Asda has ratcheted up the battle for Christmas with the launch of an all-frozen Christmas dinner deal for just £22.

Tesco was first to introduce a bargain Christmas dinner meal deal, which offers dinner for five for under £25 including a 1.5kg turkey crown, roast potatoes and trimmings.

The deal, which comes in at £24.05, is being promoted in Tesco’s Christmas TV ad and in an interview with Ashwin Prasad last week was singled out by Tesco’s chief product officer as an “iconic” and groundbreaking promotion. 

But Asda responded last Friday with a similar deal coming in at just under £22, for the same products plus a larger turkey. 

It’s all part of the competition to offer the best value this Christmas. “The grocers are working tirelessly to convey value in the communication they have with their core customers,” says Richard Lim, CEO of Retail Economics.

And this move is a good one, he believes. “This is an intelligent position of a proposition that strikes at the heart of the festive season and what’s important to consumers.”

The aim behind the strategy is not just to push sales of the bundle itself, but to provide a gateway into persuading shoppers to base their whole Christmas shop at that supermarket. 

“The Christmas shop extends well beyond Christmas dinner,” says Lim. “The retailer where people decide to do their main shop for Christmas dinner comes attached with lots of other supplementary purchases that go around that, so this offer is a really important tactic to secure market share.”

This makes the deal an important battleground for Tesco and Asda, and it is essential they get the quality of the deal right in order to appeal to shoppers.

Read more: Heron Foods launches cheapest frozen Christmas dinner deal yet

Tesco and Asda’s deals offer a similar selection of products: a frozen turkey, pigs in blankets and Yorkshire puddings, as well as a kilogram each of peas, carrots and sprouts, and 800g of roast potatoes.

Asda of course has the draw of being slightly cheaper, and also includes a larger turkey. Asda offers a whole small turkey, weighing approximately 2.6kg, while Tesco’s small turkey crown weighs a lesser 1.5kg.

Tesco offers more for your money on trimmings though. Its pack of pigs in blankets includes 20 items compared to Asda’s 12. And Tesco offers a larger pack of Yorkshire puddings, at 15 to Asda’s 12.

The deals seem to be paying off, with Tesco already saying it has sold large volumes of the deals as shoppers stock up early for Christmas. “Shoppers have been purchasing a lot of Christmas lines a lot sooner than would normally be the case,” says Sarah Guy, store manager of Tesco Callington. “We’ve sold many of these because they’re frozen lines, so people can buy early and have it ready.”

Ocado has also entered the frozen Christmas dinner arena, with its premium £30 offering targeting a slightly different customer base. The deal includes parsnips, stuffing balls and cauliflower cheese, but without any sprouts or carrots.

Ocado’s deal does not include a whole turkey, instead offering a stuffed turkey breast joint wrapped in bacon, which serves four to six people. Whereas Tesco and Asda offer own-brand items, Ocado’s bundle includes Aunt Bessie’s products and Birds Eye garden peas.

Frozen Christmas dinners also hold one other benefit: reducing food waste. Last year, Richard Harrow, CEO of the British Frozen Food Federation, called for next Christmas to be “a frozen one” to reduce the amount of food thrown away. “Experts from the BFFF calculate buying frozen turkey, especially turkey crowns, significantly cuts festive food waste,” said Harrow at the time, urging supermarket buyers to “commit to ordering more frozen turkey next Christmas”.