Tesco picked up its fifth Grocer 33 pricing win of the year as it cranked up its promotional activity in the week before Christmas.

Our last mystery shop of 2018, which took place on 14 December, saw Tesco emerge 90p cheaper than second-placed Asda with a £60.06 total.

Last summer when it ditched its Brand Guarantee scheme, Tesco said it would instead invest in more everyday low pricing. However it was big offers that took Tesco to the win.

Of the 33 products, Tesco was carrying 11 deals, compared with Morrisons and Waitrose with eight, Asda seven and just two at Sainsbury’s.

The killer deals were a £3 half-price promotion on the Nivea for Men moisturiser and Vanish carpet cleaner reduced from £6 to £4, which were among the 14 products on which Tesco carried the cheapest price, five exclusively so. Despite fewer deals, Asda was actually cheapest on 18 lines, 10 exclusively so, including the naan breads, beef casserole, organic cauliflower and Warburtons farmhouse loaf.

Morrisons’ £62.59 total gave it third place, £2.53 more expensive than Tesco. Like Tesco, it was exclusively cheapest for five items - the Arla Skyr, chicken madras ready meal, Heinz sauce, Liberté honey yoghurt and Propercorn sharing bag. Asda remains well out in front in terms of total wins with 16 so far this year.

While it was a pretty competitive week between Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, Sainsbury’s was more than a tenner more expensive than Tesco at £70.58, with four items in particular - the Birds Eye cod fillets, Carte D’Or ice cream, Nivea and Vanish - doing the damage.

Waitrose was even further off the pace. Over £15 more expensive than Tesco - with the Madras chicken and beef casserole, rather than any brands, making the biggest difference.