Canstar Blue’s 2021 hot cross buns review has seen Coles, ALDI, Woolworths and IGA compared on their freshness, taste, variety, value for money and overall satisfaction.
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* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. By default, brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are sorted by the mean overall satisfaction score as rated by consumers. You can click the arrows at the top of any column in the table to sort by the results in that column. Canstar Blue research finalised in May 2021, published in May 2021.
Where can you find the best hot cross buns in 2021?
There’s almost nothing that compares to the sweetly spiced aroma of hot cross buns toasting away in the morning. And whether you agree with supermarkets selling them all year round, which is the case for some retailers like Coles, nothing says Easter like a hot cross bun smothered in your favourite butter or margarine. As the supermarkets point out, many Aussies love buying their buns months ahead of the Easter holidays, giving consumers plenty of time to decide which chain bakes the best. Therefore, we at Canstar Blue thought it was about time to test Australia’s tastebuds to find out which supermarket chain is deemed to offer the best hot cross in 2021.
To do so, we surveyed more than 1,700 consumers who have purchased and eaten supermarket-branded hot cross buns in the lead-up to Easter, with brands compared on taste, value for money, freshness and variety, as well as overall satisfaction. Brands that received at least 30 responses are featured in our ratings.
So, what did we find? Coles continues to butter up Aussies with its range of hot cross buns, rating best overall for the second year in a row. It whipped up five stars for freshness, taste, variety and overall satisfaction.
Best Hot Cross Buns
Here are the best supermarket brands for hot cross buns in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:
Fresh out of the Canstar Blue oven, Coles rated best in this year’s hot cross buns review with five stars for overall satisfaction. ALDI and Woolworths followed behind on four stars, while IGA rounded up the scores on three stars for overall satisfaction.
Although when it comes to freshness, it seems Aussies are the true winners. Three out of four supermarket chains scored full marks for the category, including Coles, ALDI, and Woolworths. ALDI similarly achieved a five-star review for value for money, with Woolworths also receiving the same result for variety.
About the Winner ─ Coles
Coles is hopping its way into Aussies’ stomachs, armed with a basket full of traditional hot cross buns, as well as apple & cinnamon and chocolate varieties. These are available in a six-pack and usually on sale for $3.50 each. And if you’ve planned a date with Netflix this Easter, you can even get hot cross bun flavoured popcorn for $2.20.
Coles managed to plate up a five-star win in most research categories, including taste, freshness, range variety and overall satisfaction. Although it ended a little soft on value for money, where it got four stars.
Australia’s favourite type of hot cross buns
We like big (hot cross) buns and we cannot lie, but which flavour is Australia’s favourite? Here’s what our survey respondents picked:
Traditional (with fruit): 59%
Apple and cinnamon: 8%
Coffee or mocha: 2%
Other flavours: 1%
While there’s plenty of new and exciting flavours that supermarkets are trying out, it seems nothing can beat the classic. Here are some other fun facts we found out.
Are hot cross buns sold too early in supermarkets?
It’s the annual debate between shoppers when some say it’s too early for supermarkets to start selling hot cross buns in December and January (months before Easter, even from Boxing Day!) and others hit the stores as soon as they’re available. Our survey found:
35% think supermarkets sell hot cross buns too early
29% bought hot cross buns as soon as they were available
31% wish they were available to buy all year round
This controversy also appears to divide the generations. Two in five respondents (44%) aged over 60 believe that supermarkets sell hot cross buns too early in the year, while only 25% of younger Aussies (aged 18 to 29) agree with that sentiment. However, nearly half (49%) of young respondents aged under 30 said supermarkets should make hot cross buns available all year round.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and eaten supermarket branded hot cross buns in the last three months, in this case, 1,729 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.