Asda Norwich

Asda was exclusively cheapest on 11 items, including the Young’s pie

Inflation reared its ugly head this week, with Asda cheapest for the second week on the trot.

There was little evidence yet of the sweeping price cuts announced by Asda and Morrisons this week – the cost of our shopping list was up 7.2% compared with April 2021, and it was guest retailer Iceland in particular that struggled to keep a lid on price rises, with its total 12.3% higher than a year ago.

Sainsbury’s prices were up 8.2% on a year ago, with our winner Asda charging 8.1% more. Morrisons’ basket was up 7.8% and Waitrose’s 4%.

As to Tesco, CEO Ken Murphy said earlier this month it was focused on inflation “a little bit later and a little bit less” than rivals and these results appear to back that up – its prices were up just 2.7% compared with 12 months ago. A 13% price cut on the sunflower oil was at particular odds with the prevailing 20% inflationary trend.

Tesco wasn’t cheapest overall though. Asda’s £64.57 basket set the pace, as it offered the lowest price for 19 items, of which 11 were exclusively cheapest including the grapes, brioche burger buns, Nestlé Pure Life spring water and Young’s Admiral’s Pie.

Technically Morrisons was second, £3.66 behind Asda, cheapest on seven products and exclusively so for the brown onions, plum tomatoes and wholemeal loaf.

Tesco was 4p behind but a £3.07 discount for Clubcard users would have taken its total down to £65.20, just 63p behind Asda.

Iceland only managed fourth place. At £71.46, it was £6.89 more expensive than Asda.

Sainsbury’s £73.41 basket was less competitive than it has been of late and noticeably more expensive than its big four rivals for the Gold Blend and Oral-B toothpaste this week.

Waitrose was even further off the pace at £80.49.