An online price-tracking website that’s constantly monitoring price increases and decreases across seven major UK online supermarkets can reveal that Asda has regained its title as the least expensive option for British consumers looking to keep their grocery costs down.
The results have been determined by carefully tracking how each online retailer prices the 42 items outlined in the Government’s Consumer Price Index ‘shopping basket’ on a week-by-week basis by the team at www.alertr.co.uk, who found that Asda clawed their way back to the top spot, being the most affordable supermarket once more for shoppers, with an average basket price £7.22 cheaper in March than February.
When it comes to price increases throughout the month of March, Gordons Gin (70cl) went up in price from £13.00 in week two to £16.00 in week three at Morrisons, tea bags (Yorkshire Tea – 240) were available at Asda for £4.50 in week two but went up to £5.75 in week three, whole chocolate (Cadbury Dairy Milk 360g) was £3.50 in Iceland in week four and went down to £3.00 by week five.
Sainsburys was seen to have some of the most regular price changes with pizza (Dr. Oetker Mozzarella Ristorante Pizza 335g) going from £2.50 in week two down to £1.75 in week three, along with their pasta (home brand Penne Rigate 500g) that started out at £1.50 in week two but went up to £1.95 in week three.
There seems to be a clear pattern in most supermarket’s pricing schemes, with a lot of changes being made in week three of the month, which could be down to British shoppers doing their mid-month shop without realising that it is probably the worst time to buy their food shopping as that’s when prices change the most often and it might not always be for the good.
Andy Barr, co-founder of www.alertr.co.uk, said:
“It is crazy how quickly the tables can turn. Despite Morrisons knocking Asda off the top spot last month, it didn’t take them long at all to regain their title, with Morrisons falling back down to not second place, but fourth – making them more expensive than both Iceland and Tesco throughout March. Waitrose is still the most expensive, but that isn’t too much of a shock. It is interesting to see Tesco move its way near the top of the charts though, so there are clearly some discounts being made as they were consistently coming out more expensive than Sainsburys and Morrisons in previous months. I wonder if these results will mean Morrisons will be working hard behind the scenes to ensure they are battling against Asda for the top spot again in the coming months.”
The online price-tracking website has been tracking the prices of 42 everyday items from the shopping basket on the Office for National Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) since 2019. Included within the list are items such as eggs, milk and bread, as well as non-perishables such as pasta, rice and cereal. The prices across seven of the largest supermarkets are analysed, with discount retailers Lidl and Aldi not included due to the inability for customers to shop full ranges online and not having the same like-for-like branded products that other supermarkets stock.
Own-brand items (or their equivalent) were monitored in the research to give the most unbiased comparison of goods and their prices, with the exception of branded items that all seven supermarkets stocked (e.g., Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s Cornflakes, etc.).
The full breakdown of each supermarket’s average basket costs, from lowest to highest over the five-week period in March, were as follows:
- ASDA – £105.42 (-£7.22 less than last month)
- Iceland – £114.32 (-£1.61 less than last month)
- Tesco – £115.02 (-29p less than last month)
- Morrisons – £117.46 (+£4.90 more than last month)
- Sainsburys – £117.82 (+6p more than last month)
- Ocado – £127.19 (+£4.13 more than last month)
- Waitrose – £128.55 (-34p less than last month)
To ensure the results across the stores are fair, if an item is unavailable or out of stock in one of the seven online stores for a whole week, then the product is dismissed and not analysed within the final basket costs for the month. Items can also be replaced with another like-for-like item, as long as it is in stock across all seven retailers. However, for the month of March, no products that were being tracked had to be swapped or were out of stock.