The number of grocery products on promotion at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Ocado fell during December as the volume of promotions throughout the year made it difficult for the UK retailers to increase the level in the run-up to Christmas.

According to the latest data from just-food’s Promo Tracker, all four retailers had less items on promotion in December, seen as one of the key selling periods in the UK grocery calendar.

Jonny Steel, spokesperson for, which exclusively compiles the Promo Tracker data for just-food, said UK grocers used promotions so often throughout the year that they find it tough to sell more on discount ahead of the festive period.

However, he noted that the average saving consumers were able to earn during December rose at each retailer apart from Sainsbury’s.

“There are so many promotions all year round now that it’s hard for the supermarkets to up it any further in the run up to Christmas. Their marketing focuses heavily on their promotions in December but the figures show that it doesn’t necessarily mean that there are more or better deals than in previous months,” Steel said.

“That said, the average saving per promotion increased slightly in all supermarkets bar Sainsbury’s, which means that there were slightly fewer offers, but better ones.”

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Supermarket Total number of SKUs Number of Promos % of all SKUs on promo Average saving per promo
Tesco 30,438 7,795 25.61 £0.96
Asda 26,420 5,180 19.61 £0.65
Sainsbury’s 22,283 5,199 23.33 £1.07
Ocado 19,260 2,504 13.00 £1.27
Brand % of all SKUs on promo Average saving per promo
Pringles 90.2 £0.90
Actimel 88.1 £0.75
Muller 83.8 £0.35
Innocent 80.4 £0.51
Batchelors 66.9 £0.29
Activia 66.4 £0.28
Rachel’s 57.7 £0.18
Bassett’s 57.4 £1.25
Sainsbury’s Italian 57.4 £0.45
Walkers (Crisps, Snacks & Dips) 55.1 £0.44
Fox’s (Biscuits) 54.1 £0.44
Tilda 51.2 £0.75
Bisto 50.4 £0.37
Hartley’s 49.4 £0.19
Organix 49.2 £0.24
Hipp 48.7 £0.19
Mr Kipling 47.3 £0.30
Findus 46.9 £1.00
Ambrosia 44.5 £0.21
Crosse & Blackwell 44.2 £0.13
Category % of all SKUs on promo Average saving per promo
Frozen Pizza & Breads 50.87 £0.54
Yogurts 44.82 £0.32
Baby Food & Snacks 42.42 £0.21
Crisps 42.24 £0.53
Chilled Desserts 39.68 £0.29
Frozen Desserts & Fruit 36.62 £0.55
Frozen Vegetarian 36.53 £0.33
Cooked, Prepared Meat & Poultry 35.70 £0.65
Fresh Pizza & Chilled Bread 35.05 £0.62
Frozen Ready Meals 34.26 £0.51
Yogurt & Milk Drinks 34.11 £0.58
Sausages & Burgers 33.33 £0.51
Boxed Chocolates 32.59 £1.13
Snack Meals 32.25 £0.22
Block Chocolate 30.70 £0.35
Packet Soup 29.57 £0.29
Weight Loss 28.66 £2.83
Fruit 27.52 £0.63
Chocolate Biscuits 26.53 £0.47
Tinned Pasta 26.05 £0.09