The grocery market is 'more competitive than ever', a study by Verdict Research has claimed.

Less than 24 hours before the Competition Commission releases the provisional findings of its groceries market inquiry, the study found no one chain had an exclusive hold over customers and that shoppers for food and groceries made regular use of around three stores.

Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrisons all shared more than 80% of their regular customers with other food stores and none of the big four managed to persuade a majority of their shoppers to shop with them exclusively, the study found.

“There is a common belief that because food retail has a number of very large, dominant players consumer choice is somehow stifled,” said Neil Saunders, director of consulting at Verdict Research. “In truth, it isn't - the biggest battle grocery retailers face is how to hold onto increasingly fickle customers who are able to transfer their custom elsewhere.”