Sainsbury’s has launched a free 30-minute click-and-collect grocery service, stealing a march on its rivals in the increasingly heated grocery delivery war.

Its shoppers are now able to pre-order and pay for items using the Chop Chop app, and collect them from store 30 minutes later free of charge.

The trial was launched today at the grocer’s Pimlico branch in London, making Sainsbury’s the first UK supermarket to offer a sub one-hour collection option.

It comes as grocers strive to compete with internet Goliath Amazon’s rapid delivery proposition.

Customers can order a maximum of 25 items, which will be packed and ready for collection at the store’s Chop Chop desk.

The grocer’s one-hour delivery service via Chop Chop is already available at the Pimlico branch.

Sainsbury’s director of online Clodagh Moriarty said: “We want to offer a customer experience that is differentiated in terms of price but also in terms of service, with complete customer autonomy and excellent flexibility.

“The way customers are shopping is changing as they look for faster and more convenient options and we want to continue leading the way in giving them the services they need to shop wherever and whenever they want.”

Last month, Tesco took aim at both Sainsbury’s and Amazon by launching a one-hour home delivery service.