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Asda crowned UK's cheapest supermarket despite price rises

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·3-min read
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CARMARTHENSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM - 2021/03/17: People seen outside Asda supermarket in Wales, UK.
Eight more people have died with coronavirus in Wales and the overall infection rate has risen slightly. (Photo by May James/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Asda retained its place as the cheapest option for British consumers "despite increasing its prices a fair amount" from April. Photo: May James/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Asda has been crowned the cheapest supermarket in the UK despite recent price hikes.

The supermarket was named the cheapest supermarket overall, according to the costs of items from the Office for National Statistics’ consumer price index (CPI) "shopping basket" throughout May.

British grocery store Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) rose three spots from the month before and took the second spot, beating out Tesco (TSCO.L), Iceland and Morrisons (MRW.L). 

An Asda basket came in at an average cost of £110.02 ($156), compared to £113.68 for Sainsbury's. A Tesco basket, which came in third, costs £114.75, while Iceland (4th place) rose £1.14 from April to £117.01. 

Most supermarket basket totals fell in price, data from price tracking website Alertr — which analyses prices across seven of the largest supermarkets, shows.

Andy Barr, co-founder of Alertr, said Asda retained its place as the cheapest option for British consumers "despite increasing its prices a fair amount" from April. 

"It is interesting to see that Sainsbury’s are now coming in second after being in fifth place last month," Barr added. "For the last few months, they have been towards the more expensive side of the table, but recent price drops have now boosted them to second cheapest."

The results are determined by tracking how each online retailer prices the 42 items outlined in the government’s consumer price index "shopping basket" on a week-by-week basis.

Meanwhile, Waitrose and Ocado (OCDO.L) were named the most expensive grocery stores, with a basket that is £22.26 and £14.05, respectively, more expensive than Asda's. 

Read more: Spending rises as Brits set for summer splurge 

Included within the list are items such as eggs, milk and bread, as well as non-perishables like pasta, rice and cereal.

Here's how much each supermarket's average basket cost in May compared to April 2021:

1. ASDA – £110.02 (+£6.28 more than last month)

2. Sainsbury's – £113.68 (-£2.38 less than last month)

3. Tesco – £114.75 (-63p less than last month)

4. Iceland – £117.01 (+£1.14 more than last month)

5. Morrisons – £117.06 (-£1.07 less than last month)

6. Ocado – £124.07 (-£3.63 less than last month)

7. Waitrose – £132.28 (+£4.74 more than last month)

Consumer spending rose 7.6% in May compared with the same period in 2019 – the highest growth recorded since coronavirus restrictions began – as the further lifting of lockdown restrictions encouraged more Brits to shop and socialise.

Spending on essential items was bolstered by supermarket shopping (17.7%) and face-to-face spending at local food and drink specialist retailers (69.3%), such as butchers and independent convenience stores, according to data by Barclaycard. 

Watch: What is inflation and why is it important?

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