Sainsbury’s now more expensive than Waitrose for customers without loyalty card, Which? finds

Sainsbury’s replaced Waitrose in September as the UK’s most expensive supermarket for a big shop if customers have not signed up to a loyalty card, according to Which? research. 

The consumer champion’s monthly analysis involves comparing the average prices of a shop consisting of 39 popular groceries at eight of the UK’s biggest supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. 

Experts also look at a larger trolley of 131 items at six supermarkets – with discounters Aldi and Lidl excluded as they do not always stock big-brand products. 

This month, Sainsbury’s was the most expensive supermarket for the larger trolley of items for the first time, coming in at £359.23 – £33.52 more expensive than Asda, the cheapest option, and £3.72 more than Waitrose (£355.51).

The Which? monthly analysis includes special offers available to all shoppers (other than multibuys), but not loyalty discounts, to keep the research as fair as possible.

The larger trolley of groceries, which included branded items such as Andrex toilet paper and Cathedral City cheese, cost £325.71 on average at Asda, £6.51 less than the next cheapest option, Morrisons (£332.22).

The cheapest supermarket for a smaller basket of goods this month was Aldi, for the 16th time in a row. There, a basket of goods cost £67.72 on average across the month. 

Fellow discounter Lidl was just behind Aldi, with a difference of £1.24 (£68.96 on average).

Waitrose was the most expensive this month for the smaller shop, with a basket of groceries totalling £84.37 on average, £16.65 more than Aldi.

This latest pricing analysis from Which? demonstrates that shoppers can make considerable savings on their groceries depending on where they buy their food. With most of the traditional supermarkets’ convenience stores generally 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. 

Supermarkets could be doing more by ensuring smaller convenience stores stock a range of essential budget lines that support a healthy diet, especially in areas where they are most needed. Morrisons recently led by example by committing to stocking up to 40 of its budget items in its smaller convenience stores in the coming weeks.

Supermarkets also need to ensure unit pricing is clear so that customers can easily work out the best value products. This includes providing unit pricing on loyalty card prices. It is therefore welcome that the government has committed to improving pricing legislation.

Given the urgency of this cost of living crisis, Which? is calling on the government to act now and work with supermarkets to secure these changes that could make a real difference to millions of people struggling to put food on the table.

Ele Clark, Which? Retail Editor, said:

“As millions struggle with increased food prices and other high household bills, it is no surprise that many are turning to discounters for their food shop. Our latest research shows that once again Aldi is the cheapest supermarket for a basket of groceries but for the first time, Sainsbury’s has come out as the most expensive for a big shop.

“Which? believes that supermarkets can do much more to help shoppers during the current crisis. They must ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food ranges at a store near them – including providing a range of essential budget lines that support a healthy diet in smaller convenience stores.”




Notes to editors: 


Full table of basket results (based on 39 items): 

Retailer Average basket price
Aldi £67.72
Lidl £68.96
Asda £75.42
Tesco £78.74
Sainsbury’s £78.95
Morrisons £79.70
Ocado £82.80
Waitrose £84.37


Full table of trolley results (based on 131 items): 


Retailer Average trolley price
Asda £325.71
Morrisons  £332.22
Ocado £349.79
Tesco £350.41
Waitrose £355.51
Sainsbury’s £359.23


  • Every month, the consumer champion compares how much some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets charge for a basket and 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 the analysis as fair as possible. The shopping list combines branded items such as Heinz baked beans and PG Tips tea bags with own-label products, including milk and pasta. 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 can be achieved setting 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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About Which?

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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