Aldi has been crowned the nation’s favourite supermarket, knocking Waitrose off top spot, in a Which? survey.
The German discount retailer won over the public with its special offers and the quality of its fresh and own-label products, the consumer group said. Waitrose, which had dominated for three consecutive years, slipped to fourth place.
Customers gave Waitrose a two star rating, in terms of value for money, in contrast to Aldi’s five stars. Overall, Marks & Spencer came in second, followed by Lidl in third place. The latter was marked down for queuing time, staff availability and range of products.
Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s – the country’s four largest supermarkets – all languish at the bottom of the ranking. Which? said those questioned about Sainsbury’s were particularly unimpressed by its special offers and value for money, putting it in last spot in the ranking of nine supermarkets. Iceland came fifth.
“With food costs rising, it seems as though shoppers have felt the pinch and are voting with their feet and wallets,” said Alex Neill, managing director of Which? for home products and services.
“The big four supermarkets need to up their game or risk losing their customers to other supermarkets who are doing a better job of giving people what they want.”
Aldi has enjoyed impressive growth since arriving in the UK back in 1990, and currently has a market share of around 6.9 per cent, according to analytics firm Kantar Worldpanel.
Since then, more than 700 of its shops have sprung up across the UK and Ireland, luring consumers who value the group’s cut-price products and its stripped-back, no-nonsense approach to groceries.
In 2017 Aldi – founded in 1961 in Germany but with roots dating back to 1913 – had its most successful year in the UK and Ireland ever, raking in more than £10bn in annual sales for the first time in its history.
Over the crucial Christmas period – while other supermarkets felt forced to discount in order to stay competitive, something that in many cases ate into their margins – Aldi thrived.
The supermarket sold more than 6.8 million bottles of wine, champagne and prosecco in December alone – equivalent to more than 200,000 bottles per day.
In excess of four million mince pies crossed the tills of the sprawling supermarket chain, as well as more than 100 million packets of vegetables.
Among online supermarkets examined in the Which? poll, Iceland dominated for a third consecutive year. For the first time, however, it tied with Ocado.
Iceland is particularly valued for its drivers’ service and the availability of delivery slots, the survey found. Three-quarters of shoppers said their most recent order was delivered on time. Asda ranked in last spot in the online supermarkets table.
Amazon Fresh was included in the online survey for the first time ever, securing fifth spot.