It’s still Britain’s biggest supermarket, but Tesco is struggling. Is it any better or worse than Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Lidl?
This subject isn’t black and white. I know that many people hate Tesco as a brand and see it as an aggressive, profit driven organisation. After all, you don’t see people protesting that a Waitrose is opening up in their village!
But I’m going to put those arguments aside for this article. Instead I want to talk about how it compares to the other supermarkets on some of the key reasons we chose where to go.
How does Tesco compare on price?
Annoyingly I’ve never lived near a Lidl or an Aldi, but I’ve popped into a couple at times and I can see why both are doing so well.
A good indicator is from Which?. They run a monthly shopping basket comparison to monitor the prices at different supermarkets. Since it started in March 2013, Asda has been the cheapest every month. Morrisons has been second since they were introduced in December 2014. Then Tesco and Sainsbury’s compete for third. However, this is just for a standard basket rather than all foods, and Aldi and Lidl aren’t included.
I find special offers at the different supermarkets are really pot luck. If you’ve the luxury to split your shop across different stores you’ll always find one had a better deal on something, but it’ll be the other way around on another item.
For me, Tesco and Waitrose come out on top for reductions as you can still get multi-buy discounts, sometimes providing you with free food!
- Winner: It’s got to be Lidl and Aldi, but Asda for a broader shop
- Tesco: Probably around 5th.
Which supermarket has the best loyalty scheme?
I’ve written before about how much Nectar pisses me off. I don’t think much of Morrisons scheme – it probably only works out as a good thing if you shop there every week.
Waitrose and Booths both have loyalty cards which give free papers and teas, as well as as the odd discount. But they’re “nice to have” rather than deal breakers.
I actually think Tesco Clubcard wins here. I know it’s mining our data (which supermarket isn’t?), but there’s a much broader range of ways to spend and increase the value of the points. Here are my six top ways to spend Clubcard points.
- Winner: Tesco
Which supermarket has the best money off vouchers?
I think Tesco more than holds its own here against Sainsbury’s and Asda. I know I’ll get sent a £4 off my shop voucher a every few months, and individual coupons for items I actually buy.
Aldi and Morrisons are good at giving away coupons in the national papers (usually The Mirror and The Sun), which give it the edge. If The Sun/Morrisons offer is repeated this year, that will get my top vote!
- Winner: Morrisons
- Tesco: 2nd
What supermarket has the best shopping “experience”
I love Waitrose. I know I’m a little odd to have a supermarket as one of my favourite shops, but Waitrose is probably in my top three. Part of that is the experience. There’s plenty of space, you can find what you want, the staff are nice and the queues are usually short.
Compared to the other supermarkets, only Booths comes close. But my experience of the rest actually puts a Tesco as my choice of the mid-range grocers.
I’ve yet to go to an Asda or Morrisons which doesn’t have huge and slow queues. Maybe it’s the systems they use, maybe it’s the training of staff. But they are slooooooow. Similarly I’m more likely to find out of stock items or empty shelves in those two than I am at a Tesco.
Sainsbury’s is always a bit of a mixed experience, but rarely easier or better than a Tesco.
- Winner: Waitrose
- Tesco: 3rd
Which supermarket has the best quality fresh produce
It’s a cliche but Waitrose and Marks stuff (oh and Booths) really does seem better than everywhere else.
Again I can’t really comment on Lidl and Aldi, but I don’t see much difference between Sainsburys and Tesco. Asda and Morrisons are definitely a level down.
- Winner: Waitrose
- Tesco: Joint 4th
Which supermarket has the greatest range of items
It depends what I’m after. If it’s a little higher end for a certain recipe, Waitrose is my first choice. But for breadth I really rate Tesco.
It has always had a good mix of low end and high end – which no doubt explains why they’ve lost to Aldi at one end and Waitrose at the other! One of the articles I read today said Tesco are going to reduce how many brands they stock so they can get deals on exclusivity. That’ll be a shame.
- Winner: Tesco (for now)
Which online supermarket is best?
I’ve ordered groceries from all the online supermarkets, and Tesco is my first choice.
The reason? You can usually get a decent midweek delivery for just £1, with a minimum shop of only £25. Asda and Sainsbury’s have the same deals but I’ve had more luck getting next day with Tesco.
If I have a big shop, then Ocado is pretty good as delivery is free on orders over £40.
- Winner: Tesco and Ocado
So is Tesco any good?
You know what, I’d say yes. If I had more time I’d cherry pick my shop using MySupermarket to split where I buy different items. But I don’t and I doubt many of you do either. Even if you’ve a Lidl nearby, you probably need to finish your shop elsewhere.
So when I’m taking into account all of the above, I’d probably chose Tesco more than any other supermarket for a big or online order.
How about you? Do you have a favourite or do you just go to the nearest place? Let me know in the comments below.