Orange squash is a staple drink in most households here in the UK – a way to make water tastier and make sure kids are drinking enough. But with the price of a bottle of Robinsons being between £1 and £2 depending on where you buy from, the cost can quickly rack up.
Most supermarket alternatives are more towards the 50p mark – so is that extra pound or so really worth it or are you paying for the brand? These are the questions I set about to answer, and to do so I tried orange squash from Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, M&S, Aldi, Asda and Waitrose and compared them against Robinsons orange squash to see if any lived up to the same standard.
They all cost less than Robinsons, so my hope was that I would find an equally tasty alternative to save a small amount of cash each time I stock up.
Read more: I tried tinned tomatoes from Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S and others – and one tasted like water
Each bottle of squash demanded a different squash to water ratio depending on its strength, so I used a table spoon to measure either one part squash to four parts water (Aldi, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, M&S) or one part squash to nine parts water (Robinsons, Morrisons). Here is what I thought:
17.5p per 100ml
Robinsons squash’s big thing in its marketing is “real fruit in every drop” – a slogan we have all heard, but it really tastes that way. The squash is so fruity, it is no wonder it is such a household name.
Each sip tasted like the juiciest of oranges, plus there are only three calories per glass. The squash is not double strength like some of the supermarket brands, meaning you need one part squash to four parts water, meaning it will not go as far, but I would rather sacrifice quantity for taste.
6p per 100ml
Asda’s Smart Price orange squash is notably cheaper than Robinson’s, a whole 11.5p cheaper per 100ml. Unfortunately… it tasted that way too.
Perhaps it had a slightly unfair advantage because I tried it straight after Robinson’s but in comparison, it tasted like vaguely flavoured water. It completely lacked the punch of Robinson’s, despite claiming to be double strength.
5.9p per 100ml
Coming in at even cheaper still, the Aldi orange squash which comes in a big 1.5l bargain bulk buy bottle. It was absolutely full to the brim, to the point that I spilt it on pouring a glass, despite being extra careful.
Colour-wise, the squash was much brighter than the Asda version, almost matching the Robinsons. The taste of orange definitely came through, although it did taste slightly more artificial than Robinson’s.
All in all it is a pretty good alternative, but still would not quite replace Robinsons in my cupboard.
6.6p per 100ml
The orange squash came in an almost identical bottle to Robinsons, perhaps based on the fact that customers will associate it with Robinson’s. For that reason, I was expecting an almost identical taste to the Robinson’s squash, but was left severely disappointed.
It was much paler in colour, and barely tasted of anything other than water. It was worse than the ASDA squash.
15p per 100ml
On the more expensive end of the scale is M&S’ “Mediterranean Orange High Juice” – I expected big things based on the fancy name alone. I poured one part squash to four parts water and gave it a go.
The taste had a lovely citrusy tang to it which gave it a fuller body than the others I had tasted. It was slightly lacking the fruitiness of the Robinson’s, but it was tasty enough and harmless, and I liked the sour notes of the citrus.
7p per 100ml
The Tesco squash was much fruitier than the other supermarket versions and more akin to the Robinsons. It is sweet in a more artificial way than Robinsons, but it is sugar free and at the same time has the flavour of real fruit.
Personally, this was my favourite I had tried so far from the supermarket offerings.
7p per 100ml
I am convinced the Sainsbury’s bottle of orange squash is identical to the Tesco version. Both have the same packaging, minus the branded sticker, and have the same level of sweetness and fruitiness.
12p per 100ml
As a more expensive option than my favourite two supermarket versions so far, Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s I was expecting big things. It was tasty but lacked the flavour of Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
I thought the squash was a little thin in flavour, not leaving the same fruity aftertaste as the Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that Robinsons squash is not something that can be matched by cheaper versions. None of the supermarket brands quite matched up to the intensely fruity flavour of the orange squash, as much as I wanted them to.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s were the next best options, and if you are not fussed about compromising slightly on taste for a much cheaper option, I would recommend either. However, steer clear of Asda and Morrisons, both of which tasted like little more than water.
For the latest on events and attractions, food and drink, and things to do around Birmingham and the Midlands, visit our What’s On home page.
Watch: KitKat launches two new Easter eggs and the Lotus Biscoff one is heaven
Stay up to date with the latest what’s on news with our Daily What’s On Email updates .