Moneywise Home Finances Awards 2015 Part 3: Supermarkets
Best value for money
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Lidl
Best shopping experience
HIGHLY COMMENDED: M&S
Best reward scheme
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Waitrose
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Tesco
The average household spends more than £3,000 a year on groceries, excluding alcohol. Unlike many areas of household spending, that has not increased very much in recent years and has been one of the major downward factors on household spending. That is in no small part down to the rise of Aldi and Lidl, whose customers have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of produce available in these budget retailers.
However, these challenger supermarkets are yet to offer the range of services available of the main players, who were recognised by readers for their reward schemes and online shopping services.
WHAT WE LOOKED AT
We awarded four prizes in the supermarkets category this year to reflect the different propositions available.
Readers were asked to vote on customer service, value for money, shopping experiences, both online and instore, the quality and range of produce, and the loyalty schemes available. They also said how likely they are to recommend their service to friends and family.
It’s probably no surprise that Aldi and Lidl lead the tables for value for money, and the question was always going to be which scored top. The difference between the two was slight, with Aldi scoring 4.78 out of five, while Lidl was rated 4.74. Of their competitors, Asda was the only other provider to receive a score of above four, which should give food for thought to the big players.
You might have expected the premium grocers, Waitrose and M&S, to score lowest for value for money, but their customers were willing to pay for quality. Instead, the Co-op received the lowest score here, and by quite a margin.
You said Waitrose offered a better shopping experience than any other supermarket, whether that’s buying in store or online. M&S ranked second, for both in-store and online shopping.
Interestingly, Tesco was the only supermarket to get a higher score for online shopping than for in store. It ranked third for its online experience, but second from bottom for in-store experiences.
Again, the under-fire Co-op received the lowest score for shopping experiences, but in its defence it was only slightly below four out of five in this category, so you all seem fairly happy with your shopping experiences overall.
Tesco has been under pressure for well over a year, and it seems its only recently decided to keep Dunhumby, the company that manages the clubcard scheme, because it couldn’t find a suitable buyer. That may prove in the supermarket’s favour, as Britain’s first loyalty scheme has been recognised as still the best, based on your votes.
Waitrose was highly commended for its relatively new My Waitrose scheme, which offers something genuinely different. Free papers and coffee won people over at first but the move to offer a more personalised reward scheme by letting people choose which items they can get a discount on has proven a winner.
In the main event, Waitrose was seen as the best all-round supermarket, leading the pack in terms of customer service, shopping experience and quality and range of produce. Indeed, Waitrose’s score for quality of produce was one of the highest in any category for any product area, at 4.7 out of five.