Supermarkets in the UK

Which supermarket do we prefer in the UK?


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As you grow older, it often happens that you choose a certain supermarket and stick to it. Maybe it’s got the best selection of baked goods or the most helpful staff, or maybe we’re all simply creatures of habit.
We do go to the supermarket quite a lot in the UK. In fact, the average person goes 1-2 times per week. Our weekly spend at grocery stores this year is £3 billion, and it was closer to £3.5 billion during the Christmas week of 2018 – that’s a £46 weekly shop per person in the UK (though the most savvy shoppers take advantage of grocery discounts to cut the bill!). Given how often we go to the shops, it’s ironic that we also waste a considerable amount of food. Did you know that each household throws away £700 worth of food each year, equal to £60 per month?


is the average weekly spend in grocery stores in the UK.

Where do we shop?

Boasting over a quarter of the market share (27.4%), the most popular supermarket in the UK is undoubtedly Tesco. Sainsbury’s comes in second place with 15.5% of the market share, while Asda comes in just behind it in third place with 15.2%. The big brands aren’t for everyone though, as 1.8% of us reportedly prefer smaller and possibly local vendors.
Supermarket Percentage
Tesco 27.4%
Sainsbury’s 15.5%
Asda 15.2%
Morrisons 10.4%
Aldi 7.6%
Co-op 6.6%
Lidl 5.5%
Waitrose 5.0%
Iceland 2.1%
Other multiples 1.8%

Did you know...

Every day we throw away:
5.8 million potatoes
1.3 million apples
1.5 million tomatoes
1.5 million sausages
300,000 unopened packets of food items

How often do you go to the shop?

The majority of us are organised enough to at least attempt to get the majority of our shopping done in one go, with 56% of us opting to buy food 1-2 times per week. 30% of Brits try to minimise how much they carry out the door, shopping 3-4 times per week. 2% of us make a quick stop at the shop to get food for today and today only, heading to the shop as often as 7-8 times per week!
How often Percentage
1-2 times per week 56%
3-4 times per week 30%
5-6 times per week 9%
7-8 times per week 2%

The plastic

Since 5 October 2015, stores are required to charge at least 5p for plastic carrier bags. This initiative was meant to reduce the use of plastic bags and encourage customers to use fewer bags or reuse the ones they’ve already bought. Has this new law changed our behaviour?
Supermarket Price per bag
Co-op 5p
Aldi 6p
M&S 6p
Sainsbury's 10p
Tesco 10p
Waitrose 10p
Asda 15p
Iceland 15p
Morrisons 20p
Unfortunately for our oceans, not necessarily. Out of the nine most visited supermarkets in the UK, five of them have seen an increase in carrier bag sales during the last 12 months. The most popular supermarket in Britain, Tesco, has seen an increase of 92% in the sale of single-use plastic carrier bags from 2017-2018 to 2018-2019. Morrisons’ sales have also seen an increase, albeit a lower one than Tesco, at 4.5%. Similarly, sales at Co-op rose by 4.4%, at M&S by 0.2%, and finally, at Waitrose by 0.08%. The government is looking into raising the minimum price of a plastic bag from 5p to 10p – maybe that will help us remember to bring the bags we already have at home.
2016-2017 2017-2018 2008-2019
Tesco 121.74 mil 332.74 mil 637.2 mil
Asda 106.89 mil 192.97 mil 165.8 mil
Morrisons 65.07 mil 183.27 mil 191.5 mil
Co-op 53.92 mil 120.63 mil 125.9 mil
Iceland 61 mil 101.62 mil 100.2 mil
M&S 55.53 mil 92.29 mil 92.5 mil
Aldi 38.13 mil 75.5 mil 67.2 mil
Waitrose 50.31 mil 62.75 mil 62.8 mil
Sainsbury's 53.47 mil 53.95 mil 51.8 mil

Online food shopping

Even if you do have a favourite shop, it’s not always fun to actually go there, put your food into your basket, stand in line and then carry those 20lbs home. Online food shopping is a comfortable alternative and a good way to save some time. Each year, more and more people try it out, with 28% of Brits reporting that they’ve ordered their groceries to their door in 2018, 2% more than 2017.
Year Percentage
2011 21
2012 17
2013 21
2014 23
2015 23
2016 26
2017 26
2018 28

Who’s shopping online?

Out of respondents aged 16-24 years old, 25% say they purchased groceries online at least once in 2018. Online grocery shopping is most popular among 35-44 year olds, though, as 48% of them reported that they clicked home the goodies in 2018. The 65+ age bracket is the least interested in getting food via the world wide web, with only 11% reporting that they ordered groceries online.
How often we order varies, but around one in five (22%) of us order weekly. The majority of respondents (39%) order once or twice per month, while 36% of us order even less often.
Age Percentage
16-24 25%
25-34 38%
35-44 48%
45-54 30%
55-64 20%
65+ 11%


Kantar Worldpanel
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)

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Matt Mckenna
UK Communications Manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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