The popularity of Aldi among Australian consumers has seen a sharp rise according to the latest study by Heartbeat Trends.
The study, which looked at how Australian mums are coping with the recession, found that ‘value’ has become the key driver for consumers today.
“Most of the women were not experiencing the adverse impact of the recession themselves as yet,” said Heartbeat director Neer Korn.
“Rather the desire for value is an ethos for tough times and one that will well outlast the recession itself. This means the search for better value, bulk buying and discount store shopping was not so much driven by the amount of dollars and cents saved, but more about a feeling of smart shopping with the nous to pay less.”
Aldi was seen to be the cheapest option compared to large retailers in virtually every category. The recession only partly explains the success of Aldi, said Korn.
“Aldi was seen as the new kid on the block and a small retail player that was on their side. This is in sharp contrast to their negative feeling harboured towards the two major grocery retailers whom consumers feel have too much power and are happy to wield it.”
Aldi was popular for several reasons beyond its prices including the products were perceived to be carefully sourced and of high quality; the stores are similarly laid out making navigation easy regardless of location; service was seen to be superior, and the surprise factor of mystery products at low prices such as DVD players and kids swimming pools enhanced the shopping experience.
Heartbeat predicts that Aldi will increasingly constitute the major shopping trip for some consumers who will then top up at Coles and Woolworths.
“This is a major change in their shopping behaviour,” said Korn.
The study was a follow up to two previous shopping studies and was based on eight focus groups in Sydney and Adelaide with Australian mums aged 30-45 years.