Consumer watchdog Choice has compared the average cost of a basket of groceries from 110 supermarkets across Australia and found ALDI to be significantly cheaper than Woolworths, Coles or IGA.
Choice sent undercover shoppers into 32 Coles, 32 Woolworths, 26 ALDI and 20 IGA stores in 33 locations across Australia in March. The shoppers collected prices (excluding specials) on a full grocery basket of 33 items – 28 of which were packaged products, either leading-brand or comparable supermarket brand/budget-brand options, with five fresh fruit and veg items completing the list. Due to item availability, a smaller basket of 25 packaged leading-brand items was used for the IGA comparison.
- The most expensive was the basket of leading-brand items bought from Coles ($170.54) and Woolworths ($168.74).
- The leading-brand basket priced at IGA (with just 25 of the 28 packaged products) was six to seven per cent more expensive than the same basket at Coles and Woolworths.
- Savings can be made by buying comparable supermarket-brand products, with ALDI’s basket ($102.50) cheaper than Woolworths ($112.89) and Coles ($113.10).
- The biggest savings were for budget baskets with ALDI ($91.76), the price leader, followed by Woolworths ($97.31) and Coles ($99.40).
“Although the big supermarkets make a lot of very loud claims about value, it’s clear ALDI is Australia’s cheapest supermarket and it is forcing the big two to compete on price,” Choice Head of Media Tom Godfrey said.
“This comes through strongly at a state level, with non-ALDI states such as Tasmania ($173) and the Northern Territory ($171) serving up some of the most expensive leading-brand baskets.
“ALDI’s push west is likely a key factor in South Australia ($168.10) and Western Australia ($168.60) recording the cheapest leading-brand basket prices.”
Responding to Choice’s findings, Coles says the research confirms that Coles has consistently cut prices to save customers money every time they shop.
“As part of our commitment to lowering prices, Coles recorded cumulative food and liquor deflation of 7.5 per cent from FY09 to FY16,” Coles said in a statement. “We are continuing to reduce prices on thousands of branded and private-label products across our stores, so customers can save on their shopping at Coles.”
While Coles welcomed the findings, it noted that the survey of just 33 items chosen from its range of more than 25,000 products, while excluding regular specials, “does not provide a full or accurate picture of our customer offering”.