Posted: Fri 3rd Nov 2023

Lidl edges Aldi in supermarket price war, according to latest Which? research

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Nov 3rd, 2023

For the first time in nearly a year and a half, Lidl has been named cheapest supermarket in the UK, consumer watchdog Which? has revealed.

In October, the German discount chain narrowly outperformed its rival Aldi by just 17 pence, with the average price of a basket containing 44 popular grocery items amounting to £74.58.

The regular comparison of prices across the UK’s eight largest supermarkets by Which? plays a crucial role in informing consumers, especially at a time when household budgets are under increasing strain due to the cost of living crisis.

In the study, a basket of 44 items, which included essentials such as potatoes, chicken, and milk, was used to assess affordability. Lidl’s basket cost was closely followed by Aldi at £74.75. However, shoppers opting for Waitrose would face a bill of £91.15 on average for the same items, marking a 22% price hike compared to Lidl.

[Source: Which?]

Further analysis was conducted on a more extensive trolley of 135 items, which incorporated a mix of branded and own-brand products.

Discounters like Aldi and Lidl were not included in this part of the comparison due to their limited range of branded items.

The big shop

Asda was hailed as the most budget-friendly option for the larger shop, a title it has held consistently since January 2020, with the exception of a brief period in July 2023 when Morrisons was marginally cheaper.

The average cost for the larger trolley at Asda was £328.42, which was £10.98 less than Morrisons.

Conversely, shopping at Waitrose for the same trolley would cost £378.08, a notable £49.66 more than Asda.

[Source: Which?]

Which? also highlighted the impact of loyalty pricing on supermarket rankings.

Sainsbury’s, previously the most expensive for a large shop, is now second in the ranking when shopping without a loyalty card.

This change is attributed to an increased emphasis on loyalty pricing, where supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s offer discounts to members, skewing the average prices higher for non-members.

The methodology of Which?’s price comparison involves daily monitoring of hundreds of grocery items across the major supermarkets using an independent price comparison website.

The average price for each item is calculated throughout the month, excluding multibuys or loyalty scheme discounts to ensure a fair comparison.

With food and drink price inflation slightly receding to 12.4% in the quarter leading up to September 2023, Which? continues to release monthly figures, revealing that Sainsbury’s experienced the highest inflation rate at 14% year-on-year in September.

The rising prices have been especially pronounced in categories like biscuits, chocolate, crisps, and yoghurts.

Amidst these findings, Which? has called on supermarkets to take more significant steps to assist their customers during the ongoing financial crisis.

They suggest that supermarkets could improve support by ensuring that their smaller convenience stores, particularly in need-stricken areas, stock affordable healthy food options.

Which? also urges the government to collaborate with supermarkets to implement measures that can alleviate the financial burden on millions of individuals struggling to afford basic necessities.

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