christmas party food

Fox’s biscuit selection was exclusively cheapest in Asda stores this week

It’s party time. And the offers are in full swing, with 47.3% of the items in our party-themed basket on promotion.

The Christmas deal fest – 31 of the items were on promotion with one retailer or other – meant the average basket was 2.6% cheaper month on month, with annual inflation running at just 4.8%.

Trumping them all were Sainsbury’s 18 price-only promos, 17 of them Nectar Prices deals. And once again this loyalty-card-dependent mechanic proved decisive in undercutting the shelf-edge prices of rivals.

Pipped at the post was Asda, the cheapest at £90.15 if loyalty cards aren’t included, with Sainsbury’s fully £17.69 behind at £107.84, until a late run at the checkout saw the orange retailer ease past with an extra £1.39 to spare off the back of a £19.08 saving at the till.

It looked like a sure-fire win for Asda, £7.14 ahead of nearest rival Morrisons, with the lowest price on 22 items – 10 of them exclusively cheapest, including the caramelised onion houmous, Fox’s biscuits and stilton.

Morrisons has also enjoyed a decent run of form of late – connected no doubt to the arrival of new French jockey Rami Baitieh. In fact its basket was 1.1% cheaper year on year – something we’ve not seen in what feels like years – as well as offering a 7.1% saving on the items month on month, with 14 promotions and 14 products cheapest, seven exclusively so, including the Jacob’s crackers, President Brie and Regina kitchen rolls.

The going was soft for Tesco. At £104.28 it was some £14.13 behind Asda. And even a late charge, including Clubcard Prices deals on 17 products (10 of them price-only deals), was only enough for an instant discount of £11.53, which would still have left it £2.60 more expensive than Asda and £3.99 behind Sainsbury’s.

Finally, bringing up the rear was Waitrose, fully £27.69 more expensive than Asda. Despite 17 promos it was cheapest for just four items and exclusively so for two, the chocolate cake and Quorn sausage rolls.