ALDI up, Woolworths down.
That’s the message from consumer research company Roy Morgan, which says Aldi’s share of Australia’s $90 billion supermarket sector continues to rise while Woolworths’ leading position erodes.
As of December 2015, Aldi holds 12.1 per cent of the market, up from 11.6 per cent in March. Woolworths still holds the top spot with 37.3 per cent market share, but this has declined from 38.5 per cent.
Number two Coles continues to narrow the gap, increasing its share from 31.8 per cent to 32.5 per cent. IGA has held steady on 9.7 per cent.
“With its South Australian expansion now underway, and WA to follow soon, it’s no wonder Aldi’s dollar share of the Australian supermarket market is rising,” said Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine.
“Obviously, the German chain has a long way to go before it threatens Woolworths’ and Coles’ share of the market, but then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
“Meanwhile Woolworths’ dollar share of the market has declined once again — not so much as to knock them off top spot, but still cause for concern, especially given that Coles is showing signs of catching up.”
But while Aldi’s dollar share of the market is just under one-third of Woolworths, customer volume is a different story. Aldi holds 36.8 per cent share of total grocery buyers, or around half of Woolworths 72.5 per cent.
According to Roy Morgan, in an average four-week period, 5.3 million Australian consumers shop at Aldi, 10.5 million shop at Woolworths, 10 million shop at Coles and just over four million shop at IGA, while almost four million frequent other supermarkets.
Some 37.1 per cent of these shoppers visit at least one Coles, one Woolies and one other supermarket during this time.
“As they do with dollar market share, Woolworths and Coles have the largest customer bases by far, but with just one in five grocery buyers shopping exclusively at one supermarket, neither of these heavyweights should get too comfortable,” Ms Levine said.
“Although Aldi has a much smaller dollar share of the market, it is already punching above its weight in term of customer volume and has more than doubled shopper numbers since January 2007.
“With so much choice available to them, Australian supermarket shoppers are in a position of power. As Woolies learnt last year with its disastrous Anzac campaign, and as Aldi is discovering now after refusing to heed the call to phase out caged eggs, as Woolworths and Coles are doing, the consequences of alienating consumers are very real — and very public.”
In a statement, an Aldi Australia spokeswoman said: “As a growing business, more Australians are discovering an increasing number of our high quality products, which soon become their weekly staples. In our experience, shoppers will first try us in conjunction with their regular shop before making the switch.
“Australians are prepared to try a different shopping experience when they realise it can provide better value. We are proud to offer shoppers the ALDI difference and drive greater competition as the price leader in the market.”