Aldi offers cheaper grocery basket than Woolworths, Coles and IGA: Choice

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A customer walks into the German discount supermarket ALDI in Sydney, Australia June 19, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

Consumer group Choice has found that Aussie consumers can save as much as $80 on a basket of groceries by picking budget product range at Aldi instead of those from other leading supermarkets. The group determined the dollar figure in its most recent supermarket price survey, which compared the average cost of a basket of 33 items at Aldi, Woolworths, Coles and IGA.

Every basket contained 28 packaged products and five fresh fruit and vegetable items. These include eggs, beef mince, apples, chicken breast, broccoli and potatoes. Undercover shoppers performed the survey in 110 Australian supermarkets in March, and they have learned that Aldi offered the cheapest basket of budget brand groceries at $91.76, which was compared with budget baskets at Coles ($99.40) and Woolworths ($97.31).

In a comparison of the 33 top brand items, Coles was presented at $170.54, then Woolworths at $168.74. At IGA, the leading brand basket was 6 to 7 percent more expensive than those at Coles and Woolworths, but it included only 25 of the 28 packaged products.

Aldi charged $102.50. while Woolworths charged $112.89 and Coles $113.10 for a basket of comparable products. The specific list of product combinations in the baskets has not been publicised by the consumer group.

Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said it was clear Aldi is the cheapest supermarket in Australia and is pushing the other big companies to compete in price. A spokesperson for Aldi stressed the supermarket worked to influence grocery pricing and noted that ACCC's 2008 Grocery Inquiry indicated that major supermarket chains lessen prices in areas where an Aldi store is located.

However, a Coles spokesperson said that the Choice survey of 33 items did not present a full or accurate picture of the 25,000-plus products it offered. “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,” the Coles spokesperson continued as per the Sydney Morning Herald.

A spokesperson for Woolworths, on the other hand, said the supermarket conducts a regular review of its range to ensure "the most popular products in-store are also the best value.” Since the survey was held in March, it did not consider products that were launched recently, like those in the new Woolworths food range.

Across the country, the cheapest grocery baskets are in South Australia. The most expensive grocery baskets can be found in Tasmania and in the Northern Territory.

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