From Crop to Consumption

Iceland steals customer satisfaction crown from Aldi and Waitrose

The UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published recently by The Institute of Customer Service, reveals that Iceland tops UK supermarkets for customer satisfaction, having climbed 37 places in the rankings since this time last year.

In a highly competitive sector, falling shortly behind Iceland is a cluster of both discount and high-end supermarkets, including Aldi, Lidl, M&S Food and Waitrose. Aldi and Waitrose have topped the UKCSI in previous years but have lost ground in a highly competitive marketplace which is set to see further change with the proposed impending Sainsbury’s and Asda merger. Aldi's UKCSI score has dropped by 1.7 points compared to a year ago.

The top 10 supermarkets in the July 2018 UKCSI are Iceland, Waitrose, Aldi, M&S (food), Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Co-op (food).

The UK’s four biggest supermarket chains make up the bottom end of the top 10, with the UKCSI report revealing Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Asda and Tesco are losing out compared to competitors in areas including trust, transparency and reputation. Iceland customers have high trust in the brand, scoring it 8.4 (out of 10) for transparency (in comparison the ‘big four’ received scores of 7.8 or 7.9). Waitrose and Iceland lead the way in ‘caring for customers’ with a score of 8.3, whilst Asda and Tesco score 7.8.

Iceland has made several moves over recent years to tap into the public consciousness with customer-pleasing initiatives including the introduction of vegan ice cream, an affordable luxury range featuring lobster, wagyu beef and venison, and was the first supermarket to pledge to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own-brand products by the end of 2023. Last month it announced it was expanding its vegan range after sales of vegan products outsold non-vegan equivalents.

Jo Causon, Chief Executive of The Institute of Customer Service, commented: “Maintaining consistency will be key to building trust and sustainable success for Iceland and other brands in the sector. In a highly competitive sector, organisations need to maintain a constant focus on understanding their customers’ needs, high standards of employee helpfulness and competence, quality and range of products and competitive pricing. At a time of dynamic change and intense competition, it is worth remembering that over the last three years the supermarkets who have outperformed the sector average for customer satisfaction have achieved the strongest revenue growth.”