Marks & Spencer’s own-brand range on Ocado will be cheaper overall than its rival Waitrose, according to a new report from Which?
Ocado is due to replace end its 19-year partnership with Waitrose next week and replace more than 4000 of its own-brand items with M&S alternatives.
While M&S said that it has worked hard to produce a “near-identical” range of goods for Ocado customers, its first ever online offering is set to be cheaper than its predecessor.
Consumer watchdog Which? checked the prices of 30 staple grocery and household items and found that shoppers will spend £2.74 less on M&S branded items than the equivalent basket at Waitrose.
Which? found that the most significant price difference was a 550g block of British medium cheddar cheese, selling for £4 at Waitrose but just £2.75 at M&S.
Despite M&S claiming that they would match of beat the price of all Waitrose-branded items, Which? found numerous examples where it was still more expensive, including items like carrots, thick toilet gel and bread.
It comes as M&S attempts to tackle its reputation as the UK’s priciest supermarket, launching its “remarksable” campaign to lower prices on staple items and increase pack sizes.
M&S is also hedging its bets on alcohol sales with its new joint venture with Ocado, offering seven times the number of beers, wines and spirits than its rival.
According to separate research from Edge by Ascential, while Waitrose listed seven different red wines and 13 different white wines on Ocado, M&S offers a whopping 102 red and 82 white wine choices.
“It appears that M&S is focussing on the convenience and grocery products that we are used to seeing in its M&S food halls, such as alcohol, chilled foods and shelf stable products and we can expect this will be a strong aspect of M&S’ offering,” Edge by Ascential’s analyst Chris Elliott said.
“However, there are certain categories where it seems that M&S will need to work harder on if it wants to measure up to Waitrose’s previous offering. This includes investing more in the home care category – something that is an everyday essential and part of many consumers’ shopping baskets.”