Consumer New Zealand put the hot cross bun market to the test, challenging eleven buns to a blind tasting. The Easter favourite was categorised as either a classic bun, brioche bun or a wild card before being ranked.
Bun's in the classic category were all very similar as most supermarkets tend to use a comparable recipe, with in-house production producing some variations. In order from best to worst, the classic contenders were FreshChoice, Countdown, New World and PAK'nSAVE. While the tasting produced a variety of responses, the panel would happily eat all the classic buns again.
Brioche buns have a sweeter and lighter dough than their classic counterparts. In this category PAK'nSAVE and New World tied for last with their brioche attempts, the fluffy texture not enough to compensate for the lack of flavour. The winner was Countdown, however, this bun was still considered to be relatively underwhelming.
In the wildcard category, New World's Gooey Peanut Butter Choc Cross Buns and Countdown's White Chocolate and Raspberry Hot Cross Buns were at the bottom of the pack. The interesting flavour combinations took away from the classic Easter flavour. Countdown's Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns were for acquired taste buds, with a strong apricot taste instead of orange they placed second. Countdown's Cookie Time Cookie Smash Choc Cross Buns arrived on top, the collaboration was a great chocolatey option for anyone that does not like raisins.
In the end, Consumer NZ declares that there is nothing quite like the classic hot cross bun.