Aldi launches new organic range in upmarket bid

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Aldi bosses Roman Heini (left) and Matthew Barnes want shoppers to do their entire weekly shop at their discount stores
Aldi bosses Roman Heini (left) and Matthew Barnes want shoppers to do their entire weekly shop at their discount stores

Related tags: Marketing, Aldi

Discount retailer Aldi has launched what it claims is an affordable range of organic products that will help customers save 25% on their normal British organic basket, as the store continued its drive to offer upmarket products.

The new budget organic range will include: potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli and onions. Further new lines will include: a wider choice in fresh meat, convenience foods, such as ready meals, mother and baby, and beers, wines and spirits. The new launches will see its range grow by 11%, said the retailer.

Aldi’s joint md for corporate buying, Tony Baines, said the launch was in response to customer feedback: “We know our shoppers want to buy more organic products, but price is often the reason why it’s not a regular purchase. This is why we’ve launched a 100% British organic range at an affordable everyday low price.”

Aldi shoppers could buy their entire weekly shop at Aldi in the knowledge they were buying “the best quality products at everyday low prices”.

The new lines will be launched over the coming months and all will be on offer by January 2015.

‘Aspirational product line launches’

The organic expansion is the latest in the line of aspirational product line launches that will see the retailer selling caviar for the first time this Christmas. The caviar – priced at £9.99 for 20g – will sell alongside other premium products including fresh dressed crab, fresh lobster, scallops, rib of beef and whole goose.

Meanwhile, consultancy group Begbies Traynor said the bitter price war between the UK’s largest supermarkets will do little to entice shoppers back from Aldi and Lidl, as consumer spending patterns are changing permanently.

Begbies Traynor partner and retail analyst Julie Palmer said German discounters still had an inherent advantage over the big supermarkets​ in the price war. “UK consumers are more aware than ever of the low prices available at Aldi and Lidl,” said Palmer.

“The German discounters’ focus on simpler product ranges and successful own-label products means that, regardless of the ongoing price war, they can continue to lead on price while perfectly matching what shoppers now demand from their weekly shop.”

‘Consumer tastes are changing’

With Tesco struggling to manage revelations of its £250M profits guidance overstatement, and lower sales forecasts from Morrisons and Sainsbury, all have been forced to cut prices in a bid to tempt shoppers back and recapture market share. “But despite fresh produce deflation of around 4%, this is not having the desired effect as consumer tastes are changing,”​ said Palmer.

But the changes could be good news for supermarket suppliers, she added. “Whatever the outcome of the Tesco investigation, over the coming year, we can expect to see the return of a cleaner, more transparent food retail industry, which both engages more with the end customer but also allows suppliers to re-engage with supermarkets on better and more open terms.”

Meanwhile, last month Aldi unveiled a 65% increase in its UK profits​ to £260.9M. Sales rose by 36% to £5.3bn last year and pre-tax profit soared to £261M in full-year financial results for 2013.

Aldi planned to open 54 new stores this year and a further 65 next year. It intended to run more than 600 by the end of next year and 1,000 shops by 2022. 

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