At Number 1 is Waitrose.
Score: 9.5 /10
Price v Value for Money: Waitrose’s own label prices for weekly staples (sliced bread, butter, milk…) are very competitive and often as not will be at a similar level to ones at Sainsbury’s & Tesco. But stray away to the more enticing products at your cost!
Shopping Experience: You can almost taste the quality as you trundle your trolley down the aisles. The ambience and food in their cafe competes well with Marks & Spencer.
Negative: Like Ocado, Waitrose’s Own Label products insist on using ‘sodium,’ so you have to multiply it by 2.5 to get the salt level. Not helpful if you are watching your salt intake.
Positives: Their partnership brands, Heston from Waitrose & Duchy Originals from Waitrose are real treats for their shoppers that want to try something extra special. Their website www.waitrose.com has improved big time and it now includes nutritional values for most of their products sold online. They have the most interesting wine & spirit section of any of the supermarkets. Check them all out on the Can I Eat It? UK iPhone App.
At Number 2 is Ocado – An independent online retailer for Ocado, Waitrose, Essential Waitrose & Branded products.
Score: 9 /10
Price v Value for Money: Both Ocado and Waitrose’s own label prices for weekly staples (sliced bread, butter, milk…) are at a similar price level to ones at Sainsbury’s & Tesco.
Online Shopping Experience: The online staff are very knowledgeable about both food and drink.
Negative: Like Waitrose, Ocado’s Own Label products insist on using ‘sodium,’ so you have to multiply it by 2.5 to get the salt level. Not helpful if you are watching your salt intake.
Positive: On many occasions we have found that Ocado’s online prices work out a few pence cheaper than Waitrose’s online prices. For example, Rachel’s Organic Greek Style Yogurt is £1.50 at Ocado and £2.00 at Waitrose or buy two for £3.50! It is always worth checking out both websites for the best price deal for your shopping list.
Moreover: If you can get the Waitrose online shopping experience and quality at a cheaper price at Ocado, then it has to be your number 1. End of.
At Number 3 is Marks & Spencer
Price v Value for Money: The quality is excellent and they certainly lead the way with their ‘Meal for Two’ offers.
Shopping Experience: Although you can’t do your complete weekly shop at Marks & Spencer, they have improved the shopping experience by adding brands, thus offering an alternative to their own label.
Negative: You obviously can’t do your complete weekly shop at Marks & Spencer.
Positive: M&S’s pre-packed fruit & vegetables are as good as you’ll find on any greengrocer’s shelf.
At Number 4 is Sainsbury’s.
Price v Value for Money: Similar price structure and quality of pre-packed products to Asda, Morrisons & Tesco, but Sainsbury’s freshly baked breads and pastries are the best of the big five.
Shopping Experience: Well laid out stores with friendly and efficient staff that make your trolley trundle the best of the big five supermarkets.
Negative: Nutrition labelling and cooking instructions are at times too small.
Positives: Their ready meals and own label packaging have improved big time.
At number 5 is The Co-operative.
Price v Value for Money: The quality continues to get better and better with the prices in the larger format stores now almost on a par with Sainsbury’s & Tesco – a big improvement on four years ago.
Shopping Experience: The refurbished stores are a delight to shop in, even if, in some cases, the staff can seem a little slow!
Negative: The floor and checkout staff seem rather less efficient than the ones from Waitrose, Marks & Spencer & Sainsbury’s.
Positive: Their fresh meat is of local butcher quality and the nutritional labelling of their food and wine is the best on the supermarket shelves.
At Number 6 is Morrisons.
Price v Value for Money: Similar price structure and quality of pre-packed products to Asda & Tesco.
Shopping Experience: Staff are friendly, but some shoppers may find them a little too informal.
Negative: Many Morrisons stores are found on the outskirts of town.
Positives: Morrisons scores with its range of bottled beers and its Fresh Fish counter. Moreover, a few of their high profile stores, Gamston in Nottinghamshire, for example, have a wonderful range of weird fruit & vegetables with helpful how to use notes. A must try for foodies.
At Number 7 is Asda.
Price v Value for Money: Similar price structure and quality of pre-packed products to Morrisons & Tesco.
Shopping Experience: The staff are cheerful and most helpful and, while not as knowledgeable as the ones from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s & Marks & Spencer, but of extremely acceptable standard.
Negatives: The food in their cafe is poor. As with Tesco the fresh fish & meat counters are a big step down from Morrisons with their service and quality. The fruit & veg. is not as consistent or as good as Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s or The Co-operative. The freshly baked bread is a notch below Sainsbury’s and no better than Lidl’s fresh bread from their in-store bakery.
Positives: The prices across the board are always very competitive. The packaging of their Smart Price range has improved big time and their children’s clothes are real winners.
At Number 8 is Tesco.
Price v Value for Money: Similar price structure and quality of pre-packed food products to Asda & Morrisons.
Shopping Experience: Easy store layout and excellent parking.
Negative: The staff seem the least at ease of the big five supermarkets. The fresh fish & meat counters are a big step down from Morrisons with their service and quality. The fruit & veg. is not as consistent or as good as Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s or The Co-operative. The freshly baked bread is a notch below Sainsbury’s and no better than Lidl’s fresh bread from their in-store bakery. The food in the cafe is better than Asda’s, but a big step down from Waitrose.
Positives: Like Asda the prices across the board are always very competitive. Their own brand dairy products compete with the other supermarkets on all fronts. The packaging of their ‘Value’ range has improved big time! So much so that you no longer look like the ‘poor relation’ if you put their repackaged ‘Everyday Value’ range in your trolley.
At Number 9 is Aldi.
Price v Value for Money: Seriously cheap!
Shopping Experience: This is a ‘no frills’ supermarket, so don’t expect a trolley trundle with a Waitrose or Sainsbury’s type of ambience.
Negatives: Their fresh fruit & veg is variable, and they don’t have a customer service desk, which is a real disadvantage.
Positives: Their jams, pre-packed meats, biscuits and chocolates are as good as any you’ll find on any supermarket shelves. Their clear and easy to read nutritional and allergen labelling is better than most.
At Number 10 is Lidl.
Price v Value for Money: Like Aldi, this a seriously cheap supermarket. End of.
Shopping Experience: This is another ’no frills’ supermarket, so don’t expect a Sainsbury’s-type standard of fitting and presentation on your trolley trundle.
Negatives: As with Aldi their fresh fruit & veg quality is variable, and they don’t have a customer service desk, which is a real disadvantage. We get more moans from customers about Lidl than about all the other supermarkets put together, often citing the apparent impossibility of contacting stores. Moreover, their impossible-to-read multi-language labels are a disgrace.
Positives: The bread quality has improved with their recently added in-store bakery and their jams, pre-packed meats, biscuits and chocolates are as good as any you’ll find on any supermarket shelves.
Below are the 5star products that are on the Can I Eat It? iPhone App. from UK’s top ten supermarkets. Buy the App and scan or enter the barcode/s below. Enjoy
Waitrose Brut Blanc de Noirs, Champagne, Champagne, France
Duchy Originals from Waitrose Organic Dry Reserve Cider
Want a well-crafted dry cider? Put a bottle or two of this in the trolley.
Heston from Waitrose Lapsang Souchong Tea Smoked Salmon
The delicate and integrated smoky flavour from the Lapsang Souchong tea works really well. If the price fits – put a pack in the trolley.
Competing Brands: John West & Young’s
Ocado’s fresh fruit is as good as you’ll find anywhere. If the size and price fits – put a pack in the basket.
Marks & Spencer Digestive Biscuits
Want a cheaper alternative to the leading brand without trading down in quality? Put pack of these in the trolley.
Competing Brand: McVitie’s
Sainsbury’s High Juice Pink Grapefruit, 50% Fruit
Want pink grapefruit high juice? You won’t find better tasting on the supermarket shelf. Put a bottle or two in the trolley. Nutritional values are diluted 1 to 4 parts water per 100ml.
Competing Brand: Robinsons
The Co-operative French Premium Lager, France
Put a pack in the trolley – the lager tastes as good as the brand.
Competing Brand: Kronenbourg
MORRISONS Wheat Biscuits, Cereals
With or without milk, these wheat biscuits present similar quality to the brand. Put a pack in the trolley.
Competing Brand: Weetabix
ASDA Extra Special Dao, Red Wine of Portugal
Looking for a wine to complement gutsy and spicy food? Put a bottle of this chunky flavoursome red wine in the trolley.
Tesco Organic Strong White Flour
Want organic strong white flour for baking? If the size and price fits – put a bag in the trolley.
ALDI Specially Selected Parma Prosciutto di Parma Italian Parma Ham, Italy
Selected legs of Italian pork are hand-rubbed with sea salt and slowly cured for 14 months. As good as you’ll find on the supermarket shelves. Put a pack in the trolley.
LIDL Maribel Apricot Conserve, 50% Fruit Content
An excellent balance between the pronounced apricots, acidity and sweetness. Better than the brand. Put a jar in the trolley.
Competing Brand: Hartley’s