Upscale supermarket Waitrose has been ranked as the worst major online retailer for grocery freshness, according to a new study.
Consumption specialists at Who? investigated the quality and longevity of fresh produce from UK grocers in a survey, which saw the country’s largest chain Tesco perform the strongest.
Who? used a team of 12 undercover shoppers to order more than 1,000 groceries from six major supermarket chains to examine the freshness of their food and drink.
Each shopper ordered the same 16 perishable grocery items from each of the online supermarkets.
He totaled the number of full hours left from delivery to midnight on expiration day for each item and calculated an average time per supermarket.
Tesco topped the list for freshness, with items averaging 11 days.
The supermarket showed the expected shelf life of perishable items on its website and had no examples of damaged packaging or food that had died out at the time of delivery, unlike some competitors.
Tesco was closely followed by Asda, which had an average shelf life of 10.5 days on its products on all grocery items, despite delivering a packet of bacon by its expiration date.
Meanwhile, online-only rival Ocado was just behind Asda with an average product lifespan of 10.4 days.
Waitrose, which launched its own online business last year after ending a partnership with Ocado, was at the bottom of the table, with posts averaging 8.6 days.
The supermarket also delivered two packages of beef that appeared to have died out, despite their expiration date.
Waitrose said: “We always train our partners to choose products with the longest expiration date for online deliveries – we’re sorry this doesn’t meet our high standards and we’re committed to making this better for our customers. .
“From time to time we sometimes shorten the date codes on certain fresh produce to ensure optimum quality – so this may also have been a factor behind the results. “