It might still be October, but the battle of the supermarket Christmas meal deals has already begun, with promotional signs spotted instore, calling on customers to begin shopping for their festive menus now.
While it may seem ambitious to ask shoppers to buy food for a lunch, they’ll be cooking two months from now, the truth is that many will be looking to spread the cost of the season as inflation soars and food prices continue to rise.
While much of the UK is expected to embrace more of a stripped-back festive period this year, supermarkets are still doing everything they can to cater for shoppers, whether they are cutting back or going for a full-on Christmas celebration.
So, as we head into the final quarter of the year, supermarkets have already started to reveal their Christmas meal deals and festive spreads, and it’s clear that consumers will not be short of choice during the run-up to this year’s festive season. But who’s keeping costs low and who’s going for all the trimmings?
Asda’s Christmas magic
Recognising that 2022 continues to be a difficult year for many, Asda has ‘worked hard’ to ensure that it offers a range of seasonal product at a number of different price points.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard to bring customers our biggest and most innovative range yet, delivering fantastic products at all price points, so that whatever your budget, there’s Christmas magic for everyone,” an Asda spokesperson told Grocery Gazette.
Asda’s line-up of festive products for 2022 includes a number of “fantastic value treats” that shoppers would usually expect to find exclusively in its Extra Special range. These include the Millionaire’s Edible Chocolate Bowl Dessert, which recently took the top spot as ‘Best Budget Dessert’ in the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Christmas Taste Test.
The big 4 grocer – which is opening 32 standalone ‘Asda Express’ convenience stores over the coming year – also said that it will be offering an ongoing calendar of offers for shoppers looking to stock up in advance and make their money go further, such as its current ‘Buy 6, Save 25%’ on bottles of wine.
Waitrose’s festive £40 for four
A Waitrose spokesperson said: “Customers are looking to create an extra special Christmas, without breaking the bank, so we’re working hard to keep prices as low as possible via our Essential Waitrose range.
“For example, our turkeys start at £6.50 per kilo, so customers get great value, without compromising on quality or animal welfare.”
“Not only have we locked the prices of our Christmas food to order, we’ve also been mindful of costs when putting together our Christmas ranges,” said the spokesperson, adding that the supermarket was “working extremely hard” to support customers as much as possible during the challenging times.
“In fact, customers can create a full Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings including dessert, from £40 for a family of four.”
The upmarket retailer also has some other offers in the pipeline across a variety of festive products and will continue to give customers greater savings via its myWaitrose loyalty scheme. In addition to rolling out regular special offers in store, it also recently launched ‘Super Saver recipes’, giving customers inspiration for delicious Christmas meals at under £2 a portion.
Aldi’s Festive ‘Super Six’
Aldi’s Festive ‘Super Six’ initiative will be announced closer to Christmas, which features six Christmas essential fresh produce items all offered at low prices in the build-up to the big day. The discounter says exact details of these items will be released closer to the time.
Aldi has welcomed more shoppers as they continue to switch from major retailers amid the cost-of-living crisis, and according to market research agency Kantar, the German discounter welcomed an additional 1.65 million customers in the 12 weeks leading up to October 2nd.
Aldi says its “efficient business model enables us to protect our customers from industry-wide inflationary pressures,” owing that to “why shoppers will always find high-quality products at the lowest prices.”
Aldi is helping its shoppers make significant savings on every shop by being the cheapest supermarket in the UK.
The latest research from Which? confirmed that Aldi was the cheapest supermarket in the UK in September 2022 – with a basket of 48 products costing just £75.61. That’s £1.84 less than Lidl.
Sainsbury’s focus on value
Though Sainsbury’s said it is “too early to share details on specific Christmas promotions and activity,” sharing that they intend to share more by mid-November, they did offer some hints of what’s to come.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “With costs going up, we are working hard to keep prices low. This autumn, we are investing £60 million in great value food and grocery via our Sainsbury’s Quality, Aldi Price Match campaign, Price Lock and Special Offers.
They added: “This forms part of our two-year plan to invest £500 million to ensure the items people buy most often are on the shelves at the best prices.
“Customers can find low prices on everyday staples in stores and online – from chicken breasts to mincemeat, butter, onions, and bananas. The bold steps we are taking to focus on value means all our customers will find great deals when they shop with us and do not need to go anywhere else to get the best prices on their weekly shop.”
Tesco’s £25 frozen festive dinner
Tesco has unveiled instore POS for a frozen Christmas dinner for just £25, with the double-whammy of keeping costs low amid the cost-of-living crisis and ensuring the food will keep fresh until the 25 December.
The deal includes a 14lb turkey, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, yorkshire puddings, peas, sprouts and carrots.
Elsewhere, Tesco remains focused on keeping costs low, urging customers to shop its savings early to buy their ‘shopping list for less’, pointing out that taking advantage of early deals can help control both the pressure and the prices.
The move also shows how Tesco is taking its pledge to reduce food waste seriously, creating an attractive combination for shoppers at the UK’s leading retailer.
Morrisons is offering a wide range of festive deals this year.
The supermarket said it is: “very aware of the financial issues everyone is facing at the moment, and this has all been taken into consideration when developing this year’s range.”
The range comes as CEO of the retailer, David Potts, is being called on to revive the supermarket giant amid performance decline which has seen it overtaken by Aldi as the fourth largest grocer.
Nisa said that it “believes that the cost-of-living crisis will have a real impact in shopper behaviour this Christmas and there will be a move to more ‘at home’ occasions.”
That being the case, Nisa’s offering seems more focused on ‘get togethers’ on the run-up to Christmas, while also having items that linked to the World Cup.
Though it didn’t divulge too many details at this stage, Nisa will be “promoting great value, indulgent products to enjoy in the home so shoppers don’t miss out.”