Have you had that conversation about Aldi/Lidl yet (delete as applicable)? The one where the converted shopper explains how much they saved on their weekly shop by ‘giving it a try’…
Whether you play the part of the converted or the uninitiated, the chances are that this scene rings a bell. I’ve certainly heard plenty of anecdotes along these lines lately… The evidence that there’s a shift in the UK’s supermarket landscape is much more than anecdotal, though.
The latest 12-week sales figures from research firm Kantar Worldpanel show that discount chains Aldi and Lidl are on the up, along with Waitrose at the higher end of the market.
While Asda, Morrisons and Tesco all struggled, and Sainsbury’s grew sales by 2.7% year on year, Aldi’s receipts jumped 32%, and Lidl’s 17.2%.
They may be starting from a low base, but such rapid growth should worry the ‘big four’, especially those that have traditionally pushed their low-price credentials.
And then there are the results of our 2014 supermarket survey – Aldi is streets ahead of the big four, coming top for the first time. Here’s our Jen Davis and Kate Creagh going head-to-head on switching to Aldi.
Jen has moved back to Tesco
My first trip to Aldi felt like a revelation – I could buy an Iceberg lettuce for 30p less than at my usual Tesco store, basics like bread and pasta were incredibly cheap and the range seemed pretty good. But I soon realised that there were a few bits and pieces on my list that I just couldn’t get at Aldi, so we still had to pop to Tesco to top up our shop.
On top of that, the range of vegetables at Aldi was really lacking, and I couldn’t seem to buy most vegetables loose. I’d come away with three courgettes instead of one – still a good price, but it just felt wasteful. As I found myself moving back to Tesco for more and more products, I eventually gave up on Aldi and saved the extra hour of time every weekend.
Kate has fallen for Aldi
Having encountered it when I lived in Germany, I continued to shop at Aldi when I moved back to the UK. I love it because it’s the place where I can stock up on the essentials, like eggs and pasta, and the luxuries, like Prosecco. My food bill is always a lot less than I’d pay in other supermarket chains, so I can spend a bit more on having fun. The selection of products may be limited at times, but I don’t mind being flexible as the quality and prices are excellent.
After my big monthly shop to restock the kitchen cupboards at Aldi, I supplement this with a weekly shop at the local market for fresh produce. This is the best of both worlds as I support local farmers and make my food budget go further.
So, are you an Aldi convert? How about Lidl? Do you rate these new supermarkets above the big four?
Do you regularly shop in Aldi or Lidl?
Yes (58%, 656 Votes)
No (42%, 469 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,125