Which? reveals 2018’s cheapest online supermarket

Analysis by the consumer champion has revealed Morrisons had the cheapest online basket of popular branded items on average in 2018, for the second year in a row.

Which? looked at the cost of 77 popular branded products across the year – including items such as Andrex toilet roll, Cathedral City cheddar cheese, Hovis bread and PG Tips tea bags – and found that the basket of items in an online shop cost less on average across the year at Morrisons than at any other online supermarket, coming in at £156.46.

The same basket of items cost an average of £170.79 at Waitrose, making it the most expensive online supermarket for the third year in a row. This basket came in at £14.33 more than the Morrisons basket.

Based on the average cost of a basket, shopping the same basket of items once a month at Morrisons instead of Waitrose over the course of a year would save you £171.96 – enough to pay for the cost of the average Waitrose basket, with some change to spare.

Online-only supermarket Ocado took second place for the most expensive basket, coming in at £169.86 on average.

Asda just missed out on the cheapest spot, with an average basket costing just £1.53 more than Morrisons, at £157.99.

As well as having the cheapest average cost of a basket, Morrisons was also the cheapest basket for six months of the year in 2018. Waitrose and Ocado were the most expensive places to buy the same basket of groceries for six months of the year each.

In Which?’s most recent supermarket survey, Morrisons scored a customer score of 72 per cent for its online supermarket, scoring highly for quality, range, and value for money.

Morrisons also recently came out on top in our blind taste test of champagne alternatives in December, with its exclusive Denbies Chalk Valley English Sparkling Brut NV (£16), and had the best performance in a snapshot investigation of recyclability of supermarket packaging, with 81 per cent of the Morrisons’ own-brand items assessed being widely recyclable.

Harry Rose, Editor of Which? magazine, said:

“Many of us will be looking to save money following the festive season, so shoppers will be pleased to know that they don’t have to pay over the odds for their favourite brands – all they need to do is shop smarter.

“To save even more on your online shop, you could consider substituting branded items for own-label products, and if your supermarket has a price promise, hold them to it. If your basket would cost less elsewhere, they should refund you the difference.”


Table of results:


Basket price














Notes to editors:

  1. We tracked the prices of 77 popular products sold in the six online supermarkets covered by the comparison: Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. Using data from the independent shopping website MySupermarket, we calculated the average price (including discounts, but not multibuys) for each item across the whole of 2018. We added those individual averages up to get the cost of the basket at each shop for each month, and then took an average of those for the whole year.

  2. Whilst Aldi was voted the nation’s favourite supermarket in Which?’s most recent supermarket survey, scoring 74%, it was unable to be included in the comparison (along with Lidl) as it does not have an online counterpart. Iceland has not been included as it does not stock enough branded products for a fair comparison.

  3. According to data from Kantar Worldpanel, supermarkets posted record sales of £29.3 billion during the twelve weeks leading up to Christmas – an extra £450 million compared to the same period in 2017. Morrisons’ own sales figures in the nine weeks to January 6 2019 rose 3.6%.

  4. For the full story, visit: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/01/which-supermarket-was-the-cheapest-in-2018/

Press Release