Best-one is the best symbol group according to customers polled by consumer choice organisation Which?

M&S Simply Food and Little Waitrose topped the charts with 69% and 62% customer ratings respectively. When it came to symbol groups, Best-One scored 52%, One Stop had 49%, Costcutter 48%, Nisa 45%, Londis 44%, Budgens 43%, Premier 43% and Spar was rated 42%.

McColl’s had the lowest customer score of any reviewed symbol group at 37%.

Best-one’s symbol development director James Hall, said: “We lead the field in terms of service, pricing and promotions and to be voted the top symbol operator by shoppers is a fantastic achievement.”

Hall alleged that symbol groups that “chase store numbers” were damaging shopper opinions of the brands.

The survey data revealed a gulf between consumer views on multiple and independent shops. Symbol groups were rated 27.5% lower on own-label quality, 41% lower on fresh ranging and 28.6% lower on store appearance.

Which? home products and services MD Alex Neill said M&S and Little Waitrose had “raised the bar with tidy stores and a great range of fresh products, leaving rivals like McColl’s looking poor value for money”.

In a poll of consumer attitudes towards different supermarkets, discounters Aldi and Lidl outperformed Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.

Leaks recently revealed that Tesco is planning to launch a new discounter store brand to take on the Germany-based discounters.