Tesco store sign

Tesco was exclusively cheapest for the baby new potatoes and flapjacks

This week Tesco revealed the new look for its Clubcard Prices marketing having lost a trademark battle with Lidl. While that rollout will have been seen as a nuisance, the initiative itself continues to pay off: it once again made the difference in determining our cheapest retailer.

At first glance, it was Asda making the running. It came in £2.77 cheaper than Tesco based on shelf-edge prices. Its £67.67 total included the lowest price for 18 products, of which seven were exclusively cheapest.

However, Clubcard Prices meant Tesco shoppers received a £6.25 discount, which reduced its total to £64.19, undercutting Asda by £3.48 in the process. The discount equated to a 8.9% saving for shoppers with a Clubcard. And while annual inflation on its basket was 1%, while average inflation was 2.9%, it was –4.3% for Clubcard members (and drove down average inflation from 2.9% to 1.2%).

At £70.61, Morrisons came in third based on shelf-edge prices. It was cheapest for 12 products and exclusively so for seven.

Sainsbury’s was £3.89 more expensive than Asda at £71.56, and its loyalty-based pricing did not have as dramatic an impact as Tesco this time. Sainsbury’s was offering Nectar members a discount of £2.40, reducing the retailer’s total to £69.16. This was still £1.49 more expensive than Asda and just under a fiver more expensive than Tesco once both retailers’ loyalty schemes were accounted for.

Tesco offered loyalty-based prices on 11 items, while for Sainsbury’s it was just four.

Waitrose was a long way off the pace. Despite matching Tesco on price-only promotions, its £76.93 trolley was £12.74 pricier than Tesco’s Clubcard Prices total. It was at least exclusively cheapest for the Blue Dragon hoisin sauce, Domestos bathroom cleaner spray and smoked haddock fillets.