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Sellotape instead of loo roll: the weirdest supermarket substitutions revealed

An online shopping cart with a cursor
An online shopping cart with a cursor

Dog chews instead of chicken breasts and sellotape in place of loo roll – just some of the bizarre supermarket delivery substitutions offered to shoppers.

Almost half of online shoppers have received a replacement item in their supermarket deliveries, according to consumer group Which?, but consumers have been left scratching their heads following “downright ridiculous” replacements.

The consumer group asked 1,200 people for their most bizarre experiences of receiving the wrong item from Britain's main grocers, with one Asda shopper revealing they were sent loo rolls instead of bread rolls.

Sainsbury's customers told of substitutions including shoe polish instead of fruit, and bacon rather than BBQ-flavoured crisps.


Over half of Aldi customers questioned in the survey said they received substitutions, with one saying they had been sent a bag of onions in lieu of a loaf of bread.

online grocery delivery - Hollie Adams/Bloomberg
online grocery delivery - Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

More than four in 10 Tesco shoppers reported substitutions, including oddities such as an Easter egg in place of hot dog baps and a chocolate Father Christmas instead of tinfoil.

Customers with dietary requirements also claimed to have been sent food they could not eat. Some complained about getting meat or dairy instead of vegetarian or vegan alternatives, with one Morrisons shopper claiming they received meat sausages instead of veggie burgers.

The same was true for customers with food intolerances.

One shopper, who said their partner has coeliac disease, said their gluten-free product was substituted with a product containing wheat. A Waitrose shopper said they were sent an alcohol-free bottle of wine instead of a regular, alcoholic vintage.

Elsewhere a shopper said they were sent sellotape instead of toilet paper.

One Iceland customer said they received strawberries instead of bin bags, while an Asda customer was presented with dog chews after ordering chicken breasts.

Reena Sewraz, of Which?, said the findings of the study were "downright ridiculous". "Product substitutions can be incredibly frustrating, especially if the key ingredient for your dinner is missing," she said, adding shoppers have the right to reject substitutions at the point of delivery.

An Asda spokesman said the supermarket always informed customers of its substitutions ahead of time. Aldi, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose and Iceland were approached for comment.

Morrisons declined to comment.