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

09 November 2013


Sainsbury's is taking its 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 example, Tesco compares it's Everyday Value Tea with Sainsbury's Basics tea - but 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 its rival's water starts at the mains supply.

To find out more about Sainsbury's and Tesco including how they score in our satisfaction survey visit our supermarkets comparison section.

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, which felt it suggested that consumers didn't need to shop around to benefit from deals at Tesco and Asda.

Which? price comparison basket

For the last four months we've compared a basket of around 100 branded products, including staples such as bread, cereal, fruit juice and toilet paper to see which is cheapest. This is averaged over a month from Asda, Tesco, Ocado, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

Asda was the cheapest this month charging £191.47. Ocado was on average the most expensive for the basket at £211.06.

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 shopping basket we used data from the independent shopping website mysupermarket.

Supermarket price comparison schemes

Tesco and Sainsbury's aren't the only supermarkets to have price comparison 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 multi-buys. 

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