Top of the Shops: online grocery sales at top grocers by volume w/e 3/9/12

Retail Times has teamed up with the online shopping site, mySupermarket, to showcase the top selling grocery and health & beauty lines at the leading online grocers and pharmacy chains in a weekly league table.

The new and exclusive Top of the Shops ranking will feature the 50 top selling grocery lines (by volume) at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and Ocado through mySupermarket.

Own brands are firmly in the majority in Asda’s top 50 online basket, accounting for 41 of the total. Of those, 11 are the retailer’s Smartprice brand and largely in child-oriented categories such as Pasta Shapes, Fromage Frais, Sweetcorn and Spaghetti. Asda’s newish Chosen by You label gets a look in twice in the top 50 this week with Malted Wheaties and Tomato Ketchup. Unlike rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s, a brand – Cushelle – is the top selling toilet tissue online at Asda versus own label. Price changes – increases and decreases on last week – are largely centered on fresh produce but a 2-litre bottle of Coca Cola was reduced from £1.98 to £1.50.

Ocado’s online basket is the most eclectic, featuring the Ocado own label, Waitrose and Essential Waitrose labels alongside national brands. The Essential Waitrose brand features 17 times and the Ocado own label spans eight lines in the top 50. Ocado’s online shoppers are clearly fans of fish. Young’s Salmon, Admiral Pie and White Fish all feature; as do fish fingers but these are of the Jamie Oliver variety.

Fillippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the top-selling brand this week, suggesting the Ocado shopper profile is one of the home cook. Cirio Passata Sieved Italian tomatoes make the basket too, supporting that view; while Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Red Chillies are the one own label spanning two retailer baskets this week. Innocent Apple Juice, Unearthed Italian Cooked Ham and Alpen Original Muesli are among the brands featuring in the Ocado basket; painting a picture of a healthy-eating foodie shopper. 

The top 18 grocery lines in Sainsbury’s online basket are all own brand with just Heinz Baked Beans and Birds Eye Fish fingers capturing a top 20 ranking. In total, the top 50 league features just 10 national brands. The Sainsbury’s Basics value brand is prominent among fresh produce lines and seasonal fruit such as blueberries, raspberries and plums is a popular online purchase for Sainsbury’s shoppers this week. There’s also a nod towards autumn with Clementines and Crumpets making the top 50 table. Pricing among the top sellers has been stable at Sainsbury’s this week, with only one significant change – Iceberg Lettuce reduced by 20% to 80p.

Tesco has fewer own label brands (34) and more national brands (16) than all of its main supermarket rivals in its top 50 online basket. Among the own labels, its Everyday Value brand is prominent with 12 products featured compared with  only one Finest product (Tesco Finest Jumbo King Prawns) in the top 50 lines in shoppers’ online baskets this week.
Cathedral City Mature Cheddar, Thirst Pockets Kitchen Towels, Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce, Flora Buttery and Kellogg’s Coco Pop are five brands making it into the top 20 of Tesco’s online baskets this week.
Tesco venture brands – Creamfields Milk and Spring Force Toilet Tissue – are also among the top 20 lines online.
The significant price fluctuations are centred on fresh produce with Tesco Pears and Tesco Supersweet Sweetcorn half price compared to a week ago and Tesco Goodness for Kids Apples down 26% to £1.00.

Waitrose’s online shopping basket features more own labels than its rivals with 42 own brands. More striking, however, is the proportion of Essential Waitrose lines featuring in this premium retailer’s online baskets. Eighty per cent or 34 of the own labels in Waitrose’s top 50 are under the Essential Waitrose banner. The basket is also slightly more exotic than its rivals with products such as asparagus, aubergines, spinach, little gem lettuce and kiwi fruit featuring among the fresh products. Waitrose’s Ingredients Red Chillies are also a popular buy, while the top selling brand at Waitrose is Sacla Italia Classic Green Basil Pesto. No whiff of Heinz Baked Beans in this online basket this week.