What are the main differences between England's supermarket brands

Hi UK residents, I’m Australian and want to understand with your supermarkets, who’s who in the zoo? So I can get an idea of where to shop when sitting in the UK for 5 months later this year. For example our main supermarkets here for groceries are Woolworths, Coles & Aldi (the 3 biggest) and then IGA which is smaller & has great variety but sometimes a bit more expensive than the others. Then we have small independent local supermarkets like Foodworks and Friendly Grocer that are local family owned businesses & have the highest prices as they don’t have the buying power of the others but they’re convenient if you run out of staples. Can you please tell me the UK equivalent brands with a focus on England? Thank you.


I’m not a UK resIdent but have done 10+ UK sits over 12 weeks this year.
My observations -
Asda stores are big and have most everything. Seem a bit cheaper than the other mainline chains.
Lidl is limited in stock but cheaper than mainline stores. And they have in store bakeries with good prices. I discovered that US Lidls also have in store bakeries.
Aldi seem just like Lidl but no bakeries.
Iceland are for me as a solo traveler amazing. All kinds of frozen prepared interesting food.
UK folks will have greater insight. I’m also intrigued by the varieties of each chain - locals, metros, expresses. Size of store, scope of offerings?


Hi Crookie, yes I remember woolworths supermarkets in australia😊.
Asda here i’d say are probably their nearest.
Also morrisons & Tescos, are very similar but abit more expensive
We have both Lidl & Aldi which are fast becoming more popular for value for money.
Waitrose, sainsbury & m&s too, for nicer foods, ready made, quality but higher priced.
Dependant where you are in the Uk the busier places use more express supermarkets, where people are more likely to get afew days shopping at a time or pick up as they go along. Rural areas are more likely to have an option of afew larger food shops on the outskirts of towns.

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Hi @Crookie, it’s going to depend on where you are located as to which supermarkets you have available and your transport options. We tend to shop at Sainsburys and Tesco whilst over here, and occasionally at M & S or Waitrose if we want something a little more upmarket. Aldi is like ours at home. Haven’t used Asda or Iceland but have seen them. You can also do online grocery shopping with them and have it delivered. Ocado is great for that as it doesn’t have physical supermarkets. Google to see what is available near your sits and hopefully your owners will include that information in their Welcome Guide.


Hi @Crookie - There is a good selection of supermarket brands in the UK.

ALDI and LIDL are the cheapest, both have a smaller variety of each product but you can easily do a full shop in either.
CO-OP and PREMIER tend to be smaller, local and expensive although CO-OP do really good reductions late in the day
SAINSBURY’S, ASDA and TESCO are generally more expensive but have a much wider selection. In the larger of these stores you can buy almost anything aswell as groceries - clothing, hardware,toys, etc
WAITROSE and M&S are the most expensive.

Be aware that most the big supermarkets now also have smaller local convenience stores so Asda ‘local’, Tesco ‘express’ Sainsbury’s ‘metro’ etc will be much smaller and more expensive than the large supermarkets of the same name


Hello Crookie
There a so many more supermarket choices over here compared to oz. I highly recommend the lidl bakery if there is one near you. One thing you can’t get over that I miss from home is Masterfood BBQ sauce & chicken salt! hahaha
Cadburys chocolate is so much nicer in the UK.
Currency exchange rate isn’t good for you, you can make your pound stretch and shop @ B&M, Ice land or farm foods for some supplies.
I’ve been here 2 years & have to stop myself converting to AUD on some things.

Have a safe flight


Don’t shoot me … but one of the most interesting things I love to do when in the US is shop at Walmart. It owns Asda here in the UK. My friend in Georgia always reminds me to look out for the ‘Wal-Martians’ .


Walmart sold Asda last year for £6.8 billion - Issa Brothers and TDR Capital Complete the Acquisition of Asda from Walmart

Well I didn’t know that! But I still love Walmart!

@Mslaura. Yes we got to love the chiken salt too!!
Dont know why its never got over here!

I love Walmart too. But … they vary with location. Where I live there are really nice Walmart Supercenters that are well-stocked, have a great produce section and great prices. I do most of my food shopping there. Not so at all Walmarts. I was in them in North Jersey and Connecticut and they were not so good – dilapidated looking with empty shelves. Those areas had other good food stores nearby, like Shoprite, so those Walmarts were not a destination for people shopping for food – or other things for that matter.

We have Aldi and Lidl here. Haven’t been to Lidl, but Aldi is one of my favorites. They also have a decent organic selection and great prices.

Thanks @Colin that info exactly what I was after

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Thanks for the heads up @Mslaura I had heard that Cadburys dairy milk chocolate was different in the UK, didn’t know it was better. How can they improve on perfection! :smile:

Thanks everyone for your great information. We will be mostly in smaller towns and villages in England’s southern counties. Since the pandemic started we get our weekly groceries home delivered from Woolworths (aka Woolies) here in Australia. We don’t shop at Aldi as we never need to buy a violin or pool equipment or ski gear with our groceries! :rofl:

Chicken salt for those who are wondering is an Aussie institution when you buy hot chips. You are usually asked if you want chicken salt or normal salt. Always go for the chicken salt as it tastes amazing! It’s probably full of MSG! It tastes like a combination of chicken stock powder and salt. It’s our dirty little secret here!


@LTD I know what you mean because I really love shopping in Shaw’s when we are in both New Hampshire & Massachusetts :slightly_smiling_face:

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@Samox24 and @LTD I don’t know about UK Supermarkets but I wish every town had Trader Joes WITH the same stock … although they have discontinued their Orange & Champagne Vinegar :cry:

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@Angela-HeadOfCommunity yes completely agree with you, we love Trader Joes! :+1:t2::slightly_smiling_face:… in the UK we shop in Waitrose, we love their quality but they lack somewhat in product variety so we end up having to shop elsewhere for the items we cannot get there! :roll_eyes:
Also the Orange & Champagne vinegar sounds interesting, we haven’t tried that!


If you are in the rural south of England look out for the Farmers Markets in places like Salisbury, Winchester and most larger towns in Dorset and Somerset.
The veg and fruit are fresh and mostly organically grown. The eggs are to die for, cheese you have never tasted the like before and if there’s a local farmer who butchers his own animals don’t miss out on the steaks.
Our local one is on Saturday and Sunday but they all vary. I know Salisbury is during the week. If I buy cheese I buy two pieces so I can eat one on the way home.


@ElsieDownie we also love the Farmers Market, there is a lovely one in Deddington in the Cotswolds if you are ever in the area. It’s very near to Chipping Norton.


That sounds great. Love farmers markets. Much prefer to support the local growers & shops rather than the multinationals. Don’t mind paying a bit more for farm fresh produce as it’s fresher and lasts longer. So far our house sits are at or near East Grinstead, Emsworth, Horndean, Haywards Heath, Farnham and Warminster. Please let me know of any markets you know about in these areas.

Are the markets cash only or do they have EFTPOS? In Australia, since the start of the pandemic, not many people pay with cash now. Many stalls and shops have signs “card only”