Supermarket snobbery

Interesting that Waitrose are closing stores - frankly many of their items are just too expensive, others are fine.

Over the years I’ve used most supermarkets. Seems I now tend to diversify for different items.

Tesco are always good value but I’m not sure how ethical their business is - their fruit/veg aisles in my nearest large store are poor and cheap rubbish foods are piled high, but it fits the demographics of the store location I’d have to say. The larger supermarket a couple of miles away is more upmarket as odd as that may sound.

Used to mostly shop at the local Sainsbury’s but it’s now torture as they rarely have anyone on the tills, and I can’t stand self scanning a trolley load of food. Have probably had more manky meat from Sainsbury’s than anywhere else in recent years. Dairy and cheese generally very good especially their own brand organic stuff, I do like their pre-packaged pre-cooked meats.

ASDA - rarely go there as none close by.

Waitrose - started shopping there in the last 4-5 years once I didcovered where the suburban store was - lovely staff/ethos, you don’t get rushed at the tills as you do at the discounters, and this must be a factor the older generations like irrespective of any perceived quality differences.
I personally think most of their wine is crap, but fruit/veg generally seems good quality as does fresh meat/dairy. Constantlly seeing large amount of trivially discounted foodstuffs there, especially their organic milk which I love as it’s not homogenised, but the kids hate it due to creamy lumps. Frankly they are simply overpriced in many areas - good sausages mind you.

Morrison’s - I have shopped there a lot in the last 2 years - don’t really like the place but they have some great meat, proper butchers and crucially Amazon lockers, and the local store is close to my local gym and I go there most days. Location, location, location…

M&S - generally good quality veg/fruit, reasonable wine selection, lot of nice pe-packaged nibbles but ultimately as extortionate as Waitrose.

Co-op - have had great buys in many ‘local’ stores in recent years, they do the basics well.

Aldi/Lidl - how crazy is it that I now got to Waitrose for some items then call in the adjacent Lidl for unique high quality items or simply identical cheaper ones. Beyond the basic pretty unhealthy food staples we get stacked high everywhere, they have fanstastic value herbs/spices/tinned products/meat/dairy products and so forth from across Europe (Brexit hmmm…) - picked up a couple of cheap 21 day aged tomahawk steaks yesteday. A few months ago they had frozen sardines, great for the BBQ, just over a quid but £5 for a similar item in Waitrose - we have been hoodwinked for too long by brand liability and corporate greed. The weekly specials are also great. Frozen foodstuffs and fresh meat products are often great value.

Iceland - I’ve gone off frozen food apart from a few item like peas - I have 2 freezers full of stuff I’ll probably never eat as I prefer to cook fresh food!

Perhaps this is a bit of a rambling comparison, but I find it odd that I now either shop at the perceived high-end shops like Waitrose/M&S or Lidl/Aldi and rarely at Tesco/Sainburys these days.

Thoughts please?

Home Bargains is another winner for stuff like kitchen rolls, detergents etc. Finish dishwasher liquid about £1.80 in HB, but £6.00 for the same item in Waitrose - no wonder some of these comapnies are in trouble if they’re extracting teh Michael price wise.

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Apologies for the typos…

I’m a Waitrose shopper, occasionally M&S. I appreciate that Waitrose may not offer the cheapest prices but the quality is reliable and the customer service is always of a high quality. To me that matters. I have found staff in the mainstream supermarkets eg Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons to often give the impression that the customer is an inconvenience, just making their jobs harder. I’ve never experienced that at Waitrose. Perhaps the ‘partnership’ employment status helps.


I entirely agree with the ‘partnership’ employment status being a fantastic idea and I think it’s a big plus for John Lewis/Waitrose, trouble is it’s not going to sway people who cannot afford to pay a premium to shop there. The customer is ‘always right’ at Waitrose but it’s a chore at other stores.

When I lived in London Waitrose was a 5 minute walk away, and was my regular supermarket. The quality of the meat and vegetables was excellent, and I was used to the prices. Moving to West Yorkshire 11 years ago Waitrose was no longer an option, veg from the garden in season, farm shops for meat and some veg, top ups of veg from Tesco/Lidl and staples from the same supermarkets.

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We have a few Lidl and Aldi stores within a few miles or Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose or M and S. The quality difference is now negligible , so we shop around
, the newcomers have themed offers that are fun and interesting. To me its a great time in food shopping, much cheaper, more variety, and quality.


As my grandmother always said of Waitrose: “you pay a little more, you get a little less, but the quality is better”.
I use it to top up my shop at the farmer’s market.


You can’t beat the middle aisles in Lidl for bargains/entertainment. I saw an “automatic welders helmet” this week. Ideal for a weekend shop😳

No wonder the Grauniad described as the “aisle of s…e” (rhymes with Wight)


We use the Co-op a lot as they do locally produced food really well even in their supermarkets and also from smaller producers and farms… and for what ever reason the quality of the local food is often better… perhaps because stuff isn’t shipped nearly as far.
The big national chain supermarkets we will usually avoid for fresh food as the quality is often comparatively mediocre … I suspect quality fresh food and volume just don’t go together,
We often use Waitrose home delivery for everything else.

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I am embarrassed to shop in Waitrose or Aldi/ Lidl. I do shop in Waitrose though if it is the more convenient.

Trouble is you can do a small shop in Witrose and spend a fortune but get a load of stuff in addition you’d never normally buy if shopping in the others.

I’m not embarrassed to shop at any of them, though it has to be said that some are more user friendly at the checkouts than others.

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Gosh, and I thought I was rambling on:

I used to shop more in Waitrose. I’ve found their high prices and ‘co-operative/partnership’ ethics has not protected them from the basic economic laws of capitalism and they have cut back on staff drastically and brought in many more self-service checkouts. Clearly they are having to close stores now as well.

As I no longer own a car it’s not practical to go there any more but frankly apart from their better quality ready meals I find many things as good or better at the supermarkets I can walk to. And most ready meals from all supermarkets should ideally really be avoided!

So I can walk to a Lidl, Aldi, Asda and Morrisons. Lidl and Morrison’s both have far better bakeries than Waitrose at a fraction of the price. Aldi fruit and veg seems very acceptable. I’ve found Morrisons stores can vary a lot but the one in Northampton town centre is very good. My nearest store is an Asda which can be a bit limiting sometimes but is fine for just nipping to for the odd bits and pieces.

Staff at all the supermarkets always seem friendly to me, although Lidl never have enough checkouts open and interestingly don’t have any self-service tills. I chatted to one very friendly woman on the checkout at Aldi. They have a target for staff to scan 1000 items per hour. She said she managed 1,100 although whenever I’ve seen her she always looks like she is on speed! Consequently they always scan your items super fast and initially I felt guilty for being slow at packing but she explained to me that it was fine as the clock stops once they have they selected either cash or card payment payments on their terminals! I don’t think they have any self-service terminals there either. Morrisons tends to have the most checkout staff.

I don’t buy a lot of fresh meat but am lucky to have a local butcher nearby where I can get the small quantities I need. Unfortunately it’s one of the few useful local shops left. Just one street away is a local shopping street which used to have its own post office, two banks, a chemist and a greengrocers. These have all gone and now the street is mostly hairdressers, nail salons, betting shops and charity shops.

Where I live we have a choice of either the Co-op (closest), or Waitrose or Tesco. Tesco is certainly cheapest, however, I have learned that for fruit and vegetables, while they may look nice at Tescos, they tend to lack much flavour. Compare Tesco Organic carrots to say, Co-op organic carrots and one tastes quite like carrots should, while the other tastes of not a whole lot really. It’s the same for fruit. It leads me to suspect that for Tesco the most important thing is how a fruit or vegetable looks, rather than how it tastes. That for me is enough to make me try to avoid shopping at Tescos for fruit and veg. However, it’s very good for some other things, and where it’s a case of like for like, Tescos is usually cheapest.

Waitrose is good for many ingredients that I cannot find elsewhere. However, the co-op gets most of my custom. It has most of the staple ingredients, it’s not too far away, and the fruit and veg are pretty reliable taste wise. It’s worth joining as a member and soon you get enough money back to pay for the odd shopping trip. I also like fact that a certain amount of money goes to local causes like maintaining the windmill in the centre of town.




Waitrose fan here… I’ll not be happy if they close my local branch :frowning:

Now each day at work I walk to sainburys at lunch time to grab something; it’s 10mins walk to sainsburys or an hour to waitrose so not much of a choice for lunch.

Anyway so I get the opportunity to frequently compare prices between the two and what I’ve found is, if you compare brands, then waitrose is typically the same and sometimes cheaper than sainsburys. However the problem with waitrose is they have so much nice stuff that sainsburys doesn’t so it’s very easy to over spend :wink: If you stick to the ‘normal’ shop stuff then waitrose is the same price.

Another point is how nice it is to shop in waitrose. Nice customers. Nice staff. Wide aisles. Clean. No blaring background music. No tattooed unsavory customers walking around. Heck if I ever get dragged into morrisons I’m positively scared to look any one in the eyes for fear of getting nutted!


I bought several lots of vine ripened tomatoes from Aldi recently. Hands down the most amazing tomatoes I have come across in years, or ever… didn’t cost a small fortune either.


What is the Miles Jupp joke… Thank god for Sainsburys it keeps the riff-raff out of Waitrose.


Nobody has mentioned Booths (the Waitrose of the north). My favourite though def not cheap.

We use regularly the local Booths, sainsbury’s and Aldi. V rarely co op as it’s small and v expensive - but it’s open later than the others so sometimes need to. All four in local village (2 miles away).

Also use Morrison’s, Asda and there’s a soon to be opened Lidl all around 5-6 miles away.

The thing I really dislike about Lidl and Aldi is their use of product packaging that deliberately apes branded packaging - so it looks like you have available a regular brand (similar colours and shapes) but the name or font or logo is changed. Fake. I have no problem with non branded stuff but I dislike it being presented as fake branded stuff. Not quite sure why it offend me so much