Sainsbury's takes its price comparison row to courtIt claims Tesco's comaprisons aren't fair

05 November 2013


Sainsbury's is taking it's price comparison row to court, claiming that rival Tesco's Price Promise doesn't compare identical products.

Sainsbury's claims that some of the comparisons mislead shoppers, as they don't take into account provenance or ethics. For instance, Tesco compares it's Everyday Value Tea with Sainsbury's basics tea - the Sainsbury's tea is Fairtrade but the Tesco tea is not.

It added its basics water comes from a spring in Yorkshire but is then compared to Tesco's Everyday Value water. Sainsbury's claims this starts at the mains supply.

To find out more about the supermarkets including how they score in our satisfaction survey visit our supermarkets hub.

Supermarket comparisons

Sainsbury's originally complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) but the complaint was rejected. The ASA said that Tesco's comparisons complied with its rules to compare products that meet the same need or purpose.

The Tesco price matching scheme compares the price of products with Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. Any difference is refunded with a voucher. Sainsbury's in turn runs a branded price comparison scheme and again will give a voucher for the difference.

An advert for Sainsbury's brand match scheme was recently banned by the ASA, who felt it suggested that consumers didn't need to shop around to benefit from deals at Tesco and Asda.

Our comparison basket

For the last four months we've compared a basket of around 10
0 branded products, including staples such as bread, cereal, fruit juice and toilet paper. This is averaged over a month from Asda, Tesco, Ocado, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

Asda was the cheapest this month charging £195.58. Ocado was on average the most expensive for the basket at £212.12.

You can find out how the other supermarkets shaped up on our supermarket prices compared page.

In order to work out the average price of our basket we used data from the independent shopping website mysupermarket.

Supermarket price comparison schemes

Tesco and Sainsbury's are not the only supermarkets to have price comparisons schemes. Asda says if your shopping isn't 10% cheaper than in Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose or Morrisons, it will give you a voucher for the difference, which you can use on your next shop. 

Ocado price matches against Tesco and will give you a voucher for the difference. Waitrose price matches Tesco on branded items.

The totals include special offer discounts but not multibuys. 

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