Online gift basket deliveries put to test

Mouth, Knack get highest approval from Consumer Reports testers

SAN ANTONIO – Gift baskets filled with goodies are fun to give and receive. But, will what you see online or in a catalog actually be what the person receives? Consumer Reports ordered 25 gift baskets from five popular companies to see which ones are worth giving.

Consumer Reports staffers evaluated the experience of ordering and receiving gift baskets costing about $100. The baskets were chosen from five companies: Gourmet Gift Baskets, Harry & David, Knack, Mouth, and Olive & Cocoa. Senders and recipients documented their experiences.

CR found a wide selection of foods, like specialty pasta and premium sauces, chocolate delights, and high-end breakfast goodies.

Two companies, Mouth, and Knack, give consumers the option of creating a custom basket.

Olive & Cocoa’s wares came in a wooden box. Harry & David sent one order in a small re-usable trunk. And Mouth wrapped up their goodies on a cheese board.

And what if something in your order goes wrong? Harry & David was having a bad pear day. Three of the four gift baskets arrived with bruised fruit. When contacted, the company promptly sent replacement pears, and one person who requested chocolate instead received it the following day.

In the end, senders and recipients were most happy with Mouth’s gift basket, citing the ability to create a custom gift. Packaging more of the natural brown-paper variety.

Knack was favored for its high-quality offerings at a range of prices. Recipients said the artisanal items made them feel special. But some senders grumbled about spending $10 extra for the non-optional packaging. The gift receivers appreciated the presentation.

So … is what you see what you get? None of the gifts arrived looking exactly like the highly styled web images. But nearly all the senders thought that what was delivered closely matched, and there were few substitutions.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.