Waitrose’s customers were happy with the supermarket’s superb food and easy-to-navigate stores Getty Images

Waitrose has been rated the best supermarket in the UK in a survey published by Which? on Thursday (16 February). The consumer group said that the ratings of the consumer satisfaction survey were based on answers from 7,004 customers.

Which? said that Waitrose managed to bag the top spot after its customers said that "they loved its superb food and easy-to-navigate stores".

This is the third year in a row that Waitrose has bagged the top spot in the bricks-and-mortar supermarkets poll. It managed to get a customer score of 74%, but Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Lidl were not too far behind. While, M&S came in second with a score of 73%, the German retailers shared the third spot with a score of 72%.

Aldi and Lidl were found to be the only two supermarkets in the survey that received top marks for being value for money stores. Based on this, Which? concluded that a store's appearance and the ability to find products easily were of real value to customers, which was the reason why Waitrose managed to earn the top slot despite scoring low on value for money.

The group also conducted a poll to find the best online supermarket in the country. Iceland, the British supermarket chain, which focuses on the sale of frozen foods, topped this category with a customer score of 76%.

Its customers said that Iceland offered great value for money. According to the survey, Iceland's no substitution policy, convenient delivery slots and friendly drivers helped the online grocer bag the top spot.

Others that followed Iceland on the list included Ocado, Morrisons and Tesco. While Ocado bagged the second spot with a customer score of 76%, the other two supermarkets came in third with a score of 74%.

Consumer satisfaction and likelihood of recommending the store to a friend:

  1. Waitrose 74%
  2. Marks & Spencer 73%
  3. Aldi 72%
  4. Lidl 72%
  5. Morrisons 70%
  6. Iceland 69%
  7. Sainsbury's 67%
  8. Tesco 66%
  9. Asda 62%

For the first time, a poll was conducted to rate convenience shops. Which? asked about 4,800 people how "satisfied they were with the stores where they pick up groceries between big weekly shops, and whether they'd recommend them to a friend".

M&S Simply Food bagged the top spot in this category with a customer score of 75%. Meanwhile, Little Waitrose and Best-One bagged the second and third spots with a score of 66% and 64%, respectively.

Asda came last in the in-store rankings with its food quality rated as average, and the store was also joint last with Waitrose and Sainsbury's in the online table. An Asda spokeswoman said: "We know that we need to do a better job for our customers and all our colleagues are working hard to make a real difference.

Commenting on the findings, Richard Headland, magazine editor at Which? said: "With concerns over rising prices the competition among supermarkets is fiercer than ever. While value for money remains a top priority, in-store appearance and the availability of quality and fresh products can also go a long way to satisfying shoppers' needs."