Aldi has been named the UK’s cheapest supermarket in May by Which?, as the consumer champion found shoppers could save over £18 on a basket of items there compared to the most expensive store. This marks Aldi’s reign as the cheapest supermarket for 12 consecutive months.
The consumer champion’s analysis, which involves comparing the average prices of a shop consisting of popular groceries at eight of the UK’s biggest supermarkets, is done on a monthly basis.
The cheapest supermarket this month was Aldi, where a basket of goods cost £68.60 on average across the month. Lidl placed behind Aldi with a difference of £1.91 (£70.51), widening the gap from last month which was just a 65p difference. Aldi has remained the cheapest supermarket since May 2022.
In comparison, Waitrose came out as the most expensive this month, with a basket of goods totalling £86.91, that is 23.5 per cent more than Aldi.
Which? also compared the cost of a larger trolley of 131 items – the original 40, plus 91 more. These items included a larger number of branded items, such as Andrex toilet paper and Cathedral City cheese, and did not include discounter supermarkets Aldi and Lidl, as they do not always stock some of these products.
This month, Asda was yet again the cheapest for this larger trolley of groceries, a title it has held since January 2020. In May 2023, it cost £332.40 on average for this shop, beating the next cheapest, Morrisons (£334.47), by just £2.07.
Waitrose was an eye-watering £31.59 more expensive than Asda, coming in at £363.99, on average, for the trolley of comparable goods – that is 9.5 per cent more.
This latest pricing analysis from Which? demonstrates that shoppers can make considerable savings on their groceries depending on where they buy their food. However, with even budget ranges and prices at the discounters rising significantly, and the traditional supermarkets’ convenience stores failing to offer or stock budget lines, the consumer champion believes supermarkets must do more to help their customers.
Which? has found that while some good practice exists, many of the major supermarkets have not done enough to support their customers during the cost of living crisis. Retailers should be helping customers by making sure affordable basic ranges are available in all branches including convenience stores, as well as improving unit pricing on all products, so that customers can easily work out the best value for them.
While some of the supermarkets have engaged with the consumer champion as part of its Affordable Food For All campaign, none have committed to any of the changes laid out by Which? as being vital for consumers during this difficult time.
Which? is now calling on the major supermarkets to act by providing the support people around the country desperately need in order to keep food on the table during the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Ele Clark, Which? Retail Editor, said:
“The Which? Food Inflation Tracker shows that the price of food and drink is continuing to soar, as people suffer through the worst cost of living crisis in decades. It’s no surprise to see many shoppers turning to discounters like Aldi and Lidl when our research shows they could make savings of more than £18 on a basket of everyday groceries.
“Supermarkets aren’t currently doing enough to help shoppers. Which? believes the big retailers have a responsibility to ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food ranges at a store near them, and to provide transparent and comparable pricing so people can easily work out which products offer the best value.”
Notes to editors:
Full table of basket results (based on 40 items):
|Average basket price
Full table of trolley results (based on 131 items):
|Average trolley price
- Every month, the consumer champion compares how much some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets charge for a trolley of groceries, including everything from bread to toothpaste. Which? compares hundreds of grocery prices at Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose to reveal the cheapest supermarket.
- For its ‘cheapest supermarket of the month’ analysis, Which? works out the average price for each item at each supermarket across the month, and adds this up to get an average trolley price for each store.
- Which? includes special offer prices but not multi-buys or loyalty discounts, to keep it as fair as possible. The shopping list combines branded items such as Kenco coffee, PG Tips tea bags and Walkers crisps with own-label products, including onions and milk. Of course, own-brand items aren’t exactly the same at different supermarkets, but Which? uses experts to ensure that the products are as comparable as possible based on a range of factors, including weight and quality.
- Which? launched its Affordable Food For All campaign calling on supermarkets to step up and help consumers keep food on the table. The consumer champion has defined how this cdan be achieved in a 10-point plan that sets out specific steps supermarkets can take such as clear and transparent pricing and access to affordable food ranges across all stores.
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Which? is the UK’s consumer champion, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone. Our research gets to the heart of consumer issues, our advice is impartial, and our rigorous product tests lead to expert recommendations. We’re the independent consumer voice that influences politicians and lawmakers, investigates, holds businesses to account and makes change happen. As an organisation we’re not for profit and all for making consumers more powerful.
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