Supermarkets Bid to Reduce the Rising Cost of Christmas


Supermarkets VS. Christmas

  • The average total of your Christmas shop is now £129.70
  • This represents a climb of £11.79 on the 2012 total – a 10% increase
  • The perfect Christmas shopping list can be yours for £106.33 (across 30 x items)

Anyone who’s spent more than five minutes in a supermarket during the month of December will know that madness reigns during the festive season. As crowds of shopper’s bay for bargains on their Christmas dinner, the supermarkets do their part to make it more affordable by rolling out the ‘three for two’s’ and rolling back the prices on Christmas specific products.

That said, a 2012 study by The Grocer revealed an alarming trend in the rising price of a typical Christmas dinner. When comparing the price of selected menu items such as a medium sized turkey and an affordable bottle of champagne from both 2008 and 2012, they found that the total price had risen by 14%, with single items like a packet of dry roasted peanuts having risen as much as 71%!

Using a variation of this proposed supermarket shopping list, we’ve updated the prices for 2014 and found that although the average price of fine Christmas dining has increased since 2012, Britain’s Big Four supermarkets have done their best to soften the blow, resulting in a surprisingly low total increase thanks to their price-busting efforts.

Using data from, we’ve managed to determine the average cost of 30 unique Christmas dinner items for November 2014, as priced by the UK’s four major supermarkets. See how they compare against the same time two years ago in our research.

The Average Cost of Christmas

Of the 30 items we included in our survey, the average total cost has risen steadily since 2012. Good news for anyone who likes a lot of vegetables on their dinner plate however – as savings can now be made on items such as carrots, sprouts and parsnips.

The average total of your Christmas shop is now £129.70. This represents a climb of £11.79 on the 2012 total – a 10% increase on the 2012 figures.

What is the Average Price of Christmas Dinner Shop in 2014?
ProductContent (eg 500 ml)2008 Price2012 Price2014 Price% Change
Alka SeltzerOriginal, 20-pack£2.50£3.43£3.33-2.84%
Anchor Butter250g£0.99£1.62£1.61-0.46%
Baileys Irish Cream700ml£10.99£12.27£13.126.95%
Bisto Gravy Granules170g£0.81£1.06£1.1911.79%
Blue Stilton CheesePremium, 215g£1.83£2.20£2.398.75%
Brussel Sprouts1kg, loose£1.24£2.10£1.93-8.33%
Cadbury Roses850g, loose£4.31£6.00£4.75-20.83%
Carrots1kg, loose£0.78£0.86£0.62-28.49%
Carte Noire coffee100g£2.68£3.32£3.7212.05%
Champagnecheapest, 750ml£15.74£14.19£13.50-4.88%
Christmas Puddingown label, 100g£0.96£1.11£1.131.35%
Coca Cola500ml£0.92£1.11£1.2512.61%
CrackersJacob’s, 200g£0.90£1.18£0.92-22.25%
Frozen turkey5-6kg£14.89£17.00£21.0023.53%
Garden Peasown brand, 1kg£1.78£1.59£1.59-0.31%
Hardys Stamp WineShiraz Cab Sau, 750ml£5.21£5.92£6.8114.95%
Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry750ml£5.06£8.30£10.0020.48%
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise200g£0.97£1.29£1.32.33%
John Smith’s Extra Smooth4x440ml£3.77£3.76£4.2412.83%
KP peanutsdry roasted, 300g£1.16£1.99£1.990.00%
Mince Piesown brand, 6-pack£1.19£1.26£1.08-14.68%
Parsnips1kg, loose£2.00£1.62£1.39-14.20%
Paxo stuffing mixSage & Onion, 85g£0.48£0.41£0.5841.46%
Potatoeswhite, own brand, 2.5kg£1.24£1.74£1.803.16%
Richmond Sausagesthick, 8-pack, 454g£1.97£2.04£2.4017.65%
Satsumasown brand, pack£1.25£1.54£1.7413.15%
Smoked Salmonown label, 100g£2.48£3.13£4.0027.72%
Smooth Cranberry SauceOcean Spray, 250g£1.26£1.27£1.4614.96%
Taylor’s Portlate bottled, vintage, 750ml£9.63£1£15.0036.36%

Unfortunately you’ll need to shell out almost a quarter more than 2012 if you’re after a decent size turkey this year, with the average price increasing from £14.89 in 2008, to £17 in 2012 and now to £21.

Festive Supermarket Price Wars

In reducing their asking prices for some popular items during the upcoming Christmas season, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s can expect a flurry of demand for their mince pies, turkeys and trimmings. And with Tesco and Morrisons both reporting sales drops for last year’s festive period, it’s more important than ever that their prices are reasonable enough to get that business back.

So how far are the Big Four prepared to go to get your business next month? Will they show some Christmas spirit for your spirits, or will their need to recover profits make them a modern-day Scrooge?

Which Supermarket Wins the Price War?
ProductContents (eg 500 ml)AsdaMorrisonsTescoSainsbury
Alka SeltzerOriginal, 20-pack£3.48£3.50£2.85£3.50
Anchor Butter250g£1.70£1.25£1.50£1.80
Baileys Irish Cream700ml£12.00£11.00£10.00£13.00
Bisto Gravy Granules170g£1.00£1.25£1.00£1.30
Blue Stilton CheesePremium, 215g£2.32£2.25£2.50£2.50
Brussel Sprouts1kg, loose£1.88£1.32£2.00£2.50
Cadbury Roses850g, loose£4.00£5.00£5.00£5.00
Carrots1kg, loose£0.57£0.69£0.60£0.60
Carte Noire coffee100g£2.50£2.00£3.80£2.50
Champagnecheapest, 750ml£13.00£15.00£12.99£14.00
Christmas Puddingown label, 100g£1.00£1.25£1.00£1.25
Coca Cola500ml£1.25£1.25£1.25£1.25
CrackersJacob’s, 200g£0.89£0.89£0.89£1.00
Frozen Turkey5-6kg£20.00£21.00£21.00£22.00
Garden Peasown brand, 1kg£1.48£1.50£1.60£1.60
Hardys Stamp WineShiraz Cab Sau, 750ml£5.00£5.25£4.99£5.00
Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry750ml£9.00£10.00£9.00£8.50
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise200g£1.00£1.39£1.39£1.50
John Smith’s Extra Smooth4x440ml£3.50£4.00£3.50£3.33
KP peanutsdry roasted, 300g£1.50£1.50£1.50£1.50
Mince Piesown brand, 6-pack£1.00£1.00£1.00£1.00
Parsnips1kg, loose£1.49£0.98£1.49£1.60
Paxo Stuffing MixSage & Onion, 85g£0.53£0.59£0.60£0.60
Potatoeswhite, own brand, 2.5kg£1.50£1.99£1.75£1.25
Richmond Sausagesthick, 8-pack, 454g£2.40£2.40£2.40£2.40
Satsumasown brand, pack£1.07£1.65£1.48£1.00
Smoked Salmonown label, 100g£4.00£4.99£2.50£3.50
Smooth Cranberry SauceOcean Spray, 250g£1.00£1.00£1.00£1.40
Taylor’s Portlate bottled, vintage, 750ml£10.00£13.99£15.00£15.00

Key: Boxes in green denote supermarkets’ own special offers.

Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s all offer price reductions on menu items in the run up to Christmas, such is their keenness to compete. Sainsbury’s offer the most discount of all; eleven prices out of 30 have been slashed, one more than Asda and more than twice the amount of price cuts at Morrisons.

It’s the final totals at the till which are most telling however, with Asda claiming the prize for the cheapest Christmas shop, with Tesco in 2nd, Morrisons 3rd and Sainsburys in 4th.

Who is The Cheapest Christmas Dinner Supermarket?

Asda claims 11 of the 30 cheapest prices for products, while Sainsbury’s has just 4 – all reduced to compete when we checked prices.

The good news is, thanks to the price war between British supermarkets, wherever you’ll be doing your Christmas shopping this year, you’ll make a saving on the average price of £129.70 given earlier.

The Perfect Shop

And if you can spare the time and resources, there’s another way to save even more! By picking and choosing the items from each of the four supermarkets, we’ve discovered that the entire shopping list can be yours for £106.33 – almost £20 saved on Sainsbury’s prices!

However, we really wouldn’t recommend heading out to four different supermarkets during the Christmas rush – having to go to one is bad enough!

Wherever you plan to do your shop, you can always keep an eye out for those special offers, to ensure a shrewdly-planned Christmas dinner for everyone.



The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.