Can Tesco’s new Brand Guarantee help you save money?

Penny Golightly tests new Tesco Brand Guarantee

Tesco’s new Brand Guarantee scheme launched on the 12th of October, promising to instantly refund customers if the total price of the branded groceries in their baskets could be found cheaper on an identical shop at rival supermarkets Asda, Morrisons or Sainsbury’s. I thought this sounded potentially interesting, so I took up their offer to try it out with a real life basket of shopping.

More about the Tesco Brand Guarantee T&Cs

  • The guarantee only covers like-for-like branded groceries, and excludes own brand groceries and loose fruit and vegetables.
  • The scheme works instantly at the tills of Tesco Extra, Superstore or Metro store, and online at (excludes Tesco Express stores, Tesco Petrol Filling Stations, Tesco Wine, Tesco Direct)
  • Your basket must contain at least ten items, including at least one branded grocery item, to qualify.
  • If a refund is due to you, it’s capped at a total £20.
  • Includes offers in other supermarkets such as discounts and multi-buy offers, but you must match the correct number of multi-buy items to qualify for the Brand Guarantee.

You might also like to find out more about the scheme and see the full T&Cs at the Tesco website.

My personal experience

I filled my basket only with branded goods on this occasion, to give the best chance to see the guarantee in action. [In a more average shop, I tend not to buy branded goods – I’m much more likely to buy own-brand groceries and fruit and vegetables, so I might not always qualify for the Brand Guarantee offer or feel a huge effect from it. If you’re the kind of person who has a tight budget for your total spending, and you usually save money by cooking from scratch and buying the cheapest ingredients, this will probably apply to you too].

The sum total of my branded shopping came to £76.06. I asked the cashier whether I’d had any money taken off at the till because of the new Brand Guarantee, and he showed me there and then on the receipt how it had matched up to Tesco’s competitors.

Tesco Brand Guarantee test till receipt

As you can see for yourself in the picture above, my shopping was £2.36 cheaper compared to the next best total branded shopping in a different supermarket. So, I didn’t get the instant refund, but I did get the feel-good factor that I’d plumped for the best all-round shopping option for the total branded basket on that particular occasion.

There was no messing about with the automatic discount, less paper was wasted on giving out vouchers, there was no chance of vouchers being mislaid or expiring, and nobody behind me in the queue glowered at me for ‘holding things up’. It is generally more convenient all round than printed vouchers you can’t use until your next shop.

The other thing that was interesting was this: while I went in with a shopping list of branded goods that I wanted to buy, I also allowed myself to take advantage of one or two in-store reductions and multi-buy offers. My multi-buy savings came in at the sum of £8.09, which for me was more significant than the Brand Guarantee within the same basket. Your mileage, of course, will vary.

To sum up: The people who seem most likely to benefit from the new Tesco Brand Guarantee will be median income (or medium spending bracket) shoppers who are brand-sensitive, possibly time-poor, and who like to do a fuss-free weekly shop all in one go without shopping around or handling paper vouchers. They will either enjoy an automatic instant refund at the till that reassures them they haven’t paid over the odds on branded goods, or they’ll get the feel-good factor of being told their branded shopping was cheaper than the supermarket’s main rivals.

The Brand Guarantee is probably not going to benefit all shoppers, and it isn’t the full answer to cutting your groceries bill, but if you’re in the demographic I mentioned above then you’re almost certainly going to find it convenient and it’s a nice little safeguard.

Full disclosure: I accepted shopping vouchers from Tesco so that I could try out their new Brand Guarantee feature. There has been no editorial interference and all words and thoughts are my own.

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