Asda claimed a hat-trick of wins to maintain its perfect start to the current Grocer 33 pricing year.
As with two weeks ago, however, its margin of victory was paper thin and came with a hefty £5.78 coupon-based giveaway.
That’s because its £56.31 trolley was just 6p cheaper than runner-up Morrisons, echoing its 2p winning margin over the same retailer a fortnight ago.
The narrow win came despite Asda offering the lowest price for 18 items on our shopping list, with 10 of these being exclusively cheapest including a number of fresh and chilled products like the milk, ham, grapes and peaches.
That compares with 14 items that were cheapest at Morrisons, six exclusively so, with the John Frieda shampoo (see right) on which an offer price of just £4 made it £2 cheaper than the other retailers, making a big difference.
With the recent news that Tesco is set to scrap its Brand Guarantee initiative in just over a week’s time, it will be interesting to see how long Asda continues. Perhaps it’s parked it in the long grass as redemptions are understood to be low. It’s a cheaper mechanic than £5 off £40 too, for those Asda shoppers who are prepared to keep coming back.
As for Tesco, it did not have to make any discounts as it came in cheapest for the branded items on our list for the second week running. And underlining the point that Tesco has made about its improved competitiveness versus three years ago, its £56.85 total was just 54p more expensive than Asda’s.
Despite Sainsbury’s recent investment in pricing (which had a knock-on effect on like-for-like sales growth in its Q1 results this week) its £61.16 basket cost almost a fiver more than Asda’s. But the real outlier was Waitrose at £68.19. Asda was £11.88 (or 17.4%) cheaper.