You might think that all canned cranberry sauce tastes the same, and you’d be forgiven for it. There are, after all, only two types of cranberry sauce, jellied and whole berry, and they all contain pretty much the same ingredients: cranberries and sweetener, usually high-fructose corn syrup. But that’s not really the case: We sampled 14 different varieties of canned cranberry sauce, both jellied and whole berry, and some were much tastier than others.
We searched far and wide for as many brands of cranberry sauce as we could find. Ocean Spray was the one constant at every store we went to, but we also found store brands like America’s Choice, Key Food, Super A, Foodtown, and Great Value. We also included Whole Foods’ 365 brand and a few other brands we came across like Woodstock, Pacific Organics, and Wild Thymes.
In order to conduct our taste test, we emptied each container into an unmarked cup, and tried them unadulterated. We judged each brand on flavor, texture, sweetness level, tang, and overall enjoyment factor, giving them overall rankings of 1 to 14.
In the end, some were much sweeter than others, some were mealier, and some, oddly enough, tasted more like applesauce than cranberry sauce. But there was one clear winner, and some store brands were much tastier than others. And Ocean Spray, despite being the most ubiquitous, wasn’t close to the best.
So when you’re at the supermarket stocking up for Thanksgiving and come to the cranberry sauce, keep in mind that they’re not all the same. Hopefully our taste test can help you make the right decision; click here to see which ones came out on top!