The 'Aldi Beast' Continues to Shake up the Supermarket Landscape in Australia as We Know It

Germany's efficiencies in business seem to generating outstanding results once again, this time on the supermarket front. According to a recent article, the German discount chain Aldi has now reached critical mass in Australia. Its senior executives have also been quoted as commenting “Once the discounter reaches critical mass, there is no stopping it.”

Who should be worried? The consumer may experience price changes as the duopoly forces of Coles and Woolies battle against Aldi. Keep reading to find out where the customer will be safe as the battle heats up between these three mighty forces.


Global banking giant Morgan Stanley has stated that the point of critical mass for Aldi is now that the supermarket brand has 350 stores generating AU$4.03 billion. Australia is a potential goldmine for the Aldi format, because momentarily there are no heavy discounters within the Australian market. The Aldi format is most potent, when it establishes a 20% plus differential in pricing from the large, full-line supermarkets of Coles and Woolies.

But, this won’t solve the problem by itself because other factors come into play here too such as costs. Aldi’s cost-to-sales ratio is two thirds less than the two major supermarket chains in Australia. High labour costs play a big part in making the market more volatile for Aldi as well. However, if Morgan Stanley doesn’t convince you, maybe Aldi’s plans will. They announced in October 2014 that they plan to invest “another $700 million into two distribution centres and 130 stores in Western and South Australia.”

Aldi Vs Coles Vs Woolworths

The battleground for this supermarket war is Australia’s $85 billion grocery industry. With so much to fight for, I wanted to see how each company’s prices compared with each other so you, the customer, can see roughly what each brand has to offer, at what price and where your money will be safest to shop regularly.



The Following table will show the price comparison between different products available at the three mentioned stores. Where possible, all products of the same brand will be compared, otherwise, own brand equivalents will be used. The prices for these products were taken from their respective websites on the 2nd December 2014.





Sea Salt Kettle Chips

$2.49 – 200g
($1.25 per 100g)

$4.55 – 185g
($2.46 per 100g)

$4.50 – 185g
($2.43 per 100g)

Own Brand Free Range Eggs – 12 Pack

$4.69 – 700g
($0.67c per 100g)

$4.90 – 600g
($0.82 per 100g)

*$4.99 – 700g
($0.71 per 100g)

Free Range Chicken Breasts – 1kg

$14.99 – 1kg
($14.99 per kg)

$11.65 – 650g
($18.48 per kg)

*$14.39 – 960g
($14.99 per kg)

Dry Dog Food with Real Beef – 8kg

$8.99 – 8kg
($0.11c per 100g)

$23.10 – 8kg
($0.29 per 100g)

*$18.49 – 8kg
($0.23 per 100g)

Fabric Softener – 2L (Own Store Brand)

$2.99 – 2L
($1.50 per Litre)

$3.25 – 2L
($1.63 per Litre)

$4.29 – 2L
($2.15 per Litre)

Penne Pasta – 500g (Own Brand)

$0.89 – 500g
($0.18c per 100g)

$1.00 – 500g
($0.20 per 100g)

$0.70 – 500g
($0.14 per 100g)

Toilet Paper – 12 pack (Own Brand)

$3.79 – 12pk
($0.12c / 100 sheets)

$4.18 – 12pk
($0.35 / 100 sheets)

$4.09 – 12pk
($0.13 / 100 sheets)





* These items were on special offer or reduced from their normal price.


The shopping basket from each store included the supermarkets own brand products where possible to create an even playing ground. This was to ensure that Coles and Woolies were represented with their most competitive prices, not showing any bias towards Aldi.

Shopping Basket

When looking at the table you will instantly notice the difference between the basket totals. Woolies actually works out $1.18 cheaper than Coles, but bear in mind that three Woolies products were on special offer or reduced from their original price. It's Aldi, however, that was dominant in the arena though, costing a whole $12.62 less or 25% cheaper than its closest rival.

Before, I used to doubt Aldi adverts displaying a basket which stated it was 31% cheaper than other leading supermarkets. But, now I'm forced to reconsider this preconception.


To summarise, the ‘Aldi beast’ that Morgan Stanley speaks of is truly flexing its muscle where price is concerned. The more it battles, the lower the prices for customers seem to be getting. Aldi’s shopping experience is different in that stores are laid out more simply, sometimes using pallets as shelving for example. One thing to be aware of is that if you choose to pay by card, you will be charged a very small surcharge. It's a good idea then to take out cash beforehand if you really want to maximise your savings.

Another constraint at the moment is that you cannot order online, only create your shopping list, view prices and print the list on Aldi’s website. However, none of the above in my opinion are major drawbacks in the grand scheme of shopping, simply small signs that Aldi is a smaller company trying to grow in a market dominated by large, overpriced supermarkets.

1 comment

  • odysseus
    It all depends on how you shop. I prefer to stock up on specials, as I think many do, so Woolworths and Coles typically work out cheaper than Aldi. Added to that a much wider range, faster checkouts, free use of credit cards, bonus points and bags if needed at Woolworths/Coles and it's a no brainer that it's better to go there, even ignoring the benefit of keeping your money locally. Of course, if you just buy specific shopping each week or whatever regardless of price and brand and not worry about specials, than Aldi usually would work out better price wise (although with the other downsides mentioned above).

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