The worst supermarkets for online substitutes in your weekly shop

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: A delivery driver loads groceries into his car outside a Morrisons in Edgware on November 7, 2020 in London, England. The country has gone into it's second national lockdown since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
A delivery driver loads groceries outside a Morrisons supermarket in Edgware. The retailer has been named one of the worst culprits for quality of substitute orders. (Getty Images)

Substitute items are a perennial bugbear for online supermarket shoppers.

Customers are known to have been given duck paste rather than duct tape, and sausage rolls in place of toilet rolls, from their online orders.

Now the worst culprits for substitute items have been revealed in a new survey.

The Which? annual supermarket satisfaction survey shows three supermarkets - Morrisons, Asda and Iceland - have the worst ratings for choice of substitute items. Each were given two stars out of five.

The survey of 3,007 members of the public did not provide any examples of substitute items gone wrong.

Waitrose was given the best rating, with four stars, while four other retailers - Amazon Fresh, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Tesco - got three stars.

Ocado, which didn’t receive a rating for substitute items because there weren’t enough data, received the best overall score for online shopping at 81%. Morrisons had the worst at 66%.

The online shopping survey of 3,007 members of the public. (Which?)
The online shopping survey of 3,007 members of the public. (Which?)

In the survey for physical in-store shopping, M&S was top for customer satisfaction at 77%, earning praise for the quality of its own-label and fresh products, customer service and store appearance.

Waitrose and Aldi came joint second with scores of 73%, highlighting the success of the German discounter’s efforts to compete with the high-end grocers.

The traditional “big four” of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons fell to the bottom half of the ranking of the 10 major grocers for their in-store experience, suggesting that the middle ground between quality and affordable food is less appealing to shoppers during the cost of living crisis, Which? said.

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Co-op was the worst performer, achieving 61% and just one star for value for money and two stars for availability, range and quality.

Which? retail editor Reena Sewraz said: “Our results highlight how many shoppers are prioritising value for money above all else but, for those who can afford it, high-quality products and a positive shopping experience still really matter.

“None of the supermarkets received five stars for value in-store, but the discounters still led the way in this category.”