/ 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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Leeonthesolentresident says:
3 March 2015

Be careful and check your receipts at the Lee on the Solent Co-ops, both the main store in the High Street and the ‘corner shop’ on Cherque Farm. We have been ripped off so many times, mostly the price on the shelf being less (sometimes considerably) than the price at the till. We haven’t shopped at either of them for quite a while now, preferring the honesty of Lidl, but went in today out of necessity – £2 greetings card, charged £2.25 at the till. I new there would be something wrong and said this to the till staff! I also mentioned that there are a lot of items which end up dearer at the till, to which the staff member replied: ‘It’s because it’s changing over’. Oh, ok, and has been doing every other time I’ve been ripped off?! I got my 25p but that’s not the point – the point is that the unsuspecting public who don’t check their receipts are constantly being ripped off and the Co-op is making a nice little (?!) earner, thanks very much. So-called ‘offers’ which aren’t so good at the till, being charged twice for bottles of wine are other examples we’ve experienced. We won’t be shopping there anymore, so don’t bother sending me any more ‘Share of the Profits’, Co-op and I probably don’t deserve them for correcting my change every time I’ve been overcharged!