Tesco provided the cheapest of our three full baskets this week and laid claim to the Storewatch title for excellent service. At £38.47, Tesco Metro in Stretford pipped rival Asda in Perth by 30p - the exact amount by which the store had reduced its fresh penne pasta, which had a sell-by-date the same day as The Grocer 33 visit.

Our shopper said the recently refurbished Metro format, in a busy shopping precinct, had “clever shelf allocations with extensive ranges in a smaller space”. Staff were friendly and efficient, especially the checkout operators who worked at speed to cope with the lunchtime rush.

In Perth, Asda’s aisles were congested by staff replenishing shelves. Stocks of fruit and veg were particularly low.

Sainsbury’s full basket in Cardiff cost £39.38 and this week the chain reduced own label fresh pasta in line with its two main rivals, although its locally sourced potatoes were pricier. Bananas were flagged up as ‘Price chopped’ but the original price was not stated.

There was not enough space at Morrisons in Stamford for the amount of goods on show with island displays creating a “cluttered, untidy store”.

At Waitrose and Sainsbury in Haywards Heath, the till operators were praised for being “very helpful and efficient”, while both stores had problems with their freezers. Staff at Safeway in Heaton and Dundonald packed without a prompt.