Weasel's Supermarket guide

I have just come back from the Co-op, where I picked up a pack of "line caught, wild Salmon". (Wild? It was incandescent) The use by date was 26th September and it was stinking and rotten. I mention this, because it is not the first time I have had to throw rotting stuff away from this particular branch. Bear in mind that it is several miles away and the idea of taking it back to complain is just too much hassle. Clearly they have a handling problem in the supply chain. (It was a lot worse during the summer, which leads me to surmise that somebody at the store is leaving fresh meat on a pallet for too long.)

So, in a spirit of retribution, I give you Weasel's Guide to Supermarkets, a highly scientific expose. I shall do it as a top list of the supermarkets I have visited in the last year.

1. Marks and Spencer. ***** Simply the best. Their wine is one or two pounds more than the others, but boy, is it worth it. You can get everything delivered very cheaply, which is very useful to rural types like me.The food is always fresh, and the shelves are always stacked. There is plenty of space to move around and staff are ready to help. I particularly like things like their speciality fish cakes, which make me a good lunch if I am on my own. Strangely, they don't seem to do free-range chicken, so really, I am going to deduct half a star just for that. UPDATE: Yes, they do do free-range chicken. Got some today.

2. Sainsbury's. ***** Within a gnat's whisker of being up there with M&S because they have such an incredible range, but their wine is not up to M&S standards. To do fresh food on that scale you have to be organised, and that is what they are. I get free-range, filleted chicken thighs, which are great for curries. They have an enticing delicatessen for both fresh and preserved goods. I have never been disappointed.

3.Asda/Walmart. *** A lot better than you might think. The wine is average, but no worse than any other supermarket fare. The meat is fresh and they are very good value for basics. Asda is let down by occasional empty shelves and poor personal hygeine among staff. Plus, the customers are a bit yucky and every time I go someone coughs in my face. Asda is usually so busy and so stinky and so full of screaming weans, that you want to fall down in a heap and have a good cry.

4.The Co-op. ** And they get one of those stars for being ethical. The check-out staff are friendly though. That's the other star. You can get some interesting wines. As for fresh food, forget it. You may as well eat at The Fat Duck and do norovirus in style.

5. Lidl. * you can get some great bargains, but you can also buy a lot of crap.

6.Tesco. no stars. It's big. I hate Tescos. The vegetables are limper than a porn-star's dick after 16 takes (and less appetizing). I nearly destroyed a self-service check-out module through utter rage and contempt because the dumb bitch inside the machine kept telling me I had an unrecognised item in the bagging area.  I gave up being a regular shopper there because they always ran out of basics, and didn't give a shit about it. After the third or fourth time of not being able to get very ordinary things, I left the half-empty trolley and walked out.

I have not been in a Waitrose in a decade, but it was always full of braying, bejewelled slappers with hard faces, who elbowed you in the groin for the last star fruit, before careering out of the car park in an SUV.

The only rider going with all this is that I live in Scotland, where they do not do good food, nor do they understand it, or the concept of good service. The only place where I eat out is entirely French-owned and run, and the only place that sells decent bread is German.


co op said...

I can agree about the co op. The fresh fish pie mix sometimes stinks before you get it out of the shop. God knows what they do with fish. Hang it like meat for a week or something ? The checkout experience isn't so good either since they started the loyalty card scheme.
'Do you have a card' ?
'Would you like a card '?
No thanks.
'Well I'll pop the leaflet in your bag in case you want to join later'?
The house is full of their yellow leaflets. Doesn't seem very ethical. All that wasted paper.

Oh you missed out Morrisons. Full of Polish folk ( working and buying). And the fish is full of bones with £2 for a salmon fish head WTF ?

Idle Pen Pusher said...

I get annoyed whenever I go to M&S because of the damn 5p bag charge. It irritates me immensely. Before they introduced it, I used to go a lot more than now.

Their fruit (and fruit juice) is miles better than the others. Sweeter, juicier, riper.

Waitrose sells a lot of nice stuff, too.

The killer is usually closing time, though. I often shop after a work out, which means my Morrisons before 10pm or Sainsbury which closes at 11.

Jim Baxter said...

The Co-op is a disgrace. I bought a chicken from there last month that climbed out of the cellophane itself when I got it home (the same day) despite its having no head. It smelled like fish, mind you. Dead fish that had been left out in the sun for a week.

But what else wold you expect from a co-operative? And such happy staff.

Good with food eh?

Rebel Saint said...

Reminds me of the old gag ...
Why does Sainsbury's exist?
To keep the riff raff out of Waitrose.

Think some of it's got to do with purchasing power. Was regularly having to take milk back to our Co-op as it had turned, despite being in date. Subsequently discovered via an acquaintance who worked at the local dairy processing plant that the big boys got all the freshest milk ... co-op got what was left! Don't know how much truth there is in that but it sounded feasible enough for me.

We're a Sainsbury's family despite having a more local Asda (or SpAsda as us locals call it!) and having to drive past a Morrisons to get there. Another nail in the local SpAsda's coffin for us was when they replaced pretty much all the deli counter with a Halal butchers. Stealth cultural jihad.

co op said...


The co op story is probably true. I worked in a veg plant once and there was a pecking order for veg. M&S were topdogs, then Sainsbury's then Tescos. But M&S paid the factory top dollar for the produce as it was always the best of the crop. Their factory inspections were brutal aswell. Consigning tonnes of food to the waste dump for simple mistakes in labelling etc.
Time was so precious in the factory that often the pre packaged veg was just dumped in skips rather than being re packaged and re labelled. The veg was perfect apart from a date stamp mistake or something.