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Unexpected supermarket unveiled as UK’s ‘favourite’ for online shopping

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This brand is dominating the online industry (Picture: Getty Images)

The UK isn’t short of great options when it comes to supermarkets, witheight major retailers to pick from.

Each has its own merits too: for instance Asda often launches unique chocolate, Aldi and Lidl offer bargain prices, Waitrose is all about the luxury, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have more than just food in-store, and Morrisons is helping to keep the kids entertained. 

But if you’re wondering which is proving most popular online, it seems a rather surprising UK supermarket has been crowned the favourite in this area. 

According to a new report, Marks & Spencer is the nation’s most prominent online grocery brand, with the retailer said to be ‘dominating’ the industry. 

The brand is growing its online presence year on year (Picture: Chesnot/Getty Images)

According to research from Salience Search Marketing, M&S is leading the pack when it comes to its following and engagement on social media, as well as the number of brand searches it receives each month.

M&S is reportedly garnering over four million monthly searches, and has had the biggest growth year on year in online visibility, with an 8% increase. 

It’s not surprising M&S is proving so popular, as the high street staple was also recently named the overall best supermarket in the UK thanks to its ‘innovative and delicious food’. 

The Good Housekeeping Institute announced the winners of their Food Awards for 2024 back in February, with M&S taking the title.

The supermarket came out on top in official taste tests over 16 different categories — from best ever sausage roll to best barbecue foods.M&S was praised for its premium store cupboard essentials, ‘innovative’ new launches and generally ‘delicious’ products. Its new low-alcohol 0.5% Fresh & Bubbly Fizz was hailed as a particular highlight from the tests and an example of why the supermarket is doing so well.

The retailer was also recently praised for its ‘innovative and delicious’ food. (Picture: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

And it wasn’t just the experts who loved M&S either, as 3,000 readers also cast their votes for their favourite products and shops, and the supermarket scooped another four wins in the best ready meal, best special occasion meal, best dessert, and best sandwich categories.

The store’s Gastropub range, which is intended to be ‘restaurant quality’ was the number one choice for ready meals, with fans arguing that M&S ‘does a better job than some local pubs’. 

Standout ready meals included the fish and triple cooked chips, and Metro.co.uk can certainly attest that the latter really are worth the hype. Lifestyle reporter Alice Giddings recently branded them the ‘best oven chips she’d ever had’ and described them as ‘crispy, fluffy and well seasoned’. Yum.



The UK’s most prominent online grocery brands

  1. Marks & Spencer
  2. Tesco
  3. Asda
  4. Sainsbury’s
  5. Aldi

As part of the annual Salience report, researchers analysed 11 crucial performance indicators to find the top supermarkets, including brand awareness and search trends.

Following behind M&S, Tesco was found to be the second most prominent retailer in the online sector, with Asda, in third, Sainsbury’s in fourth, and Aldi closing out the top five.

Brett Janes, managing director at Salience Search Marketing, said: ‘Nowadays, online food shopping has become a favoured route for many as a more efficient option than a trip to a supermarket.

‘Amidst the recession, consumers have become more wary of prices and are assessing brands for the best value for money, with this a key factor for brands to consider.

‘Brands will need to look at Marks and Spencer for inspiration, as the supermarket trumps as the most prominent brand and biggest growth in visibility. 

‘Overall, building a strong following and online presence across multiple channels becomes vital in driving sales and capitalising on the expanding market demand.’

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