Food shopping: Dog chews instead of chicken breasts among weird supermarket substitutes

Shoe polish instead of fruit was among bizarre substitutes reported by baffled shoppers.
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Online shoppers have received dog chews instead of chicken breasts and strawberries in place of bin liners in some of the strangest supermarket substitutions.

Almost half of supermarket deliveries included a substitute item over the last 12 months, a Which? poll found.

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More than six out of 10 Asda customers reported receiving a substitution in their most recent shop, with one receiving dog chews instead of chicken breasts.

Photo Chris Radburn/PA WirePhoto Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Photo Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Another bewildered shopper received a pack of toilet rolls instead of bread rolls.

Among reports of unexpected items, one included a bag of onions instead of a loaf of bread.

Half of customers who had ordered online at Sainsbury's 52 per cent told Which? they had received a substitution, including shoe polish instead of fruit, and bacon rather than BBQ-flavoured crisps.

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Among the fifty one percent of Morrisons shoppers who received substitutions one who received meat sausages instead of veggie burgers and another who received a toothbrush instead of apples.

More than four in 10 Tesco shoppers reported substitutions such as an Easter egg in place of hot dog rolls and a chocolate Santa instead of a roll of tinfoil.

One Iceland shopper told Which? they received strawberries instead of bin bags.

Waitrose customers were the least likely to receive a substitution at 24 per cent, although one was not pleased to receive an alcohol-free bottle of wine in place of a standard bottle.

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Customers with special dietary requirements fared particularly badly with substitutions at a number of supermarkets, with many complaining about receiving meat or dairy instead of vegetarian or vegan alternatives.

One shopper, whose partner has coeliac disease, had their gluten-free product substituted with a product containing wheat.

Which? Retail editor Reena Sewraz said: "Product substitutions can be incredibly frustrating, especially if the key ingredient for your dinner is missing. Our research has shown that some replacements can also be downright ridiculous.

"You have the right to reject substitutions at the point of delivery, or you could opt out of receiving substitutions altogether. If you do end up with a substitution that you don't want, always contact the supermarket and ask for a refund."

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Deltapoll surveyed 3,007 UK adults online in October, gathering information on 1,260 online supermarket shopping experiences.

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