Tesco was again voted in second place overall - it came second on price, range, service and availability after Asda knocked it off the winner's podium for range and service. Shoppers were also less sure about Tesco's quality, for which it could only achieve fourth place, after M&S, Sainsbury and Asda. Sainsbury was voted in third place overall. It came third for range, service and availability, but Kwik Save took the third place spot for price.
Shoppers evidently love EDLP and Asda's work with Rollback, and the fact it was best value in The Grocer 33 survey for the fifth year running hasn't been lost on them.
But the key difference this year is that Asda's work to turn its customer service up a notch is paying off. TV ads showing ultra-helpful staff have struck a cord while the much-heralded greeters have helped form the public perception that its stores are getting better at serving shoppers. Being voted the best UK employer recently has also done it a favour -- staff feel the benefit, and the image rubs off on the public, too.
Marks and Spencer finished just outside the top three, helped by its strong quality performance, while Morrisons came a respectable fifth ahead of Safeway, and Somerfield took the booby prize.
Asda shoppers prove to be loyal fans
Breaking down the figures, Asda did well when consumers who did their main shop there were asked to score it compared with the other chains. Asda shoppers rated Asda as the best retailer at a significantly higher level than Tesco regulars scored their local Tesco store - but this could be due to the fact that Tesco simply has a variety of fascias so people's experience of the Tesco brand is less consistent.
Asda, Sainsbury, Tesco and Morrisons shoppers all reckoned their stores were best at everything, while Kwik Save shoppers thought Asda was best for range and availability.
And shoppers' views on those retailers they didn't visit also make compelling reading.
Non-Asda and non-M&S shoppers had better perceptions of those stores than any others, while at the other end of the scale those who didn't shop in Kwik Save, the Co-operative Group, Waitrose, Safeway and Somerfield all liked those stores least. Non-Tesco and Sainsbury shoppers were less harsh about the chains.
Evidently, even if consumers don't shop in Asda, they have a very good perception of what it's about, so the multiple gets its message across well. It may be that many of these shoppers would like to visit an Asda, but don't live near one.
This is reinforced by its dominance around the country. Regionally, Asda came out top in six of the 10 regions - Scotland, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Tyne Tees, Wales and the Midlands - while Tesco came top in the more densely populated southern regions, except London, where Sainsbury topped the bill.
Tesco is still very strong in its heartland, as is Sainsbury, but as Asda reformats its stores in the south, it could prove more of a risk to its rivals as it gains ground.
And the pace isn't slowing as it's just opened its biggest superstore in Eastlands, Manchester, along with its first food-only small store format in London this month - covering off both ends of the grocery scale. Asda reckons it pulls in a million new shoppers through its doors a year as it opens new stores and improves its offer - and it'll be looking to better that.
It seems Wal-Mart's little brother is coming up trumps in so many areas that more and bigger stores will only help boost its market share. Indeed, Asda boasts it is the sector's fastest growing retailer and that it will overtake Sainsbury to become the number two player in the UK market by the end of this year.
Judging by these figures, it's a claim that doesn't look that far-fetched.