Aldi plastic lids

Tesco and Sainsbury’s have staked their value-based reputations on matching Aldi on price – but it depends what’s in your basket.

In our carefully weighted trolley of 33 items, Aldi’s £43.56 bill was 12.5% cheaper than nearest rival Asda, while Tesco and Sainsbury’s trailed by 16.2% and 21% respectively.

Aldi, which is winning share again – up 5.2% in the latest 12-week Kantar results to 17 May – was cheapest on 30 of the 33 lines, exclusively on 18, including four of the seven brands in the basket – the Werthers toffees (by 40p), and the Swizzels squashies, Quorn mince and Knorr stock pot (all by 1p), with the biggest price differential on the chicken crown (by 105p).

Asda, despite its £49.78 basket being 7.1% lower than last year, was cheapest on just five items and exclusively cheapest only on the Guinness cans (by 24p) and courgettes (by 15p). Even factoring in multibuys under our new ‘all-inclusive’ total (see online for more details), Asda made only a marginal difference (74p) to its total.

Tesco’s showing underlines how competitive the market is: it matched Aldi’s price on nine items but its £51.97 basket was still £8.14 (19.3%) more expensive. If you go all-inclusive (see online) and factor in its eight multibuys (including a £4 Clubcard multibuy on three bottles of Coke Zero), shaves £2.67 off, but Aldi is still 11% cheaper.

Morrisons had a great price on the cheesecake and raspberries, but despite 11 promotions Aldi was 21% cheaper. As with Tesco if you bought into the eight multibuys, the technical cost of the 33 items comes down from £53.71 to £51.58.

Sainsbury’s price matched five items in its £55.16 total and was cheapest on only five. It didn’t help that five items in its basket have recently come off promotion.

Waitrose came last. Its £67.32 basket was 54.5% more than Aldi’s, matching the cheapest price just once, and with just two multibuys. What’s more online shoppers are set to no longer get free deliveries.