I love my supermarket meal deal. It justifies expensive tastes.
One product of the collapse of family life in the UK is the supermarket £10 meal deal. These were invented by Tesco in the days it was the smartest marketer on the high street.
Tesco offer what they claim is a restaurant quality selection of products available for a single set price. This would include one main course one side, one pudding and a bottle of wine which would be selected by the customer. These items would require minimal preparation- usually just heating in a microwave and the entire concept was designed to save the customer time and thought in the selection.
Tesco meal deals are still available and still quite good- but other retailers have come to challenge them.
The market leader now seems to be Marks and Spencer.
The more loyalty cards I have the less loyalty (to retailers) I show. The first photograph is of Fortnums.Tesco has been in decline for a number of years and may now be in modest recovery. The current offering was repackaged in the years of muddle and it is not quite clear what it was designed to achive.
Few people visit Tesco for its main offerings any more and so they try to get people in by opening concessions within their stores for coffee shops (Harris and Hoole), bakeries (Euphorium) and a burrito stall. These are trendy and upmarket brands that Tesco seems to think will benefit them by association.
Marks and Spenser is also in decline- with the sole exception of food which goes from strength to strength.
Tesco emphasise convenience over value. Portions are quite stingy and require little cooking. Exotic dishes predominate.
Marks and Spenser emphasise honest value but require home cooking. My main course from Tesco was beef in a flavoured wine sauce that was alleged to feed two people but could be eaten by one. Marks and Spenser gave me a chicken that could have fed a family.
The one area where Tesco shines is in the wine.
Tesco have the Clubcard. One point for one pound. This scheme may be redeemed in groceries or exchanged for a variety of third party offers which generally offer better value.
Marks and Spenser have Sparks (10 points per pound). These result in discounts and special offers tailored to the individual. Sparks are credited immediately while Clubcard Points take 24 hours to appear in the account.
Overall I much prefer Marks and Spenser offering. Tesco is easier but M&S is far better value. The photograph at the head of the page is not from either of these shops but from Fortnum and Mason which is where I will shop when I am rich.