Supermarket wars: where you’ll bag the cheapest groceries

Which supermarket is the cheapest for your weekly grocery shop?

Which supermarket offers the cheapest prices for your weekly grocery shop? Aldi might still be the frontrunner in terms of product cost, but for the first time in years, the gap between Woolworths, Coles and Aldi is growing smaller.

According to Credit Suisse, Woolworths can now legitimately claim that their groceries are cheaper than Coles’. A survey that compared baskets of 110 packaged groceries, fresh food items and produce from Coles and Woolworths found a $13 difference between the two.

While the basket at Coles cost $586 the identical basket at Woolworths came in at $573. Aldi, in comparison, offered an equivalent basket for $465. Six months ago, the Woolworths basket was six per cent more expensive than Coles and 38 per cent more expensive than Aldi – rather than 23 per cent today. Woolworths is now closest in price to Aldi that it has ever been.

“It's an important milestone for Woolworths. They've recognised that pricing needs to improve ... and it does appear to be becoming more price competitive to Coles on different metrics,” said Credit Suisse analyst Grant Saligari.

Both supermarkets have invested $1 billion into efforts to drop prices, maintain their $90-million market share and entice shoppers away from Aldi – which has been growing in dominance since its arrival in Australia in 2000.

Earlier in May, Woolworths announced its intention to invest $150 million into promotions, everyday shelf prices and service, after recording negative sales growth for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Aldi, in the meanwhile, seems to be having no trouble being assimilated into the Australian shopping culture. It has been opening between 25 and 30 stores every year on the east coast since 2000, with 17 new stores already opened this year.

While the rapidly expanding Aldi has about 410 stores, it is still behind Coles and Woolworths, which have one store for every 56,000 Australians.

Read more at smh.com.au.

What influences your decision to shop at a particular supermarket? Price, convenience, loyalty rewards? Do the findings of the Credit Suisse report have any bearing on where you will now shop?





    COMMENTS

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    cranky
    2nd Jun 2016
    11:04am
    Every supermarket varies in item prices..It makes no sense to me that one can be put up against the other...as it fully depends on what is purchased..
    I go into a supermarket to buy what I like and what I need when I need it..and if its a couple of cents more or less makes no odds to me..I am at an age when I can be choosy and enjoy my food and drink...and really don't give a toss who's winning the price war..It changes from one week to another anyway..and I haven't enough time or energy to run from one store to another to see who has the cheapest Lindt chocolate or middle rashers....
    poorwomanme
    2nd Jun 2016
    11:22am
    I switched to Aldi and found I was saving around $10 a shop but then I realised that few of Aldi's products were made in Australia so now I am back at Woolies.
    The other thing I didn't like at Aldi was 25% of the store, a full aisle, is taken up with rubbish goods other than food which further limits my choice and variety.
    Maybe it's the German way to be told which products are available to you and which ones THEY decide should not be but it's not the Australian way and when people wake up, Aldi will find themselves short of customers.
    Some things in life should never be compromised and supporting our farmers is at the top of the list.
    micky d.
    2nd Jun 2016
    11:41am
    I choose to shop at Coles. I like it and I'm happy. As Cranky says, chasing around to save a a few cents on a particular item is scarcely sensible.
    I find the range of products in Aldi leans heavily on imported goods and like yourself I always give preference to Australian made goods and produce - Aussie jobs - Aussie profits - Aussie growth.
    I find Aldi just doesn't have a selection of products large enough for me to support Aussie "Jobs & Growth" !
    Frankly
    2nd Jun 2016
    11:50am
    There is a good reason for Aldi having less Australian made products: When Coles and Woolworth enter into an agreement of supply with an Australian manufacturer there is a clause which prohibits that manufacturer to sell to any other big outlet without the consent of Woolworth or Coles. Aldi always tries to get local supply but is often not able to and has to resort to imports. I got to know a few Aldi executives in the course of my work who told me this. So my vote is with Aldi, even if the products are imported. This is bullying behaviour by the big two supermarkets, a result of insufficient competition.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2016
    3:22pm
    Aldi products in Australia:

    100% of meat, eggs, and laundry range are grow, laid, or made in Australia.

    93% of the dairy range is Australian.

    91% of all fruit and vegetables are grown in Australia.
    Paulodapotter
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:50pm
    Good on you Fast Eddie. To say that Aldi does not favour Australian made is simply false. Most of our Aussie products sold in Wooworths and Coles are owned by foreign corporations and many of the ingrediants come from overseas. The bulk of their profits head to overseas shareholders or are laundered through off shore tax havens. Meanwhile they screw the producers through their hold over distribution networks. Our government are averse to control foreign ownership and reluctant to squeeze fair tax out these huge companies, their main election donors. Meanwhile our successive governments have not brought in anti-trust laws to protect producers. At least with Aldi's I know what I'm getting.
    poorwomanme
    2nd Jun 2016
    6:28pm
    Thank you. I'll accept your figures on face value and check them out next week.
    The Bronze Anzac
    3rd Jun 2016
    11:23am
    Whilst Fast Eddie's figures may be correct, the real reason for these high percentages is because all of the items listed are fresh foods or chilled, with the exception of laundry products. It is not possible to import much fresh produce & compete with our own Australian fresh & chilled products. With regards the laundry items, most, if not all, are simple chemical products, which Australian manufacturers are more than competitive against imports. What Fast Eddie didn't supply were figures for tinned, bottled, & packet foods that have a much longer shelf life than fresh produce. Hence, Aldi has a decided advantage on these imports. Coles & Woolworths have an advantage on Australian produce, due to their supplier contracts, but Aldi have the imported advantage.
    Easy Rider
    2nd Jun 2016
    11:39am
    We almost always shop at Woolworths because of the convenient shop location. We don't know many of the brand names at Aldi and there is a smaller selection ...but worse than that, I hate to be pushed and rushed through the Aldi "production line" process at the check out. That really does annoy me.
    Paulodapotter
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:51pm
    German service - we "must' finish on time.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2016
    5:46pm
    E Rider, you are the one who is pushing yourself, no one else. A trolley, bag, or box can be loaded/filled as quickly or as slowly as YOU wish - after all, YOU are the one doing it. The checkout people do zip the items through quickly and IF you keep up with them you STILL DO NOT win a prize, SO WHY HURRY? You are playing right into their hands.
    Easy Rider
    2nd Jun 2016
    9:34pm
    No Fast Eddie...it's the system that is in place at Audi that causes me to be under pressure to get out of the way. At Woolworths there is a big area where the groceries which have gone through the checkout are placed, which gives the checkout operator room to put the next customer's bags if I am still loading the trolley. At Audi the area is far too small and is DESIGNED to get the customer done and dusted. I'm not going to shop anywhere that I'm under extreme pressure to get out of the way so the next sheep can be pushed through! If you are thick skinned enough to hold "the system" up while you load your trolley...congratulations. I prefer to shop where it's a little more "relaxed."
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2016
    11:39pm
    Easy, to each their own. (It's Aldi, not Audi. maybe that's why you want to get out of there- ?)
    zizzer
    2nd Jun 2016
    12:14pm
    Always support Aussie business Aldi transfers all profits off shore I think if the comment posted by Franky is correct it would instigate an enquiry from ACCC ref restrictive trade
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:47pm
    The ACCC does stuff-all. They are as useless as politicians. If the ACCC was truly interested in the public the price of petrol would have been cheaper years ago. Instead, the ACCC is in collusion with the federal government keeping the prices high in order to reap more taxes for fuel from users. Wake up to yourself.
    Blossom
    7th Jun 2016
    11:48pm
    We don't know what % of shareholders are actually owned by Australians as they are on the Stock Exchange. They can be bought and dividend funds sent overseas.
    Sen.Cit.90
    2nd Jun 2016
    12:18pm
    Coles is my first choice simply because of very courteous staff, plenty of choices, ease at the check-out and of ample parking.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:49pm
    Yes, and you pay for these "courtesies".
    Blossom
    7th Jun 2016
    11:56pm
    Coles needs to bring back some of its "medical dietary needs" products so that people who have diabetes or coelic disease can have affordable food not an extra $1.00+ per item.
    Car Parking depends of the number of parking bays in the shopping centre overall.
    Travellersjoy
    2nd Jun 2016
    12:20pm
    Go to the market and buy fresh. You will save even more.

    Don't pay through the nose for processing and packaging when you can cook for yourself (process) and don't need packets.
    KSS
    2nd Jun 2016
    1:27pm
    People might like to check before they make claims about ALDI importing all their goods. In fact reports that 70% of their goods are Australian sourced and made have been around for a while. This link to their website also shows their commitment to the Australian growers:
    https://www.aldi.com.au/en/about-aldi/australian-made/. Before criticising ALDI take a look at where Woolworth and Coles get their products. And No I don't generally shop in ALDI because for the most part they don't sell what I want! Nor do I shop exclusively in one or other supermarket either.
    The Bronze Anzac
    3rd Jun 2016
    11:27am
    KSS, that 70% is by VALUE, not VOLUME.
    Blossom
    8th Jun 2016
    12:05am
    Aldi sells mostly its "own brand".
    What most people don't relaise is that those products are made by big name Australian companies / manufacturers.
    Prior to retirement I worked for a company and processed invoices from various companies showing "own brand" on the same invoices as its own company branded products.
    bob
    2nd Jun 2016
    3:57pm
    I am suprised that they found the goods in Woolworths,every time we go there we come away short even if the stuff is on special and it starts that day.Maybe it is just our local store which has never been popular since it opened several years ago.Seems to me that they use this store for training new managers.
    Blossom
    8th Jun 2016
    12:10am
    I suggest you ask to speak to the Manager of the shop to voice your concerns. Does that Supermarket do on-line orders? It could be that the shelves are not re-filled quickly enough during that time. If there is no improvement maybe you count contact the head office in your state.
    This is also a problem at the Coles Supermarkets that handle the on-line orders
    Marten
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:28pm
    One of the main reasons that Aldi offers cheaper prices is due to the fact that the company is privately owned and does not have to share profits with shareholders. Secondly, many of the goods sold by Aldi are definitely made in Australia; likewise Coles and Woolworths also supply many articles made overseas. Please remember that Australia also exports local produce: it would be devastating for Australia if people overseas were to purchase Australian made goods less in preference for goods made elsewhere. Simply consider our wine exports! Aldi is indeed German based, but they operate a multitude of stores in many countries in Europe, where they adopt a similar practice in offering lower prices. Their checkout system is run very efficiently and customers need not wait long before they are served. Personnel is very friendly.
    missmarple
    2nd Jun 2016
    7:38pm
    I agree Marten I have been shopping at Aldi stores since they opened in Victoria at several different stores and I have yet to find a staff member who has not been polite or helpful, where I live the cost of EVERYTHING is very expensive so once a month I travel to my nearest Aldi store and stock up, just buying fruit and veg locally, and will continue to do so, the bigger supermarkets have had the majority too long, now they are so called dropping prices because of Aldi ( I believe anyway ) Aldi's products are as good as name brands that are probably owned by an overseas company bought from Australia
    rtrish
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:33pm
    My main grouse with Aldi is how long it takes to get through the checkout. I get "trapped" in there, while I am frantically looking at my watch and knowing that my bus will leave soon. I do not have a car, so depend on public transport. Recently I was too ill to go out so, in desperation, I learnt how to shop for groceries online. I found the Woolies site almost impossible to use. I managed to use Coles online and will probably shop that way again. The other big concern I have about supermarket prices is, whether or not they pay a decent amount to the primary producers, especially dairy farmers.
    Paulodapotter
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:55pm
    Online shopping for groceries will be favoured by the majority of people in the near future
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2016
    5:50pm
    rtrish, your time seems to be a major factor rather than saving money. There is only ONE bus per day?
    Franny
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:35pm
    For me it's a no brainer. I live about 500 meters from our local Woolies. Come November however, I will have the "difficult" task of deciding where to shop, as our local shopping centre is expanding and will include Coles and Aldi.
    I always try to buy Australian so I can't wait for the new labelling laws to take effect. Current labels are so confusing.
    Paulodapotter
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:53pm
    When you're short of a buck, you suddenly become very discerning. Many people don't have your luxury Franny, you lucky thing you.
    52-KID
    2nd Jun 2016
    5:07pm
    The big thing that is not factored in to the price comparisons is transport. Even if prices are cheaper at Aldi and Woolworths, once you factor in a 60km round trip, the comparisons mean nothing. Coles on only 1km away, so that's where I shop unless I happen to be near one of the other stores, as there are some products they sell that can't be bought at Coles.
    Franny
    2nd Jun 2016
    5:21pm
    Not at all Paulodapotter, buying Australian probably adds about $10 to my groceries, but I figure I am saving that by not driving to other shops. I also figure that this is a small contribution towards the future of my Great-grandchildren.
    Marten
    2nd Jun 2016
    5:23pm
    It is obvious that one would not travel further than necessary to purchase groceries to save transport costs. If fuel is offered cheaper elsewhere than in our own neighbourhood, I would certainly not travel the extra distance to save a little money on fuel. If you do not live in the vicinity of an Aldi Store, than you might as well obtain your groceries at a different supermarket. But,as in Europe, you may not need to wait long before one opens up in your vicinity. That is one of their clever strategies.
    Glennie Boy
    2nd Jun 2016
    7:09pm
    And why are the prices at Woolworths and Coles becoming cheaper? Is it because they are holding their suppliers to ransom?
    Hawkeye
    3rd Jun 2016
    1:57am
    Who really cares, when the closest Woollies and Coles are both a 50 minute drive (65km) away and the closest Aldi is a 75 minute drive away (90km).

    As with most country towns, we have an IGA Foodland in the town, so that's where we have to mostly shop. I never see these in any price comparison reports because us country folk just don't matter.

    If we need to travel towards Adelaide, then we do shop at Woollies or Coles on the way home.
    However, I am starting to hate Woollies more and more every time I go there because the range of products is getting smaller and smaller while the prices are getting dearer and dearer. And every time I find a product that I like, they stop stocking it.

    So when we are at a Woollies or Coles, we mainly just stock up on things that are on special. Anything else, we prefer to buy in our own town.

    5th Jun 2016
    3:14pm
    I don't shop at woollies because of the way there rewards card works not interested in frequent flyers and when traveling if you use there card you don't get a discount fuel docket
    it goes onto the card and you need computer or phone to access the card to see when it expires. so most of my shopping is at Aldies because there contents have more in them for the same or lesser price example chips 220 g against coles and woollies 175g
    Mez
    6th Jun 2016
    11:17am
    Over recent years, I have found Aldi very good bang for your bucks.
    An ordinary large bag of basic groceries would cost me about $80.00 whereas at Aldi it would be about HALF THE PRICE at about $40.00!
    Since I discovered that, I always do my fortnightly main shopping first at Aldi then at Coles which is generally cheaper than Woollies.
    However, all 3 of them have most meats and dairy products that are HALAL CERTIFIED so for meats, I now shop at markets or local butchers and read the labels carefully for the groceries.
    Last year, FOUR CORNERS had a program where a Malaysian man being interviewed said that Halal money comes FROM AUSTRALIA TO MALAYSIA TO PAY FOR THE BUILDING OF ISLAMIC COLLEGES AND MOSQUES!
    Also in Malaysia and in Indonesia, there are terrorist training camps which most likely are where part of the Halal money would not doubt find its way!
    So I will NOT be facilitating any of the above on matters of principle as I do not approve of Islam and its barbaric practices nor its treatment of women! No way!
    Scrivener
    7th Jun 2016
    2:43pm
    The Halal logos are often on INSIDE of the cartons and containers. Why do they have to be so sneaky? The logo should be very prominent and clear. Where is Barnaby's label law?
    Mez
    6th Jun 2016
    11:25am
    For the more discerning shoppers who wish to be further informed for which products are Halal Certified, especially meats which are more tough and fibrous than non Halal meats, one can check out these websites for info and lists because not all Halal products are labelled as they ought to be.......

    Halalchoices.com.au

    Boycott Halal certification in Australia

    6th Jun 2016
    12:53pm
    I have my groceries delivered, so that eliminates Aldi.
    Currently I shop with Coles and can easily wangle free delivery.
    Not interested in wandering shopping aisles and it's so much easier to compare prices online.
    I've discovered so many items online which I would have totally missed at the supermarket.
    It also saves heaps of time as I spend less than half an hour unpacking the goods once they're delivered about once per fortnight.
    Scrivener
    7th Jun 2016
    2:40pm
    That Coles $586 basket and the identical basket at Woolworths at $573 is about $657 at our local IGA. Sheesh!
    Alula
    9th Jun 2016
    10:39am
    Why wasn't the IGA included in this comparison?
    summem
    24th Jun 2016
    9:55am
    I prefer my local Foodland - rarely can't find the product I want, and the service is tops.


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