At Christmas-time, I can't look at a chocolate Santa without thinking of my nan. They are wrapped up in so many fond festive memories for me as grandma always gave us one every year as a stocking filler.

Moulding delicious chocolate into the shape of a lovable, cheeky Father Christmas, this treat has to be one of the best seasonal food and drink ideas that can't help but raise a smile. It may be a gift to a child, like my gran would give, or just an indulgence for yourself to enjoy while watching A Muppets Christmas Carol - but there's now more of these chocolate Santas to choose from than ever.

Cadbury and Lindt are the old timers in this field but budget supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl are giving them a run for their money with their own versions. Even Iceland and Poundland are offering their own low-cost chocolate Santas to shoppers.

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Price varies dramatically between brands, from £3 to £1. What surprised me more was how different the sizes were too with Lidl and Aldi's offerings looking like giants compared to the much more petite Santas from the main chocolate giants.

Then there was taste with one so awful and scary looking that I couldn't finish it and will never buy it again. After all, it's not just about the chocolate as there's also a lot to be said for the joyful, bright packaging glistening under fairy lights.

Here's what I found when I did a taste and value for money test comparing supermarket chocolate Santas with leading brands.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Large Chocolate Hollow Santa

£2 for 100g

A Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate Santa on a table
Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate Santa

This cheery looking Cadbury's chocolate Santa has the brand's tell-tale purple on the foil making it instantly recognisable. Available in leading supermarkets including Sainsbury's and Tesco, which haven't produced their own version of this product.

Surprisingly, when lined up against its competitors, this was the joint smallest at 17cms tall - compared to 26cms for the largest from Aldi and Lidl. It also was more expensive than the supermarket offerings, which drops it a point, yet cheaper than other leading chocolate giants of Kinder and Lindt.

It feels and looks like a quality product, attractive and with good engraving on the chocolate. It has a decent thickness to the chocolate and the taste of that deliciously smooth Dairy Milk flavour can't be faulted. On value for money, it falls short due to price and size.


Lindt Milk Chocolate Santa

£3 for 125g

Lindt's Chocolate Santa on a table
Lindt's Chocolate Santa that costs £3

Lindt's distinctive red and gold luxurious chocolate Santa with its little gold bell stands out on the shelf, sold at supermarkets from Tesco to Ocado. Yet when it's lined up against others in this taste test, it's the joint smallest in size at 17cms tall.

It's the same height as Cadbury's product but is 25g heavier, although that's not necessarily all chocolate as there's the weight of the pretty gold bell on the packaging. The sublime milky taste of the Santa from this Swiss 'master chocolatier' was my favourite. It's luxuriously silky on the tongue and definitely top points for flavour.

Lindt's product is also excellent on its thickness and the quality of the engraved Santa underneath the foil. But - and it's a big but - the price at £3 is three times more than the cheapest rival in this test and it's size is small. For that it has to be docked several points as it is poor on value for money but a luxurious Christmas treat if willing to splurge.


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Aldi's Dairyfine Milk Chocolate Santa Figure

£1.25 for 175g

Aldi's santa lying on a table
Bright and large chocolate santa from Aldi under the Dairyfine label

Aldi's chocolate Santa is under the Dairyfine label and is a towering, huge product at 26cms high. It's the same size as Lidl's but I soon find out why as once the wrapping comes off, they are made from identical moulds, which you can see in the video below. The taste is different though.

At £1.25, this is the third cheapest option but the best value per gram in terms of the amount of chocolate you get at 175g. It looks cheerful and bright with a friendly Father Christmas on the packaging that children will love.

The taste is ok but not memorable or outstanding. It's got a sweet edge to it and isn't very milky. The flavour lets it down slightly but a strong contender and the best price bargain for what you get.


Poundland's Chocolate Santa

the product on a table and next to it once the foil is removed with no face on the chocolate
The chocolate santa from Poundland and what it looks like under the wrapping

£1 for 100g

Brace yourself as this hollow chocolate Santa sold in Poundland is more reminiscent of the ghost of Christmas past. It's the cheapest at £1 and fairly large at 23cms tall but not the largest or best price per g, which was Aldi.

Although it has no brand name on it, the label says it is produced for PLDZ in Walsall. Even before the packaging comes off, Father Christmas looks a bit ill - pale, grim and anaemic with a strange stare. It only gets worse underneath as there is no face moulded into the chocolate at all like a ghostly figure.

It's horrendously scary for me let alone a child. The taste of it is very sweet that leaves an unpleasant after taste. A poor offering, so don't be fooled by the price as it's not the best value for money and falls short all round. Nil point.


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Kinder Santa Figure

£2.25 for 100g

Kinder's chocolate santa
Kinder's chocolate santa

A big brand name in the chocolate industry this Kinder Santa is sold at Sainsbury's and a miniature version at Asda. It's geared towards young children with the famous white chocolate inside underneath a coating of milk chocolate.

There's isn't any toy within it, as it's not a Kinder Surprise, which will shock parents as it's one of the most expensive at £2.25. It has the very sweet distinctive flavour that appeals to youngsters more so than adults.

It's one of the most appealing in terms of the packaging with its well-known orange label and a joyful Santa, but you are paying the price for that. A decent enough product but not amazing chocolate and the price docks it another point too.


Iceland Foiled Chocolate Santa

£1.50 for 100g

chocolate santa in wrapper on a table
Iceland's chocolate santa offering for Christmas 2023

This cheery chocolate Santa from Iceland and The Food Warehouse is made by BIP Candy. It's bright and colourful with a friendly face standing at a tall 21.5cms.

At £1.50, it's far cheaper than big brands but more expensive than many budget supermarkets. There's good engraving on thick chocolate but the flavour lets it down.

This Santa is extremely sweet with a strange synthetic after taste. It may look good but the price and flavour let it down.


Lidl's Favorina Chocolate Santa

£1.09 for 150g

Lidl's santa lying flat on a table
Lidl's Favorina Chocolate Santa that costs £1.09

Lidl offers a striking Santa, the joint tallest at 26cms with a traditional Father Christmas only sold in store. It's one of the cheapest but at 150g, it ends up the second best price per gram after Aldi.

I'm surprised to find the chocolate Santa underneath the foil looks identical to Aldi's version, although this is made by Favorina. That's where the similarity ends as the taste is very different.

Lidl's chocolate is far creamier and has a much nicer taste than Aldi. When comparing it amongst its competitors on price, taste and appearance, this comes out top. It's best when it comes to value for money by far.


two identical chocolate santas side by side
Spot the difference, Lidl's Chocolate Santa, left, and Aldi's right

Overall verdict

Cadbury's - 3

Lindt - 3

Aldi - 4

Poundland - 0

Kinder - 2

Iceland - 2

Lidl - 5

While the best flavoured chocolate Santas were the big name brand's like Lindt and Cadbury's, the price and size of them doesn't offer good value for money.

Lidl came out on top because its bargain price was also balanced with a good chocolate flavour that made it feel like a treat. It pipped Aldi to the post because of its scrumptious taste.

There are other cheap options out there but the quality of the product and awful taste in some cases really let them down and it was worth paying a little more for something far better.

three chocolate santas in a row with one in the middle with no face
The scary Iceland chocolate santa, middle, between Lindt's version, left, and Kinder, right

The worst by far was from Poundland and I would never buy it again. It may seem cheap at a pound but it tasted awful and looked terrible. There was no effort to make the chocolate look like Santa Claus and for me, its haunting appearance was a nightmare before Christmas.