More than half of UK households will do their Christmas grocery shopping at Tesco this year.

53% of respondents to a TNS Omnibus survey said they will visit Tesco this Christmas, 38% will visit Asda, 31% will visit Sainsbury’s and 27% will visit Morrisons.

Marks & Spencer and Iceland are expected to benefit from the 18% of customers that will visit shops they never go into at any other time of year.

The survey revealed 21% of people will shop for groceries at Marks & Spencer over Christmas, compared to just 1% who usually do their main grocery shopping at the retailer.

Households in the north of England will spend the most on groceries at Christmas.

The average regional spend on groceries in the North will be £244, marginally more than Londoners who are set to spend an average £242.

The national average spend on groceries over the festive period is set to be £210 with Wales and the West of England the lowest spenders at around £177.

The figures show that on average, spending on groceries this Christmas will be consistent with last year, with an increase of just £2 on the 2010 average of £208.

Although 18% of respondents do intend to spend more this year, 24% of respondents will be tightening up their purse strings and said that they will spend less this year.

Sue Homeyard, managing director of information services at TNS Research International, said: “Seasonal food and drink shoppers spread their spend more widely than their usual main supermarket as they seek out items that ‘complete’ their Christmas festivities.

“This could be searching around for value for money and special offers and promotions or it could be to find special treats specific to certain stores. Certainly, grocery retailers have a fantastic opportunity to reach out to new customers through their seasonal advertising and promotions.”

Shopping is set to peak between December 18-22 when 28% of respondents to the survey said they will do their Christmas shop.