Need to know
- Aldi has recently opened several smaller, convenience-style stores in Sydney and Melbourne
- We compared their prices and product range to that of a standard Aldi supermarket
- One product was more expensive at an Aldi Corner Store, and Aldi says there may be a difference in the prices between the two types of outlet
Aldi has proven a rising star in Australia's supermarket landscape, growing its market share to over 12% in 2019 – almost double what it was a decade previously.
More recently, the company has claimed that the cost of living crisis is driving more consumers to shop at its stores, citing an increase in sales of over 13% last year.
Now the chain is wading into the convenience shopping market alongside the likes of Woolworths Metro and Coles Local, with its new line of 'Corner Stores'.
Aldi is wading into the convenience shopping market alongside the likes of Woolworths Metro and Coles Local
Designed for "customers in high-density urban areas who prefer shopping more frequently", Aldi has opened seven of these stores across Sydney and Melbourne since launching the concept in 2021.
But how do these new stores compare to Aldi's traditional supermarkets?
The company says they're a place where you can "grab your weekly groceries" and expect to pay "Aldi prices". We headed instore to see if this was true.
Aldi's new Corner Store format targets convenience shoppers, with grab-and-go meal displays. Source: Aldi
What are prices and range like at Aldi Corner Stores?
CHOICE visited two standard Aldi supermarkets in Sydney and one in Melbourne, armed with a list of products to price check.
This checklist of 16 items (see full list below) was designed to represent a shopping basket holding some common essentials and featuring a range of food and household basics, alongside several Aldi favourites we've recommended in the past:
- Bread: Baker's Life Viva Plus White High Fibre 700g
- Chocolate: Moser Roth Chocolate bars (Dark Caramel Sea Salt) 5x25g
- Hommus: Deli Originals Fresh Hommus 200g
- Fresh milk: Farmdale Full Cream Milk 1L
- Butter: Beautifully Butterfully Spreadable Dairy Blend 500g
- Canned tuna: Portview Tuna Chunks in Springwater 95g
- Canned tomatoes: Remano Australian Diced Tomatoes 400g
- Pasta: Remano Penne 500g
- Beef mince: Jindurra Station 3 Star Beef Mince
- Crackers: Damora Original Water Crackers 250g
- Stain remover: Di-San Pre Wash Stain Remover 750ml
- Peanut Butter: Oh So Natural Wholefoods Crunchy Peanut Butter 375g
- Cheese: Westacre Dairy Tasty Cheese Block 250g
- Yoghurt: Brooklea Family Vanilla Yogurt 1kg
- Fresh fruit: Cavendish bananas, loose (price per kg)
- Fresh vegetables: Broccoli, loose (price per kg)
We then visited three of Aldi's new Corner Stores in Sydney and Melbourne to see if the prices and product range matched those of the bigger outlets.
We found almost all the products on our list could be bought at an Aldi Corner Store for the same price as at a regular Aldi supermarket.
The one exception was broccoli, which cost more per kilogram at an Aldi Corner Store in Melbourne compared to a standard Aldi supermarket in the same city. This was different to Sydney, where the price per kilogram was the same across all stores.
We found almost all the products on our list could be bought at an Aldi Corner Store for the same price as at a regular Aldi supermarket
The vegetable cost $2.99 per kilo at the Melbourne supermarket, but $0.50 more per kilogram ($3.49) at the corner store.
When we asked Aldi to explain the price difference, a spokesperson said the price of fresh produce has "some pricing differences based on location", due to it being "sourced as locally as possible to the distribution centre associated with [each] store".
The spokesperson also said Aldi has "some different pricing structures in our seven corner stores that operate in high-density areas".
Beyond pricing, we also found product ranges differed slightly. The Corner Store we visited in Melbourne didn't have three of the products on our list: Westacre Dairy Tasty Cheese Block 250g, Remano Australian Diced Tomatoes 400g and Brooklea Family Vanilla Yogurt 1kg.
But this store did stock similar products in slightly different flavours or sizes. For example, we found a different-sized version of the same cheese product, and diced tomatoes and yoghurt alternatives that were the same size but with different flavours or country of origin.
How do the Aldi Corner Stores differ from standard Aldis?
Some of Aldi's Corner Stores feature new specialist bakery sections. Source: Aldi
The Corner Stores dedicate substantial space to self-service checkouts and aisles of grab-and-go meals, none of which were on offer at the larger Aldi supermarkets we visited.
Some of the new stores we visited also had specialist, self-serve bakery sections not seen in traditional Aldi supermarkets.
These "artisan" displays serve up a range of more gourmet-style baked goods, such as sourdough bread, baguettes and "handcrafted" croissants.
Like the larger stores, Aldi's Corner Stores still manage to put aside plenty of space for Special Buys – selections of goods that can range from electronics to furniture that the company sells for limited periods.
Our verdict: Is it worth shopping at Aldi's new Corner Stores?
Overall, we would say that a visit to an Aldi Corner Store is a decent substitute for a trip to a larger Aldi supermarket, if you're looking to fulfil a basic shop.
The majority of the products on our basic shopping list could be found in the smaller outlets at the same price, and where the exact product couldn't be located, a close substitute at a similar price was available.
A visit to an Aldi Corner Store is a decent substitute for a trip to a larger Aldi supermarket, if you're looking to fulfil a basic shop
But Aldi's statement that they may have slightly different pricing in the Corner Stores means that there may be other products not included in our survey that are more expensive.
So if you're looking to cut costs on a trip to one of Aldi's new outlets, you might want to keep an eye on pricing before you buy.
It's also worth considering that the new convenience stores are smaller than their regular stores, and they dedicate extra space to self-service checkouts and quick meals. This means they may not have all the regular Aldi products you're used to buying, although you may find some new grab-and-go favourites.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.