When Lidl launched in the UK in 1994, a shopping trip was like going abroad. The unfamiliar brands, the Germanic styling, the multilingual labels. It was all so foreign

Then there was the unapologetic presentation – the pallets stacked with boxes, the lack of choice (one kind of tinned tomatoes, while Sainsburys might have six or more), the scant customer service. Unsettling stuff to those of us used to the grander surroundings of Waitrose or Tesco.  

Yet we’ve taken Lidl to our hearts – in part because they have wooed us well across their 960 UK stores. These days we wheel our baskets along far smarter aisles, past racks of fresh flowers and cabinets of patisserie, even if it’s still nigh-on impossible to find any floor staff of whom to ask a question.

The ranges now cover the same budget/standard/premium format we are used to – often at prices so low that, along with Aldi, they set the benchmark other supermarkets have to match. 

Of course, price isn’t everything. Bargain basement products are worthless if they don’t also taste good. So, even if you do ‘the big shop’ elsewhere, these are the items to seek out from Lidl that beat other supermarkets on both price and quality.

Top-rated products 

Milbona Authentic Greek Yogurt 

£1.89 for 500g

Real Greek yoghurt is strained, so it’s higher in protein than so-called “Greek-style” yoghurts. Lidl’s is textbook stuff: super creamy, with a light sourness and some lingering complexity, and none of the powdery texture that afflicts other brands. It scored on a par with Fage Total, but at 38p/100g rather than 78p/100g (in Tesco), it’s less than half the price.

Go to the full taste test

Deluxe Spinach & Ricotta Girasoli 

£2.19 for 250g

These ravioli-style circles have a great “bite” and a good yellow colour, indicative of pasta made with expensive but authentic 100% durum wheat. The filling has a nice nutmeg-y flavour too. 

Go to the full taste test

Crownfield Wholegrain Wheat Bixies 

£2.05 for 720g (36 biscuits)

With 25% less sugar than Weetabix – and pretty much identical to the Marks & Spencer version which are a touch maltier, but cost 20% more. Weetabix, meanwhile are almost twice the price, and scored less high in our blind taste test.  

Go to the full taste test.

Lidl Birchwood Grass-Fed British Sirloin Steak

£5.99 for 283g

Grass-fed steak is better for us, with far higher levels of healthy Omega 3s than grain-fed beef, and it tastes better too. Lidl is one of the few supermarkets to offer grass-fed steak, guaranteeing a 70% grass-based diet.  Only Waitrose’s (admittedly delicious) No1 Dry-Aged Sirloin scored higher in the taste test, and it’s twice the price. 

Go to the full taste test

Lidl Birchwood Butcher’s Choice 8 Pork Sausages 

£1.79 for 454g

Of the standard sausages (the kind that come in cellophane packs of eight, rather than the posher ones on a plastic tray) Lidl pork sausages stood out, with a nice nubbly texture. The flavour is very herby, so you’d need to like that, but they are great value. 

Go to the full taste test

Lidl Deluxe West Country Butter with Sea Salt Crystals 

£1.99 for 250g 

Sparkling with crunchy salt crystals, this subtly flavoured butter melts beautifully on a crumpet. Only the Waitrose Duchy Originals Butter did better in the tasting, and it costs 60% more. 

Go to the full taste test

Lidl Deluxe 2 Aberdeen Angus Beef Burgers

£2.99 for 340g 

Neat-looking burgers that will do honour to your barbecue. Good and meaty with a lovely hint of smokiness to the crust even if cooked under the grill – handy if rain stops play. But Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference burgers did better in the tasting and cost the same per 100g. 

Go to the full taste test

Lidl Nixe Tuna Chunks in Spring Water 

£2.35 for 4 x145g 

The tuna itself has nice looking pale pink flakes and an ocean flavour, plus it’s not too dry. Not all Lidl tuna is MSC certified but this one is, which means it is sustainably sourced.

Go to the full taste test.

Lidl Baresa Green Pesto 

£0.99 for 190g

Not the highest scoring pesto, but equalising with Filippo Berio’s version, which costs three times as much. Lidl’s has a lovely rough texture that feels fancy, even if the flavour could be punchier. 

Go to the full taste test

Worst-rated products

Lidl Fin Carré Milk Chocolate and Lidl Fin Carré Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate 

£0.65 for 100g for (regular milk chocolate) and £2.09 for 200g (for extra creamy milk chocolate) 

Muddy-looking chocolate bars with a stale taste, reminiscent of chocolate flavour cake covering. Not fun to eat. Pick up the Lidl J D Gross Extra Smooth 30% Cocoa Milk Chocolate instead, which scored a respectable 3 in our taste test. 

Go to the full taste test

Lidl Chef Select Beef Lasagne

£2.29 for 400g 

Consists of stodgy, stuck-together pasta sheets interspersed with a ragù that smacks of gravy powder, and drenched in a grim white sauce. Hard to imagine which chef selected this. 

Go to the full taste test

Lidl Danpak Spreadable Slightly Salted

£2.09 for 500g

Less than half the price of Lurpak and with the same butter content, yet this smells and tastes cabbagey from the added rapeseed oil. You’ll notice the trade-down if you swap.

Go to the full taste test

Lidl Deluxe British Strawberries 

£2.75 for 400g

Strawberries vary through the season but a recent spot check in Lidl found them pale and underripe with a depressing sour crunch and little other flavour. Weirdly, some in the punnet were mushy too. 

Go to the full taste test

Lidl Birchwood 8 Beef Burgers and Lidl Birchwood Double Stack Beef Burgers

 £3.99 for 681g (regular beef) and £2.99 for 454g (double stack) 

The Aberdeen Angus burgers at Lidl did well, but the cheaper Birchwood brand got the thumbs down. The regular ones were cardboardy while the dull-tasting double stacked version had a shard of bone in – not the stuff of a successful barbecue. 

Go to the full taste test

Shopping for wines in Lidl

Lidl’s range of wine is divided into two sections. The core wines can be found on the shelf throughout the year. The second section consists of a series of pop-ups. Every couple of months the buyers introduce a temporary range of themed wines, which they call ‘Tours’. 

These are bought in limited quantities and stay on sale until they run out a few weeks later. Regular themes for the tours include spring, Italian, summer, French and Christmas. The richest pickings are usually found amongst these tours. 

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