Shoppers looking to tighten their belts after the Christmas blowout could save money by online shopping at Morrisons, according to a new Which? survey.
The consumer group’s analysis found that on average, the Bradford-based supermarket offered the cheapest online groceries, based on a basket containing 77 popular branded products including Andrex toilet roll, Hovis bread and Cathedral City cheddar cheese.
It is the second year in a row that Morrisons has emerged as the most economical place to shop on the web. Its basket of goods cost £156.46, which was £1.53 less than second-placed Asda and £14.33 less than Waitrose, which ranked sixth. Which? said switching a monthly shop from Waitrose to Morrisons would save shoppers around £170 a year, based on buying the same basket of goods each time.
Which? editor Harry Rose said: “Many of us will be looking to save money following the festive season, so shoppers will be pleased to know that they don’t have to pay over the odds for their favourite brands.”
He said shoppers could also save money by “shopping smarter” and swapping from branded to supermarket own-label products.
The traditional supermarket groups are fighting a rearguard action against the discounters Aldi and Lidl as more shoppers defect to the no-frills German chains to save money as food prices rise.
According to food market analysts Kantar Worldpanel, two-thirds of UK households visited a discounter over Christmas, handing Aldi and Lidl their biggest ever slice of spending as political uncertainty prompted shoppers to keep a tight hold on their wallets.
Aldi sold nearly £1bn of goods in the UK last month and in the week before Christmas its sales were up 10% on the same week the previous year. Lidl said on Friday its sales in the final six weeks of 2018 were up 8%.
The UK grocery market is worth around £190bn a year, but while there has been a shopping revolution in non-food goods – with 31% of sales moving on to the internet – online sales for food are still around 6% of the total, with Britons seemingly reluctant to make the switch.
Amazon, however, is growing fast. The Kantar data shows its grocery sales surged 16% in the last three months of 2018.
“Unlike its high street counterpart, the grocery market has been less affected by the move to online,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.
Online grocery shopping is up only 3.9% compared to this time last year. McKevitt said: “Online grocery shopping is failing to attract new customers. Amazon remains one to watch.”
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