Aldi has replaced Waitrose as the nation’s favourite supermarket, after scoring highly on the quality of its own brand and fresh products, according to extensive Which? research.

In the Which? survey of 6,800 UK members the German discounter knocked Waitrose off the top spot, which it had held for three years. Aldi received a five star rating for its value for money, while Waitrose only received two stars – pushing it down to fourth overall position.

Aldi received four stars for ‘quality of own label products’ and ‘quality of fresh products’, and three stars for range of products and queueing time. It scored lowest on staff availability, with only two stars.

Marks & Spencer came in second place in the survey, with five star ratings across store appearance, quality of own-label products and the quality of fresh products.

Lidl ranks in third position with five stars for its value for money, but did not do so well with customers when it came to queuing time, staff availability and range of products (all two stars).

The big four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s – languish at the bottom of the in-store survey. Customers at Sainsbury’s were least impressed with its special offers and value for money, bringing it in last out of nine supermarkets.

Alex Neill, managing director of Which? Home Products and Services, said: “With food costs rising it seems as though shoppers have felt the pinch and are voting with their feet and wallets. Aldi and Lidl have won over their customers with value for money, knocking Waitrose off the top spot.

“The big four supermarkets need to up their game or risk losing their customers to other supermarkets who are doing a better job of giving people what they want.”