Morrisons and M&S have both recently released £35 essential food boxes full of everyday items people need during the coronavirus lockdown.

When the Morrisons food box went on sale, interest was so high the website crashed, with customers struggling to get on and buy one.

The Morrisons box is a random selection so people don't know exactly what they get until it arrives.

Last week M&S launched its own essentials box, with a clear list of what items are included, such as tea bags, coffee and toilet roll.

But if you’re thinking about buying one, which is best to go for? Here we take a look inside each box to see how they compare, and look at what customers think so far.

Morrisons Food Boxes

What's inside

The Morrisons boxes are packed with a random selection of ‘essential items’, so contents will vary. Each box contains £30 of groceries and is delivered to your door for £5.

Shoppers can choose from a Vegetarian Food Box or Meat Eaters Food Box, both priced the same.

To give you an idea of what you could find, this is what a reporter at StokeonTrentLive found inside a box they ordered.

The box was divided into chilled and non-chilled sections, with ice packs and wool packaging to separate the items. It included:

Total: 22 items

What customers are saying

A few customers who ordered the box reported having to wait a few days for it to be delivered.

However, those who received theirs seemed to be pleased with the purchase. One customer tweeted Morrisons to say his had arrived and it was “absolutely wonderful”.

Another Twitter user said: “We received a Morrisons food box today, chilled items packed separately from non-chilled. Without listing everything there was 22 items in the box. MORRISONS FOOD BOX IS THE BEST. We chose the meat box”.

Another who ordered a vegetarian box said it was a “great selection”.

How easy it is to buy one

To order, customers need to create an account on the Morrisons website, or log in using existing details.

Like many supermarkets, the Morrisons website is seeing high demand and a queuing system is in place.

Boxes are delivered by courier but some customers have waited a few days to receive theirs.

M&S £35 essentials box

What's inside

Each M&S food box contains:

Total: 20 items

What customers are saying

Customers in the review section of the M&S website were divided, with one person saying: "This is just what I need at the moment, store cupboard essentials that will keep, so no wastage, which could be a problem for some with fresh food.”

And another saying: I've gone ahead and ordered two of these for family members as surprises. Well done Marks on offering a ready made option to restock at this difficult time.”

M&S £35 essentials box
M&S £35 essentials box

However there were concerns over the amount of sugary contents included, with one reviewer saying: “I was pleased to see this initiative but disappointed with the contents. As other reviewers have said, far to many sweet items and not enough fresh produce or chilled ready meals.

"There was not a vegetarian option displayed either."

Another implored M&S to replace the sweets with fruit and veg and said they would only order “in an emergency” because they “come to M&S for healthy food, because we care about what we eat.”

How easy it is to buy one

Unfortunately at the time of writing the box is unavailable, with a message from M&S telling customers that it has been “very popular and we have sold out”. The message says M&S is working hard to get it back online and urges shoppers to check back in a few days.