Your first visit to an Aldi supermarket may be a surprise — brands you’ve never heard of, no-one to pack your bags for you and an underwhelming range of stock. But if it’s value for money you’re looking for, you can’t look past it. Aldi has the unique strategy of buying all its products in bulk from manufacturers and then packaging them with its own brand names, which helps the chain keep its prices low.
Consistent with our previous survey, Aldi remained the most cost-effective option in supermarket land, with its own-brand basket costing almost half the price of the baskets of equivalent brands from the major supermarkets. (Although the items in the baskets weren’t always directly comparable in terms of size, when making the comparison we adjusted the prices of the Aldi products to match the size of their equivalent branded counterparts.)
The Aldi basket cost our shadow shopper just $55.70, compared to the average of directly comparable items in the major supermarkets’ baskets, which was $100.34 One of the items, anti-perspirant deodorant, cost $5.63 on average at the major supermarkets but only $1.69 at Aldi — less than a third of the supermarket cost.
Surprisingly, despite the inflation rate for food, the price of Aldi products has actually decreased by 0.7% since our 2003 price survey. Aldi Managing Director Buying, John Joyce, told CHOICE "As the business has grown in Australia, ongoing efficiency gains have helped us keep our costs low, and we have provided genuine competition in grocery retailing by passing these savings onto customers."
John Joyce also says that "Aldi is committed to providing our customers with top-quality products at incredibly low prices." While we recommend Aldi on a price basis, at this time we have compared the quality of very few Aldi products against other brands. A quality comparison will be coming in CHOICE later this year, but in the meantime we recommend you try Aldi for yourself and see if you like the quality — you’ll certainly notice the savings in your pocket.
Unfortunately for savings-hungry shoppers on the west coast, Aldi isn’t Australia-wide. It’s expanded since our last survey in 2003, growing from 39 stores back then to over 140 stores in NSW, the ACT, Victoria and now Queensland. It plans to have 200 stores open on the east coast by the end of 2008.