/ Food & Drink, Shopping

Rising prices – do supermarkets give value for money?

A shopping trolley in a supermarket aisle

The cost of your weekly food shop is going up, so now is a good time to find the best-value supermarket. Our survey results show that quality products and good customer service can be just as important as price.

The price of food is currently a major worry for many consumers, with three quarters of UK adults in our monthly poll naming it as a concern. Latest government statistics show that food prices have risen by 4.5% in the past year, much faster than wages.

And that seems to be influencing what you buy. Our supermarkets survey took a peek inside the shopping bags of more than 11,000 Which? members and discovered that the ranges that are becoming more popular are mostly from ‘discount’ stores Aldi and Lidl, or from value ranges at other supermarkets.

Four in 10 Aldi shoppers are buying more own-brand products in the last six months than they did a year ago. The Waitrose Essentials and Morrisons Value ranges have also become more popular. Meanwhile, shoppers are tending to buy less from Tesco’s Finest range.

Balancing your food budget

When it comes to the best performers, Waitrose topped our survey with a satisfaction score of 82%. Customers awarded it five stars for customer service and fresh produce quality, as you might expect for a supermarket that has a reputation built on high standards.

At the other end of the scale, Tesco scored just 45%. Its customers awarded it low marks across all criteria, including pricing. Tesco is often perceived to be a supermarket that competes on price, but it looks like the customers are looking for more than just a bargain.

Even though food prices are creeping upwards, it appears shoppers take more than price into consideration when shopping for their groceries.

Shopping in cyberspace

We also asked customers to share their views on the supermarkets’ online shopping websites and delivery services. Doing your weekly shop online is growing in popularity thanks to the extra convenience and time savings.

Now, Tesco had a better score for its online shopping service, mainly thanks to the helpfulness of their drivers. Sainsbury’s scored well for online shopping deliveries, with five stars for their driver service and four stars for pricing.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top score went to the online delivery specialists. Ocado scored highly across all criteria apart from substitutions. With a quality service and competitive pricing, Ocado have set the bar high for the supermarkets to follow.

Which supermarket do you think gives you the best value?

Aldi (25%, 572 Votes)

Lidl (14%, 309 Votes)

Asda (13%, 292 Votes)

Waitrose (12%, 279 Votes)

Morrisons (10%, 230 Votes)

Sainsburys (9%, 199 Votes)

Tesco (6%, 139 Votes)

I don't know (5%, 112 Votes)

Marks & Spencer (3%, 67 Votes)

The Co-operative (1%, 31 Votes)

I don't shop at supermarkets (1%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,253

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Swampy3512 says:
17 August 2013

I really think it’s time I commented needed some chicken thighs yesterday so drooped into nearest store i was passing (Tesco’s Portland) 1kg cost nearly £7.00,local lidli’s £2.69 (I’m not sure if there was a special offer on these but nearly double the price! ). I looked at the price of the milk and of course single 4 pint of milk 38p more expensive than than Lidl’s. These prices are extortionate and have certainly put me off Tesco. As an important and final remark the chicken thighs from Lidl carry the red tractor logo.

Malc.Moore says:
17 August 2013

Good report Swampy3512 my nearest Lidl is a few miles away but i do have local Aldl what i like
about these stores is they know there is a market for people who do not want to buy bog-offs and bulk buys just no nonsense prices.Nothing surprises me about Tesco anymore on Prices.

Charles says:
22 October 2017

The only way that these stores get you cheaper items is because they make so much money in car parking fines , I know loads of people that have had fines in our locals and I never go in any more because of this reason. Cheaper end food is a joke but mid to high rage was ok , Tools and clothing is and have been told by many others as well that they are so cheap that half the stuff is useless, clothes you wash them a couple of times and are useless afterwards. Cycle clothes I have bought in the past is so bad zips plastic rubbish & and water proof clothes are shower proof for about 5 minutes in a heavy rain. I find now that big stores own brands now are much better than they used to be and quality ain’t to bad either , plus you can always look for offers and use online vouchers to use in them so brings the price down. No more fines for me ever in Aldi & I know that Lidl & Waitrose fine car drivers as well , so no way will I ever go in them ever again till the car parks are free for at least 2 hours plus as I am disabled and takes me ages to get in & out of the car .


The only reason I go to Aldi is the prices on salad items and the length of time the salad leaves last before going too soft to eat. I can and do buy a few packs as they are all edible. In contrast my multibuy salad leaves from Waitrose and M&S (my local walk to stores) only last a couple of days so I end up throwing out half of the multibuy. I regularly complain to both stores on their multibuy policy on fresh fruit and vegetable produce but they seem to think I’m bonkers complaining about ‘offers’. I don’t buy milk at Aldi after a 4 pint carton turned to yogurt in a couple of days. I recently bought chicken thighs there and they were £1.99 for 750g (£2.65 per kilo) which is a good price but I don’t see a red tractor symbol on the packaging. I normally buy chicken when it’s on offer in any store and freeze some until I need it.

If I lived within walking distance of Aldi I would use the store regularly and put up with the inconveniences and stress of shopping there but I have to drive there and they only have a small underground parking area which is shared by nearby residents and other companies. You have to drive around looking for free Aldi designated spaces and often have to drive out and return again. So the start of the shopping experience is a bit frought as well as the end at the poorly designed checkout.

Perhaps there should be a happy medium between low prices and reasonable facilities and service. Do the Germans pack their groceries super quickly at unsuitable cashier points?


Not when I was last in Germany – it was very civilised and well-ordered. Here, Aldi expect you to let the groceries pour off the conveyor belt straight into the shopping trolley so you can whizz off and tip it all into your car boot. With any luck the detergent will land on top of the teabags so that the teapot cleans itself while brewing the tea. They’ve thought of everything.


John, I didn’t realise just how effecient the Germans are. Not surprising they are a leading economic power. You should be writing scripts instead of making me laugh on here. I thought it was Friday afternoon again with the above post and an earlier one.

So if it’s all very civilised in Germany, why are we treated like second class consumers here in the UK? Why Aldi, and why Which??

Andrew Mitchell says:
2 November 2013


Store manager won’t help
Ring customer services and they don’t help!

Don’t bother shopping at asda…..use sainsbury’s, tesco or the other better supermarkets!

Malc.Moore says:
2 November 2013

I agree with what you are saying about ASDA customer services Andrew you cannot blame the front line persons they really have no power.ASDA electrical department young manager was arrogant unhelpful had I not been forceful i would have been fobbed off with no refund.I suggest though that ASDA are not alone because a lot of highly paid staff with actual power never face the music yet are paid vast amounts.I rarely shop at Asda because i have a more Local Aldi and Sainsbury now. With the high price of Fuel everyone should factor in this when shopping and i find unless one has an extremely fuel efficient car it is better to shop more local.A member of staff at Sainbury made an error at my local when i phoned in to ask if they had an item in he/she did not check and told me they had none.I was angry when i discovered they had item in store after e-mails and phone calls to Sainburys customer services my dispute was happily settled by a manager given a full apology and i am always happy to go to Sainsbury but they really have to improve their prices.Just 2 examples Sainsbury Frozen own brand Family Steak or Chicken pies were 50p more expensive than Asda £1.00 now 90p more than most other Supermarkets.1KG Frozen of mixed veg 15p more expensive than close rivals Frozen Peas sliced Green beans much more expensive than others.I rarely go in Tesco as they are Top price and often low quality. All supermarkets could do better if they used transparent inexpensive packaging instead high priced very expensive colour packaging.All customers Rich or Less well off are condoned by this ploy.A large box that contains only less than half frozen fish is a con.No customers Rich or Less well off deserve this.Even a transparent front cover would be great for the consumer to be able to see what you are buying should be mandatory enforced legislation would soon sort out those who are pulling a fast on over Consumers.I would love to shop at local co-op but they are to small and very pricey even factoring high price Fuel.I am surprised not one supermarket has broken ranks abandoned the high price colour packaging you cannot complain to Customer Services that i am
not getting what i thought i was buying as they have item weight in a much larger box.

Anglosaxon says:
27 November 2013

Why use any of them? The majority of these multies import their goods. Buy less but better quality food from your local food shops. After all where does `British milk/butter/ etc come from? and who wants salmon imported from Scotland or Welsh lamb or cheese imported from whales.