12.07.2021 - Products & services

The UK’s favourite supermarkets


A new report by The Grocer has revealed the UK’s favourite supermarket depending on age and gender.

The report follows a difficult year for the retail sector. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way consumers operate, resulting in businesses changing the way they work, perhaps for good.

Now we are past the days of panic buying, the shift to e-commerce is the biggest change for grocery stores.

We’ve previously discussed the change in omnichannel retailing, and how it’s hard to predict what a post-pandemic retail landscape will look like. We know online will be sticking around and continue to grow, with up to 77% of shoppers now completing at least part of their weekly food shop using the internet.

Here is a look at what this latest report tells us about consumer attitudes moving forward.

What the report shows us

The Grocer polled 1,000 shoppers to determine which was their favourite out of 10 retailers, ranking them based on age and gender.

Tesco was consistently chosen as the favourite supermarket, regardless of age and gender. It was voted top by 25% of men and 27% of women and ranked first throughout the age groups. Asda, Aldi, Lidl and Sainsburys then fill out the rest of the top five in that order.  

In the 18 – 24 age group, Asda was much more popular, taking 22% of the vote, compared with 25% for Tesco.

Waitrose took 5% of the votes for both men and women, steadily climbing up the rankings as the age groups got older.

Overall, many factors are at play when it comes to supermarket preference, including affordability, levels of disposable income and the shopping experience, both in-store and online.

The rise of online

There’s little doubt that home delivery options have impacted public rankings. Lockdown restrictions meant consumers who had not used online shopping prior to the pandemic, had to turn to it out of necessity.

According to Kantar’s 2020 Omnichannel report, the UK saw e-commerce purchases among the over-65s rising from 13% to 20%, with rural shoppers growing from 23% to 30%.

The exceptional rise of home delivery and online shopping has meant supermarkets have adapted their online platforms to accommodate increased sales and change their hiring priorities.

Shops with established home delivery platforms, such as Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco, no doubt performed better in the rankings. Being able to meet the sudden demand for online shopping gave them a distinct advantage on shops such as Lidl and Aldi, which set up alternatives via the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Lower ranking shops, such as Co-op and Marks & Spencer, were also the retailers without establish e-commerce platforms prior to the pandemic.

Other retail trends to consider

However, online shopping options are not the only changes to consider. Consumers are more open to the concept of subscriptions, thanks to the likes of Amazon Prime disrupting the grocery market with free, fast delivery.

So far, Tesco is the only major supermarket to jump onto this trend. While Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Co-op all have some form of loyalty rewards system, Tesco is the only one to fully embrace the subscription function.

Its standard Clubcard remains free, but has been bolstered by a new, monthly subscription – Clubcard Plus – that provides greater in-store savings in a move to drive bricks and mortar footfall.

Furthermore, lockdown has given everyone time to rethink certain priorities. As a result, the pandemic seems to have triggered greater interest in sustainable shopping.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s have both recently announced new in-store initiatives to encourage more sustainable living, including recycling drives and removing single-use plastics.

At WEPA, we are excited to see the positive changes as we move out of the pandemic. Whether that’s retailers more tuned in to consumers’ needs, or a stronger focus on sustainability.

Keep an eye on our LinkedIn channels to find out how we at WEPA plan on doing the same. We cater for any kind of retail, with a range of product sizes ideal for convenience and online channels, as well as large-scale pack sizes for wholesalers.

Visit our products page to find out more.