Tesco won the highly coveted title of Britain's Favourite Supermarket for the fourth consecutive year, but, with strong competition from rival retailers, the contest is getting closer.

Based on Nielsen's annual Homescan PanelView Survey of Attitudes to Retailers, Tesco's dominance showed in winning in four of the six criteria the candidates were measured on: range, service, stock levels and, new for 2008, social responsibility. The supermarket only lost out to M&S on quality (where Tesco came fourth, behind Waitrose) and Asda on price.

However, it was a tighter contest this year and the gap between its overall score and those of its arch-rivals has narrowed. While Tesco failed to match its score of last year (along with Iceland and Lidl) a number of competitors gained ground.

Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and The Co-operative Group all improved their total scores, with The Co-op's improvement particularly strong, though from a low base. The scores for Marks & Spencer, Aldi, Somerfield and Netto remained the same.

Other results from the survey, based on data compiled from a total of 6,530 statistically weighted households representative of the UK population, ranked Morrisons now in third place for stock levels, usurping Sainsbury's; while in the new social responsibility rankings Sainsbury's came second and Marks & Spencer was third.

The survey took place in February 2008, with panel members voting from a pre-defined list of 13 grocery retailers for their 'best' or 'second best'.