100

MINCE PIES (CLASSIC, FLAVOURED, GLUTEN-FREE) 

Number tested: 40

Best mince pie

Betty’s Classic Mince Pies, £15 for 12

Score: 77/100

Runner-up mince pie

Co-op Irresistible Mince Pies, £2.25 for six

Score: 76/100

Best mince pie with a twist

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Blondie Gingerbread Pies, £2.25 for 4

Score: 84/100

Runner-up mince pie with a twist

Prestat Almond Top Mini Mince Pies, £11.95 for 12

Score: 80/100

Best budget mince pie

Aldi Specially Selected Mince Pies, £1.79 for six

Score: 71/100

Best gluten-free mince pie

M&S Made Without Wheat Gluten Free Mince Pies, £3, for four

Score: 82/100

CHRISTMAS CAKE 

Number tested: 16

Best Christmas cake

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Frosty Snowflake Iced Fruit Cake, £12 for 900g

Score: 82/100

Runner-up Christmas cake

Iceland Luxury Iced Christmas Cake, £8.50 for 1kg

Score: 81/100

Best budget Christmas cake

Lidl Deluxe Luxury All Over Iced Christmas Cake, £6.99 for 1kg

Score: 71/100

GROCER PANETTONE 

Number tested: 10

Best panettone

Sainsburys Taste the Difference Cherry & Almond Panettone £10 for 750g

Score: 92/100

Runner-up panettone

Tesco Finest Tiramisu Flavoured Panettone £10 for 750g

Score: 91/100

Best savoury panettone

Waitrose & Partners Parmesan & Black Pepper Savoury Panettone £8.50 for 500g

Score: 78/100

Best budget panettone

Aldi Specially Selected Chocolate Panettone £3.99 for 750g

Score: 76/100

MULLED WINE 

Number tested: 7

Best mulled wine

Morrisons The Best Mulled Wine 10% ABV, £4.99 for 75cl

81/100

Joint runner-up mulled wine

M&S Red Mulled Wine 11% ABV, £5.50 for 75cl

78/100

Joint runner-up mulled wine and best budget

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Mulled Wine 11% ABV, £3.75 for 75cl

78/100

BEST SUPERMARKET CHAMPAGNE 

Number tested: 18

Best champagne

Tesco Finest Premier Cru Brut Champagne 12.5%, £23

Score: 84/100

Runner-up champagne

Morrisons The Best Premier Cru Champagne Brut NV 12%, £23

Score: 81/100

Best budget champagne

Co-op Les Pionniers Champagne NV 12%, £19

Score: 78/100

PROSECCO 

Number tested: 20

Best prosecco

Daylesford Prosecco 10.5%, £15

Score: 87/100

Runner-up prosecco

Tesco Finest Prosecco DOC, 11%, £8.50

Score: 79/100

Best budget prosecco

Waitrose & Partners Blueprint Prosecco DOC 11%, £7.49

Score: 75/100

EXPERT TESTED ROUNDELS 

Best brandy cream

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Extra Thick Cream with Courvoisier VS Cognac, £3.00 for 250g

Best gravy

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Chicken Gravy, £3.15 for 450g

Best cranberry sauce

ASDA Extra Special Cranberry Sauce with Ruby Port, £1.75 for 230g

 

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