Aldi has narrowly beaten rival Lidl to be named the cheapest supermarket of the year, according to Which? research.
Each month during 2022 Which? tracked hundreds of thousands of grocery prices across the UK’s eight major supermarkets (Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose) to find out how much each shop was charging for everyday items such as bread, milk and eggs.
Overall Aldi was the cheapest supermarket for seven consecutive months from June to December while Lidl was the cheapest from January to May.
The results for the final month of the year in December showed a basket of 48 groceries on average was £81.63 at Aldi, just beating Lidl, where the basket was £83.24. Meanwhile, Waitrose was more than £30 pricier than Aldi, at £112.62 and was consistently the most expensive supermarket across the 12 months.
Alongside the price comparison of a basket of groceries at all eight supermarkets, Which? also compared a larger trolley packed with a greater selection of branded items such as Cathedral City cheddar and Andrex toilet paper, that are not always available at the discounters (Aldi and Lidl) – meaning they cannot be included in this bigger comparison.
Asda was the cheapest of the traditional supermarkets in December – as it has been every month for the last three years. Based on a larger trolley of 149 products, Asda was cheapest at £355.62 followed by Sainsbury’s (£368.97), Tesco (£375.97), Morrisons (£377.81) and Ocado (£386.68). At Waitrose the total came to £406.95, £51.33 more than Asda.
Which?’s new supermarket price inflation tracker shows how inflation is affecting food and drink prices at the major supermarkets, with the first edition highlighting how own-brand and budget grocery items had gone up more than branded and premium counterparts. However shopping at the discounters was still cheaper overall.
Which? is campaigning for all supermarkets to do more to help customers during the cost of living crisis and has published a 10-point plan of steps across three key areas they should take to help ensure affordable food is available to everyone who needs it.
The consumer champion’s Affordable Food For All campaign calls on supermarkets to do more to ensure own-brand budget line items are widely available throughout all branches – including in smaller convenience stores. They should also make pricing and offers more transparent and provide targeted promotions to support people in the areas that are struggling most with access to affordable food.
Reena Sewraz, Which? Retail Editor, said:
“With food and drink prices putting huge pressure on household budgets, it’s no surprise to see many people turning to discounters like Aldi and Lidl when our research shows they could save up to £31 on a typical shop.
“As well as choosing a supermarket that is cheap overall, you can save in other ways by swapping from branded to cheaper own-brand products and by sticking to a shopping list.”
“Which? believes all supermarkets have the ability to make a real difference to hard-hit households by ensuring everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food lines at a store near them, particularly in areas where people are most in need.”
Notes to editors:
- The consumer champion’s Affordable Food For All campaign calls on supermarkets to do more to ensure own-brand budget line items are widely available throughout all branches – including in smaller ‘convenience stores. They should also make pricing and offers more transparent and provide targeted promotions to support people in the areas that are struggling most with access to affordable food. Read more about the Affordable Food For All campaign launch.
- Last month Which? launched a ground-breaking new monthly supermarket inflation tracker revealing the supermarkets and types of food and drink with the fastest rising prices.
- The table below shows how much our basket cost on average in December.
- We also compared the cost of a larger trolley of 149 items (the original 48, plus 101 more) at traditional supermarkets.
- Which? checks the prices of hundreds of grocery items across eight major supermarkets every day throughout the year, using an independent price comparison website.
- 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 the averages up to get an average trolley price for each store.
- Which? includes special offer prices but not multibuys, to keep it as fair as possible.
- The shopping list combines branded items such as Kenco coffee, Oxo stock cubes and PG Tips tea bags 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.
- As well as a selection of everyday own-brand items for the comparison which includes the discounters, Which? also compares a trolley packed with many more items, the original basket as well a greater selection of branded items, such as Cathedral City cheddar and Colgate toothpaste, that are not always available in the discounter supermarkets – so for this bigger trolley Which? is not able to include Aldi or Lidl.
- In December, Tesco, at £93.42, was the cheapest of the traditional supermarkets for the smaller basket. It was £19.20 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket, Waitrose.
- While Waitrose was the most expensive almost every month for both the smaller basket and the larger trolley of items, Ocado was most expensive in February 2022 for the bigger trolley.
- From time to time Which? experts reassess the content of the basket of groceries and the number of items we compare for each retailer.
- How to spend less at the supermarket – https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/supermarkets/article/how-to-spend-less-at-the-supermarket-ak1KX1f4HCve
- Cheapest supermarket by month – https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/supermarkets/article/supermarket-price-comparison-aPpYp9j1MFin
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.
The information in this press release is for editorial use by journalists and media outlets only. Any business seeking to reproduce information in this release should contact the Which? Endorsement Scheme team at firstname.lastname@example.org