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NOW CLOSED M&S Simply Fuller Longer range - tester review thread

(289 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-May-12 14:26:16

This thread is for the Mumsnet M&S panellists who've been trying out the Simply Fuller Longer range with their families. M&S would like to know what you thought of the dish(es) you tried. We've included a few feedback questions below to get you started, but please feel free to add any other comments you have too.

Everyone who adds their feedback to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 M&S giftcard.

Please note that your comments may appear (anonymously) on the M&S pages on Mumsnet and possibly elsewhere.

Please remember to state which dish(es) you tried in your response.

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw
MNHQ

only4tonight Mon 25-Jun-12 23:32:55

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

The range was easy enough to find and there was a nice choice. However the range of products suitable for Lunches or freezing could be expanded.

I chose the Cod Mornay and the beef casserole dishes.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

I microwaved the dishes. I did choose the products because they were microwavable as if I were oven cooking a meal, I would prefer to do it from scratch. For me a ready meal is something quick to grab in a busy day rather than a staple.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

Both of us found the meals filling but not overly so.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

I thought the meal (I had cod) was "nice". It wasn't outstanding but it was ok. Both my husband and I would eat the meals again and I would chose a simply fuller range over most others in m and s for myself.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why? Yes the meals were nicer than the average ready meal and were on offer when I bought them so were good value. I would only really get something like that as a back up for myself or my husband when one of us will be late and unable to eat witht he family as normal. They would be far far to expensive for a family meal.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yes I would say they were nice.

stephgr Tue 26-Jun-12 02:44:01

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?
I was surprised by the fact that the range was actually quite difficult to locate occupying a small space behind a pillar in my nearest M&S (Pond Street, London NW3). There weren't many dishes to choose from but I love fish so I went for the seafood linguine and the cod mornay. I had the linguine that evening and DH had the cod. (I tried the cod mornay which was so good I bought more the next day!)

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?
I heated them up in the microwave although I would have been just as happy to use the oven. They were so quick and easy - I was impressed as was my husband who expected me to be in the kitchen for ages!

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?
DH loved the mornay but wanted more cod. I thought the portion sizes were about right - I didn't feel hungry afterwards but I didn't feel full either so I had room for dessert.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?
DH liked the cod mornay but wanted more fish! I loved the taste of both dishes but I would like more fish in the linguine. I particularly liked the cheesey sauce with the cod mornay. I thought they were very healthy being high in protein and nutritionally well balanced.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?
The dishes were good value in the sense that they tasted very good and required very little effort. However, in order to be great value I definitely think the amount of fish ought to be increased.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not? I'd definitely recomment the cod mornay because the fish and the cheesy sauce were really delicious (better than I've had in a number of supposedly leading fish restaurants). I'd recommend the seafood linguine too because it's so convenient.

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Jun-12 10:22:40

One of the testers is having trouble logging in to post her feedback so am posting it here on her behalf:

1. There were about 5 dishes available at the shop. I wanted to try the same dish as my husband, as he is a big bloke who enjoys large portions of food and i wanted to see if the meal would fill him up. We both had chicken thai curry.

2. I cooked the meals in the microwave and saved them for a Tuesday, when i have a long day at work and just want a quick meal. Yes they were very easy to prepare. I don't buy ready meals very often but it seemed as easy as others I have tried before.

3. I was impressed by the portion size, especially the large amount of chicken. I was full at the time, but looking to snack on something else after a couple of hours. My husband felt the same, the portions were much more generous than you usually get in a ready meal, but still not totally full.

4. flavour was very good- lovely fresh veg, authentic tasting Thai sauce. Very impressed!Not too salty so yes it felt like a healthy meal.

5. My husband and I felt that £4 each was quite a lot for the meal, although we agreed it was good quality food. I would be more likely to buy a couple if there was a promotion on, eg 2 for £7.

6. My mother in law was recently bereaved and finds it hard to motivate herself to cook fresh food. Also because she lives alone now, buying this kind of meal would be more economical than buying the individual ingredients. Because of the high vegetable content, I will definitely suggest that she tries this range. I don't know if there are more traditional meal options than Thai curry though, that might be too spicy for her tastes.

californiaburrito Tue 26-Jun-12 10:59:20

Q1. There were about 10 dishes available at the shop i visited. At first glance I had a little trouble separating them from the Count on Us range. I thought the selection was good and, although I can be a bit picky, I would have happily had any of the meals available. When choosing a beef dish for my DH, I did have a little trouble discriminating between some of the dishes.

Q2. I heated one in the microwave (paella) and the other (the beef stew) in the oven. The preparation method didn't influence my choice at all because in my house a ready meal is all about less prep/less mess. We do occasionally have ready meals and I found them to be easier to prepare than what we normally choose.

Q3. We ate our meals for dinner and we both found the portions to be a little small. However, I am breastfeeding and I don't get much a chance to eat during the day and my DH has, um, heavy build, so we normal have quite a large dinner. I also think there could have been a much higher proportion of vegetables in the meals. I would happily eat these meals for lunch though.

Q4. We both liked the dishes. I don't think there was the feeling of the meals being a "Heathy Alternative" to a regular meal as that somehow implies a comprise in terms of flavour.

Q5. I think the meals represented good value for money. Although I do recognize that I spend a lot of money on food.

Q6. I would definitely recommend them as an easy, tasty, healthy ready meal.

Manda472 Tue 26-Jun-12 14:47:35

So sorry for being so slow but I'm here now.
Q1...found the range fairly easily in the store and there was good range to try from. It was well stocked and easy to separate from the other ranges. I chose the kerala curry and prawn Singapore noodles.
Q2....I put them both in the microwave and it was straightforward. Found that even though I followed the instructions the prawns in the noodle dish were v rubbery and odd tasting and the egg on top was not nice at all.
Q3....portion size was good, I think you get alot for your money. DH disagreed though and was still hungry after the curry
Q4.....answered before but in mine the noodles were the best bit and was nice and spicy. DH wasn't that keen on the curry and said there was a bitter aftertaste.
Q5....I would def buy again esp if they were on offer and think they were better value for money than other ready meals we've had.
Q6....would and have recommended to family and friends.

Sorry again for delay
Mandy

MMcanny Tue 26-Jun-12 17:07:24

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

They looked a bit too average ready meal like for my taste tbh. There were not too many to choose from but what was there loked expensive for what you were getting.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

Microwaved, they were ready meals afterall. I don't usually buy this sort of food. Liked that it was quick and easy but not really what I prefer in terms of a dinner.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

Didn't seem like a lot, I put a bit of veg on to add as a side dish. Did feel full enough afterwards, didn't really think about it at the time - and it didn't stop us having our usual late night snakc of biscuits and cheese later. DH thought it was OK, I think he prefers a proper home cooked meal tho. He didn't complain of being hungry afterwards however.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

It was the ham hough ones, not something we'd usually have but was the only thing I really fancied 'for a change' from the recipies available. It was OK. Again i liked that we added veg - lots is 'free' on my diet so why not.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?
Not really. It's a ready meal I'd expect it to be cheap but they were nearly a fiver each.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Not really. It's still processed food - not sure I'd admit eating that to anyone I know!

colmargirl Wed 27-Jun-12 20:55:25

Q1
Went to the Teesside Park M&S, but was late in the day so there wasn't a huge choice left - think there had been more earlier in the day as there were quite a few spaces on shelves. Saw the tikka massala had 2 portions left so grabbed them, would have liked bigger selection

q2 Did them in the oven, easy enough to prepare, but so they should be as they are ready meals! Find them equally as easy/hassle-free as any other brand's product

q2 I was fine with the portion size and felt full, my partner laughed when he saw it, but did admit to benig quite full afterwards, though in his opinion, if he doesn't feel stuffed, he doesn't think the portion was big enough! Fine for average appetites though

q4 - curry was really tasty, typical excellent M&S quality, didn't feel like it was massively healthy - could have made a healthier one myself, but that's the point of buying ready meals - you don't have to make it yourself!

q5 - average value - good m&s quality but not particularly good value or a good deal - would prefer to buy 'ordinary' cheaper M&S ready meals

q6 Am happy to recommend M&S food generally, but would not go out of my way to recommend this particular brand - I prefer the better value m&S products.

ilove Thu 28-Jun-12 09:36:28

Q1 Guiseley M&S Simply Food

Got keralan curry & the chicken thai curry. Sadly they have stopped doing my favourite, the chicken & mush risotto - I'm coeliac so I use M&S a lot. There wasn't a lot of choice tbh, but what they did have they had a lot of.

2. Microwaved the thai one, the keralan has to go in the oven - annoying

3. Portion sizes on-ish - should be bigger for the price

4. Both enjoyed them - tasty

5. Average value - good quality but should have more meat/bigger portion. Only ever buy them when on offer tbh

6. I recommend M&S all the time to coeliac friends - usually it is fab

diamanteasbigastheritz Thu 28-Jun-12 12:53:23

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

In my local store the range was split. There was some of the range (salads/wraps etc) in the sandwich/takeaway fridges. After some hunting, discovered more of the range in the prepared/ready meal section.

Had tried one of the ready meals on a previous occasion, enjoyed it and wanted to try more of them, so mainly focussed on that area.

Perhaps 4/5 dishes in salads/wraps and the same number in the ready meals area. I assume because it is a smaller store (FY1) that wasn’t the full range.

Chose the dim sum with noddle soup and a thai curry.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

Microwaved both the dishes. I chose microwavable dishes as it suited the need for a speedy supper after work.

The dim sum was a little fiddly as there is an internal shelf in the container, to keep the dumplings out of the soup during heating, and it was removed after heating.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

Portion sizes were fine, although we tend to eat reasonably lightly at our evening meal.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

Both enjoyable and tasty.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

Rarely buy ready meals, so only limited comparison points. These seemed reasonably priced for an occasional convenience.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Probably – more enjoyable than my (admittedly limited) experience of the usual range of microwave-able ready meals

maxylou Thu 28-Jun-12 14:33:33

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

I found the availablity in the store poor. It is a small town store but the only options available were Salmon or Linguine and I don't eat fish. My partner eats fish though so i purchased both of the options for him to try.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

Easy to prepare. I have purchased conveniece foods in the past and these were as easy as any other to prepare.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

Portion size was appropriate for my partner, although he would have been able to eat more if the portion was bigger.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

My partner enjoyed these dishes, he loves fish but I am not able to eat fish so don't usually make or buy fish dishes so this was a treat

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

I think the dishes are not cheap but not too expensive either, i think the pricing is about right.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

I wouldnt as i didnt try them but my partner might, although he is unlikely too!

Anneliz Thu 28-Jun-12 22:38:17

Second try at posting Feedback for the simply fuller longer range by M&S.
Q1. We found it hard to fine the range in our closest store and had to get assistance. There was not much to,choose from so a little disappointed. I chose the Indian style chicken with samosa style topping and DD2 chose pasta with Ragu sauce.

Q2. The pasta dish was microwaveable so DD2 ate this for lunch before her long journey back to uni. She enjoyed the meal but then she is our pasta queen.
My choice the Indian style chicken could only be heated in a conventional oven so not a very quick convenient meal. The samosa style topping should have been crunchy after the 40 mins cooking time but alas most of it was soggy. The chicken itself was quite tasty as was the rest of the sauce, unfortunately only 3 pieces of chicken.

Q3. Both meals were quite filling but we did have them for lunch, I don't think they would be sufficient as a main meal.

Q4. The flavours in both meals was good, DD2 had a good sized portion. My choice could have done with more chicken and may be even a little more veg. These could be a healthy option if we trained ourselves to eat less.

Q5. The price tag of £3.99 was a little steep for the size of the meals, would have liked more.

Q6. I might recommend these meals for a lunch but not for a main meal.

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?
After being unimpressed with the selection in the Worcester store, I tried the Simply Food branch at Birmingham New Street Station and was more impressed with the selection. DH is not a great lover of spicey food but the range at New Street had a more traditional theme with Chicken Hot Pot standing out.
Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?
Fairly standard on the preparation front. Did them in the oven as that is what I prefer to do.
Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?
They were fine for me. DH supplemented his with bread which he does for a lot of meals anyway.
Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?
They seemed to be healthier than some others I have tried. The portions were larger than most too. Flavours were good for a ready meal.
Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?
Quite expensive for ready meals if bought individually but the 2 for £6 made them better value for money
Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Probably as a good stand by or when time is very tight. I would recommend them in preference to other own brand ready meals

Haribojoe Fri 29-Jun-12 09:41:05

I tried the chicken arrabiatta and the seafood linguine.

I enjoyed both dishes, they had good flavours, were tasty and looked and smelt appealing.

I didn't notice any real difference when oven cooking as opposed to microwaving.

The portions were generous, definitely enough as a main meal for me or my husband, and they definitely kept me duller for longer.

I think they are good value for money as they seem to be made from quality ingredients and are delicious.

I would definitely buy products from this range again, especially as a shift worker who needs something quick and easy to eat that's also tasty and nutritious.

Will definitely be recommending them to friends grin

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Jul-12 16:18:47

Thanks to everyone who added their feedback - M&S have found your comments really useful. I'm pleased to say that the winner of the prize draw for a £100 M&S giftcard is...

tobagostreet

Congratulations! Your prize should be with you very soon!

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