Aldi named ‘UK’s top supermarket’
M&S came second in the in-store supermarkets table after receiving a five-star rating for the appearance and layout of its stores and the quality of its own-label and fresh products.
In joint-third place were Lidl, Tesco and Waitrose. Much like its rival Aldi, Lidl performed well when it came to value for money, achieving four-star ratings, but it failed to impress customers in other categories.
Which? surveyed more than 3,000 members of the public about their experience with supermarkets, asking customers to rate their shopping experience in a range of categories such as in-store appearance and layout, quality of produce, availability of online delivery slots, and value for money.
German discounter Aldi emerged as the top in-store supermarket in the UK after receiving a five-star rating for value for money and a 73% customer score.
Although Aldi received mediocre ratings across all other categories, including two stars for store layout and three stars for the quality of its own-label products and fresh food, price was the most important consideration for customers when choosing where to shop.
In 2020, Aldi was the cheapest supermarket to shop in six of the eight months it was included in Which?’s monthly supermarket price analysis.
Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, said: “We know that demand for great quality products at unbeatable prices has never been higher. That is why we are investing in Britain by opening new stores and creating new ways to shop with us.
“With the uncertainty that so many of us are facing, it is no surprise that price is top of shoppers’ agendas, which is why our clear promise to customers is so important – we are proud to be Britain’s lowest-priced supermarket and we always will be.”
In this year’s online supermarket survey, Ocado fell to joint-fifth place alongside Waitrose and Morrisons.
Ocado struggled to meet demand when the pandemic hit and was ultimately forced to close its website and app. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it received just two-star ratings for the availability of delivery slots.
It also received two-stars for value for money, reflecting its regular appearance as the second-most expensive supermarket after Waitrose in Which?’s monthly analysis.
One Ocado customer told Which?: “During the first lockdown I really struggled to get delivery slots, despite being officially classified as vulnerable and having a monthly delivery pass.”
Best online supermarket
Which? found Sainsbury’s to be the highest-scoring online supermarket with an overall customer score of 71% and a four-star rating for the availability of delivery slots.
It was also named a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) for its online service. The company’s high standards for food hygiene and clear nutritional labelling on its own-brand products also contributed to the decision to name it a WRP.
Harry Rose, Which? magazine editor, said: “Many households have felt the pinch during the pandemic, and value for money was the most important factor when shopping in-store in our annual supermarket survey – which explains why Aldi came out on top.
“Online supermarkets have also been a lifeline for many people during the pandemic, and while Sainsbury’s rose to the challenge by massively increasing its delivery capacity, Ocado’s reputation took a hit after the scale of demand meant it stopped accepting new customers and shut down its app at the height of lockdown.”