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Consumer Reports: Gift baskets worth giving

Consumer Reports: Gift baskets for the holidays
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 5:16 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Is it worth sending a gift basket, sight unseen, this holiday season? Will what you see online or in a catalog actually be what the person receives? Consumer Reports can help. It ordered 25 gift baskets from five popular companies, to see which ones are actually worth giving.

Gift baskets can be easy to give and fun to receive! But will the goodies you order be what the recipient gets? But there’s often some uncertainty about whether the lovely goodies you order will be what your recipient gets. Consumer Reports wanted to find out. Some of its staffers evaluated the experience of ordering and receiving gift baskets costing about one hundred dollars.

The baskets were chosen from 5 companies - Gourmet Gift Baskets, Harry & David, Knack, Mouth, and Olive & Cocoa. Senders and recipients documented their experiences.

Linda Greene, with Consumer Reports said, “We found a really wide selection of foods, like specialty pasta and premium sauces, chocolate delights and hi-end breakfast goodies.”

Two companies, Mouth, and Knack, give the option to create a custom basket, and Knack and Gourmet Gift Baskets cater not just to food choice but to ethos.

A Consumer Reports Staffer said, “The gift message itself mentions that all the items were made by women-owned businesses, and to me that just makes it extra-special.”

Did the packaging feel “gift-y?”

A Consumer Reports Staffer said, “I love that it’s in a wooden box.”

Olive & Cocoa’s wares come in a wooden box. Harry and David sent one order in this small trunk. “Really kind of cool, certainly re-usable.”

Mouth wrapped up their goodies on a cheese board.

And what if something in your order goes wrong?

Diane, Umansky, a Consumer Reports Staffer said, “Some of the fruit was not really so good.”

Harry & David was having a bad pear day - three of the four gift baskets CR ordered arrived with bruised pears.

James Rogers, a Consumer Reports Staffer said, “As you can see the pears, nine of them came in damaged.”

When contacted, Harry & David promptly sent replacement pears, and one person who requested chocolate instead received it the following day.

In the end, Mouth made the senders and receivers happy, citing the ability to create your own gift for the recipient. Packaging is not snazzy but more of the natural - brown paper variety.

Knack was favored for their “high quality” offerings at a range of prices. Giftees said the artisanal items made them feel special. But some senders grumbled about spending 10-dollars extra for the non-optional packaging, but the gift receivers appreciated the presentation.