If you are worried about the rising cost of food and groceries, then shop at Aldi for the cheapest prices, a survey by Choice Magazine has found.
But Australia’s grocery bills are still too high – even the boss of Coles, creator of the Down Down campaign, admits that prices are “crazy.”
Choice uses a shopping basket of goods to check on the high street chains.
If you stick to a basket of leading brand items, shopping at Coles would set you back on average by $170.54, $168.74 at Woolworths and $102.50 at Aldi. This means a saving of up to 50 per cent if you do your weekly shopping at the German discount supermarket chain.
The most expensive place to shop is at the independent chain IGA which charges 5-7 per cent more than Coles and Woolworths for an identical basket of leading brand items, the survey said.
Coles managing director John Durkan said Australian food and grocery prices were “crazy” when compared to the rest of the world. He explained his perspective to analysts at Wesfarmers’ strategy day meeting this week:
“It’s an overpriced grocery market in my view and I’ve been saying that for nine years. I still look at products here that are made overseas and they are crazy prices.’’
However, if you are prepared to forego your favourite grocery brands and switch to supermarket brands or private label items at Coles and Woolworths, then your grocery bill would fall by about 40 per cent.
A basket of private label groceries would cost an average of $112.89 at Woolworths and $113.10 at Coles.
Keep an eye out for “phantom brands” – essentially private label brands in disguise. Woolworths has introduced a number of these phantom brands in stores including Balnea brand handwash, Clean brand laundry detergent and Hillview brand cheese.
The survey found that by impersonating a branded item, phantom brands help counter the lingering perception of some customers that private label brands are of lower quality.
“It is an interesting strategy but not without risks. A phantom brand may be good quality and value for money, but if customers discover they are buying a supermarket owned product when the thought they were purchasing and supporting an independent brand, they might end up feeling duped,’’ Choice said.
For purchases of a basket of budget items like Smart Buy at Coles and Homebrand at Woolworths, prices fall to $99.40 at Coles, $97.31 at Woolworths and $91.76 at Aldi.
Shopping at Aldi will still leave you with more change in your pocket than supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths.
This is despite the fact that Aldi has only 13 per cent share of the $90.3 billion grocery market while the duopoly of Coles and Woolworths dominate with a 70 per cent share.