Still with Waitrose the market leader amongst supermarkets (certainly in terms of quality), and both have certainly raised general standards of the middle ground in recent years.
However, they still rarely sell the very best of anything, although larger branches have a 'Specialist' section consisting of a few good quality oil and luxury items.
Their 'Taste the Difference' range offers the standards expected from any good grocer, certainly nothing more.
Larger branches with fish counters, rely too heavily on fish that has previously been frozen. This has the disadvantage in that it can't (or shouldn't be) frozen again at home, if need be.
Like some other supermarkets, they stress about the length of time their meat is hung. However, the public need to realise that any flavour and tenderness gained from hanging, depends on the way this is undertaken, (matured for 21 days counts for little, unless the meat has been traditionally-hung on the bone).
Likewise the breed of chicken retailers offer, is as important as their claimed diet (i.e. Corn). Fast-growing chicken varieties will never have the best flavour whatever they're fed. If you've ever tried a 'Sasso' breed of chicken (possibly only available at Farmers Markets and top-quality butchers) you'll know what we mean - they are worth seeking out!
Their traiteur section is impressively comprehensive, and almost as good as Marks & Spencer's and Waitrose for some dishes; and certainly helpful to those short of time.
It's excellent that biodegradable carrier bags are now the norm and great efforts have also been made to use 'greener' packaging.
- Open: Mon-Fri 8.00-22.00; Sat 8.00-21.00; Sun 10.00-16.00
- Closed: some Bank Holidays
ProductsShow All ProductsShow Less ProductsAlmond Oil Almonds Anchovies silver / Boquerones- preserved in oil Anchovies brown fillets - preserved in oil Apples Asparagus fresh in season Avocado Oil Baby Food - organic Bacon Bass Sea Farmed Beef - mince from grass reared animals Beef - grass fed Beef - oxtail Beef - salt Biscotti Biscuits - for cheese Biscuits - gluten free Biscuits - kosher Biscuits - organic Biscuits - sweet Black Pudding Blini - ready made Blueberries - in season Bombay Mix Bread Mixes Bread - French Bread Bread - Italian Bread - organic Breakfast cereal Breakfast cereal organic Brioche Butter - organic Buttermilk Cake Mixes Christmas Cake Cakes - special occasion Capers in brine Charcuterie Cheese Straws Cheese - British Isles Cheese - French Cheese - general Cheese - goats Cheese - Greek/Middle Eastern Cheese - Italian Cheese - organic Cheese - sheeps' (ewes') Cheese - soft Cheesecake Chestnuts - peeled & vacuum-packed Chicken Kiev - top class Chicken - organic Chicken - reputable Free Range Chili Powder Chilis / Chillis - fresh (seasonal) Chinese & Far-Eastern basics Chocolate Brownies Chocolate - Drinking Chutney pickles & relishes Cider - top quality Coffee Condiment Sauces & Jellies Cornish pasties Couscous Cream - Clotted Cream - Soya Crème fraiche Crisps organic Crisps; top quality Croissant fresh Cucumbers; pickled Curry Paste: Curry Powder Mixes Danish Pastries fresh Delicatessen; general Desserts; of high quality Dips Duck - free-range Aylesbury or Pekin-type Easter Eggs; good Eccles cakes Eels - jellied Eggs - Hens free range Eggs - Hens organic Fish stock Fish fresh general Fish frozen Fish - Shellfish Flour - stone ground Flour - organic Flour - barley Flour for breadmakers Flour - good selection Flour - rye Flour - spelt Food as Gifts French groceries Fruit juices Fruit Pies Fruit - dried Fruit - fresh Fruit - fresh organic Fruit - frozen Fruit - tinned Gammon Joints Goose/Geese - between Thanksgiving & Christmas Ginger - crystallised Gingerbread Grapeseed Oil Gravadlax Greengages - in season Groceries Guinea fowl - (might need a days notice) Haggis Ham & Gammon Ham - Parma Ham - Serrano Hazelnut Oil Hazelnuts / Cobnuts Health food Herb Plants Herbs - fresh these will be seasonal Herring Melts/Roes Herrings - fresh Herrings - marinated Honey Honey - organic Hot Cross Buns - sometimes only before Easter Houmus Ice cream - top quality Italian groceries Jam & preserves Jam & preserves - organic Kippers Kippers - undyed Lamb (seasonal) Lemon grass - fresh Macadamia Nut Oil Macaroons Maple syrup Marinades Marmalade Marmalade organic Meat - prepared for barbecues Meat pies Meat Stock Meat - organic & additive-free Meringues Milk - Goats Milk - organic Cows Mince pies high quality Miso Soup Muesli Muesli organic Muffins Muffins American - style Mushrooms - organic Mushrooms - dried Mussels - fresh in season Mussels vacuum - packed Mustard Nuts - pre packed Oatcakes Ocean Sticks Oils Olive Oil Olive Oil - flavoured Olives Oysters - Rock Pancetta Panettone - sometimes just at Christmas Party Nibbles Pasta - dried Pasta - fresh Pasties Pastrami Pastry - puff with butter Peanut Oil (groundnut) Peel - candied Pies - Vegetable Pine Kernels Pizza Polenta Pork pies Pork - free range Porridge Oats - coarse natural Potatoes - top class/unusual Prawns - frozen Prawns - King Christmas Pudding Pulses Pulses - organic Pumpkins - in the Autumn Pumpkin Seed Oil Rice cakes Rice paper Rice; organic Rice; specialist Risotto; flavoured mixes Saffron strands Salad Dressing - top quality Salad leaves - organic Salad leaves - of high quality Salami Salmon - farmed of top quality Sardines - fresh in season Sauces - prepared Chinese Sauces - prepared curry Sauces - prepared pasta Sauerkraut Sausages - Pork Sausages - Beef Chorizo Sausages - gluten free Sesame Oil Shortbread Smoked Duck breast Smoked Haddock - golden Smoked Haddock - undyed Smoked Mackerel Smoked salmon Sorbet/Water Ice Soup - top quality Speck Spices - a good general selection Squashs - Vegetable Squid - fresh (in season) Stare anise Sticky Toffee Pudding Stilton Stock - top-quality made Sugar - unrefined Swordfish - fresh Tapenade Tapioca Taramasalata Tea - organic Tea - specialist Tin Foil Tiramisu Tisanes / Herbal Infusions Tisanes / Herbal Infusions - organic Tofu Tomatoes - tinned organic Tomatoes - in season Tomatoes - sun dried Tortillas Traiteur/ Take Away/Ready Meals Traiteur/ Take Away/ Ready Meals - vegetarian Trout - Rainbow Truffle Oil Tuna - fresh Turkeys - free-range (often just before Christmas) Vanilla pods Vegetables - organic Vegetables - Exotic Vegetables - Far Eastern Vegetables - frozen Vegetables - good selection of fresh Vegetables Indian sub - continent Venison - farmed Vinegar - wine Vinegar - balsamic Vol-au-vent cases Walnut Oil Watercress Yeast - dried Yoghurt - cows' milk Yoghurt - dairy free Yoghurt - goats' milk Yoghurt - organic Yoghurt - sheeps' (ewes') milk
Reviews / Comments ( 4 out of 5 average rating)
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Thu 27th February 2014 by Sky North
What did you like about the Food Shop?
Good selection of items, though pretty much just more of the same stuff that every other supermarket sells.
On the whole this is a good store, however I have to say for price, freshness of ingredients, availability of genuinely fresh fish etc. Morrisons at Byker or Cowgate would be my choice, particularly as they are easier to get to.
What did you not like about the Food Shop?
Waitrose sells a similar range but with the added advantage of speciality items not available in any other food store in this area, and not necessarily too expensive, so there is no reason why larger supermarkets such as this Sainsbury's branch couldn't sell similar if they chose to.
I was told this Sainsbury's sells fresh baker's yeast (and in fact it is included on the store's product list on this website) however, I had a wasted journey. No, there is no fresh yeast, according to the rather bewildered assistant I asked (and I wondered if he knew what I meant as I had to explain it)
It certainly isn't available for internet shoppers in areas supplied by this store.
speaking of internet shopping, there is a tendency for this store to fob internet shoppers off with the shortest date items, as internet shoppers do not have the advantage of choosing the items with the longest date period from the date of purchase. This includes receiving bread with one day left on the label, which normally one would find on a reduced price shelf. I do not believe they don't have fresher bread, since a store this size will have fresh deliveries daily. I had a running commentary with Sainsbury's at one point about this and the excuse seemed to be it depends which day/time of day your delivery is booked for, yet I tried different days and times from early morning to later in the evening and nothing changed. Eventually I rang the manager of the store and complained.
If Sainsburys wish to keep their reputation I suggest they stop relying on endorsement by celeb chefs (who in any case don't even shop there!), and fancy packaging and tempting-sounding ranges, and instead concentrate on providing what people genuinely need.
(E.g. selling frozen sliced peppers in fancy packaging, but once opened the customer will find little more than slivers of pepper skin, which leads me to believe this is purely a cheap by-product, perhaps left over from other products requiring the actual flesh of the peppers?) And a lot of the "Taste the Difference" products leave you thinking "Er, how?". The Sainsbury's Basic range are ok but compared to other larger supermarkets, they are overpriced and the range is not extensive enough. Why offer a basic bag of green beans (which in fact are runner beans) when items that many people needing to rely on basic range ingredients are nowhere in sight. Why can't Sainsbury's offer a basic kilo of pasta, or rice, or oats. The basics bags of vegetables don't really cost that much less than the other veg. Why not simply drop the price of the fresh fruit and veg sold loose?
In short, it's a nice enough supermarket, but if I want to spend "85+ on a weekly shop for two people I will shop at Waitrose and get better quality, and more, for my money.
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