ASDA retains title as UK’s cheapest online supermarket for 13 months straight – £19.37 cheaper than Ocado for Government’s Consumer Price Index ‘Shopping Basket’

An online price-tracking website that’s constantly monitoring price increases and decreases across six major UK online supermarkets can now reveal that Asda has again retained its title as the least expensive option for British consumers looking to keep their grocery costs down right now. The supermarket has now held the crown for 13 months.

The latest research found that Asda is still the reigning champion – found to be the most affordable supermarket right now, with Tesco coming in second, ending Sainsbury’s one-month spell as runner-up, with a current average basket cost of £118.58 (£6.64 more expensive than Asda).

After analysing prices across all of the six supermarkets, Asda was revealed as the least expensive for the consumer weekly shop for the 13th month running, and by a fair amount still; found to be £19.37 cheaper than Ocado – the most expensive supermarket right now being tracked.

Sainsbury’s battled with Tesco for second place throughout April. Tesco offered the second most affordable basket shop for two out of the four weeks of analysis. While Sainsbury’s costs lowered towards the end of the month, and their basket value dropped down by £5.30 from £123.97 in week three to £118.67 in week four, they failed to retain second place for a second month in a row, pipped to the post by Tesco (£3.13 cheaper than Sainsbury’s for average basket cost).

Ocado and Waitrose continued to compete with each other to not be named the most expensive of the largest supermarkets being tracked – with a marginal price difference of just 81p this time around. However, Ocado’s costs surged throughout the month, which subsequently increased their average basket cost to £131.31, ending Waitrose’s 13-month long reign as the most expensive supermarket.

Looking into price changes across the board, the price of vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots and broccoli, fluctuated throughout the month across all six supermarkets as Britons were shopping ahead for their Easter Sunday lunch. Carrots at Morrisons and Asda started the month at 19p and 20p and then, for the second week of April, more than doubled to 39p and 43p respectively. Sainsbury’s and Ocado also both increased the price of their carrots by 5p for the week of Easter celebrations.

As for potatoes, the price at Tesco and Sainsbury’s went up by 3p from £1.15 during the first week of April to £1.18 for the following week at both supermarkets, while the price of broccoli surged from 20p to 50p at Asda within the same time frame.

Surprisingly though, the price of chocolate remained the same for all supermarkets throughout the month, despite Lent coming to an end and the Easter holidays taking place, with Asda and Tesco offering the cheapest chocolate at £3 for a 360g Cadbury’s Chocolate Bar.

Asda was also revealed as the cheapest supermarket for alcoholic beverages in April, followed closely by Sainsbury’s with an average price difference of just 70p. Both Asda and Sainsbury’s were selling Gin and Vodka for £13 each during the final week of the month, compared to the likes of Tesco and Morrisons and Tesco who advertised the same drinks at £15.50 and £16. For beers specifically though, Sainsbury’s was the cheapest, selling at just £4 per four pack, compared to nearly all other supermarkets selling at £4.50+.

Andy Barr, co-founder of www.alertr.co.uk, said:

“For the weekly shop, as it currently stands, there’s still a stark difference between the top and bottom spots on the leader board of almost £20 this time around. Typically, since the start of 2022, we’ve seen much less disparity across the rest of the board, especially between those supermarkets placing second, third and fourth – Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. However, Asda seems to have now broken away from the rest of pack, with a considerable price difference of £6.64 between them and runners-up, Tesco. While the £3+ price difference between both Tesco and Sainsbury’s and Sainsbury’s and Morrisons shows that the top four supermarkets are bridging a gap between each other, whereas before they were competing much more closely. 

“Who knows how the battle of the supermarkets will play out over the next few months – whether the gap closes between competitors or if the leader board starts to stabilise a little. With the cost of living squeezing household incomes, it’ll be interesting to see how all the top supermarkets cope over 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 six 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 six supermarkets stocked (e.g., Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s Cornflakes, etc.).

The full breakdown of each supermarket’s current basket costs are as follows:

  1. ASDA – £111.94 (-£1.78 less than last month)
  2. Tesco – £118.58 (+58p more than last month)
  3. Sainsbury’s – £121.71 (+£6.20 more than last month)
  4. Morrisons – £125.08 (+£8.21 more than last month)
  5. Waitrose – £130.49 (-12p less than last month)
  6. Ocado – £131.31 (+£3.31 more 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 six online stores then the product is dismissed entirely and not analysed within the final costs of all stores. Items can also be replaced with another like-for-like item, as long as it is in stock across all six retailers. However, for this current basket, no products that were being tracked had to be swapped or were out of stock.

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