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Asda was narrowly cheaper than Sainsbury’s and Tesco this week but would have been undercut by both after factoring in their loyalty pricing.

At £72.14, Asda was just 33p cheaper than Sainsbury’s at the shelf-edge. This was despite offering the lowest price for 15 items and coming in exclusively cheapest for nine products. These included the Big Tom juice, chorizo and houmous.

Sainsbury’s loyalty scheme members would, however, have received Nectar Prices discounts to the tune of £3.25. This would have made the bill £2.92 cheaper than Asda.

It was a similar story at Tesco, where Clubcard Prices shoppers would benefit from a £3 discount. This would have reduced Tesco’s total to £70.70 – £1.44 cheaper than Asda. However, it would still have been £1.48 more expensive than Sainsbury’s after discounts were applied at both retailers.

The results, which show how key loyalty has become in terms of the supermarket price wars, come in the week that the CMA kicked off an inquiry into loyalty schemes. The probe will explore whether loyalty prices offered by supermarkets are “genuine promotions” and “as good a deal as presented”.

Morrisons has previously dipped its toe into loyalty pricing, but that is yet to impact the Grocer 33. New CEO Rami Baitiéh hinted it could look to run more loyalty prices but would not be drawn on whether it would introduce thousands of such deals like Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Even so, Morrisons was competitive this week. At £74.35, it was just £2.21 pricier than Asda.

Last time out Waitrose was surprisingly competitive. There were no such shocks this week – it came in £12.71 more expensive than Asda at £84.85. This was despite being exclusively cheapest for five items, including the Nature’s Path cereal.