Aldi not always Cheapest

I think it is not fair to compare aldi prices to Coles and woolworths unless you only compare generic to generic as that is what most aldi products are.

If you say compare generic dry dog food to aldi dry dog food it is about the same price.

Also it is important to realise that all of the profits from Aldi go to one family in Germany . If you shop at Coles or woolworths at least some of the profits go to Australian share holders and these companies actually employ more Australians. Also Aldi removes CHOICE of what you will buy . You can only buy their generic brand. You can buy "brand " names on special at Coles or Woolworths a lot of the time cheaper than Aldi products. YOU just have to wait until it is on special . I never ever buy cold power at the full price and by buying it when it is 1/2 price it is better value than the Aldi generic brand product.


That’s a good point on profits going to Australian shareholders, but couldn’t you also argue that ALDI (from what I can recall) pays it’s suppliers, which are typically Australian, a better rate for their product along with their employees (look at the trouble Coles has been in lately). Not saying you’re wrong, just saying it’s not easy being a cost conscious consumer and being ethical.


I find that Aldi has been a great addition to the food Supermarket business. It has provided consumers with much more choice, it has forced Woollies and even Coles, however, quite reluctantly, to pass on savings to us, the consumers and, as already mentioned, they are not always the cheapest. Consumers need to be aware of overall pricing and shop when it is either cheapest, most convenient for them or even just purchase the brands that they prefer. As mentioned, this has been to us, the consumers’ advantage, so use it well.


I went to Far North Queensland recently and they don’t have Aldi there. One of the locals told me that Aldi aren’t interested in setting up supermarkets in Cairns because these places aren’t as profitable as the big cities. So this leaves Woolworths and Coles to serve these regional areas and they do a good job of it, selling most grocery items at the same price as we pay in the big cities. Another point to take into account when choosing your supermarket.

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That’s an interesting thought @fernei. It’s so easy to forget about the costs of companies servicing rural areas when you live in the city. In the case of Aldi it might be part of their plan to slowly roll stores out across the country. My husband and I spent 6 months travelling around Australia last year and Aldi was certainly present in lots of rural parts of NSW and VIC, however we didn’t see them as much while we were travelling through SA, NT and QLD.

This probably not correct. Aldi setup their stores in cluster around a distribution centre. It would suggest the market is not big enough to justify a distribution centre and the they need a minimum number of stores within 2 hours driving to justify the investment. They have just opened distribution centres in SA and WA and in each case I think have plan on 15 stores. Both Woolies and Coles supply their stores from Mega Distribution centres near capital cities. Horses for courses.


Like any business, Woollies, Coles, IGA etc all pay their suppliers no differently to Aldi. Differences can occur in terms of payment such as on receipt of goods, 30 day terms etc. Other terms whicj can be different is who is responsoble for delivery, managing stock on shelves, unsold prodicts/waste etc. If Woollies, Coles, IGA don’t pay suppliers they would be before the courts and have a tarnished reputation.

Aldi says it looks after its staff better than others, but it pays its employees less than other retailers in exchange for different conditions…e.g. it offers 5 weeks paid holidays compared to the industry standard 4 weeks.

A recent example I saw was Aldi advertised a store manager position with annual salary of $80k with 5 weeks holiday. Equivalent roles in other major supermarkets are around $110-120k with four weeks paid holiday. I would expect Aldi would argue the lower pay reflects lower responsibilities…less staff to manage, less product range to manage etc…but this is difficukt to justify in the computerised inventory age (where stock is automatically managed and ‘reordered’) and where one or two problem staff take the same to manage no matter the team size.

Choice also found less than 14% of Aldi’s products are Australian, where other supermarket are on the order of 40%. Aldi uses clever marketing buy placing Australian flags on products which are imported and packed in Australia. I just hope the new country of origin labelling requirements corrects this deception.


Let’s add some data to the debate :slight_smile: check out this article which has a comparison between basket costs for generic vs. generic, as well as vs. leading brands


still would like to see a study of buying the cheapest possible generic in each supermarket ( not just "private label " ) > I know that some things are the same price in Coles/Woolworths and cheaper than Aldi on special .

I don’t think that’s true. I recently went to the regional towns in South West Qld, and many small towns such as Stanthorpe and Warwick has Aldi. The story of far north Qld would be a little different, since it is hard to transport goods over there and many big names do not set up stores straight away. I think the ‘Cairns story’ is just a hear say without no formal background.

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Private labels = cheapest in product category?

Here’s a nice summary:


I don’t think the “Cairns Story” is here say. Cairns doesn’t have an Aldi store yet and unlikely to have one in the near future as the population is less than 200,000 people. It is not profitable for Aldi to operate in environments where the population is small and towns are a bit isolated. My point is that Woolworths serve these regions extremely well. Woolworths doesn’t necessary charge higher prices in these regions even though I assume freight costs are much higher. Also Woolworths staff these stores well, providing employment to the local community. Aldi have only a few staff in their stores and often they are unhelpful and resent being asked where something is.

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agree with most of what you say nferand but there is aldi in my town and woollies and coles and the population ( permanent ) is about 15,000. !!!. definitely agree about the staffing and employment .

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This recent article is also worth reading Aldi is not always the cheapest.

It appears that Aldi stock known brand products of smaller sizes which appear cheaper per product, but more expensive for cost per unit weight/volume.

It is also worth noting that many products are not Australian (e.g. cornflakes from Germany compared to Made in Australia/Product of Australia) and the very small potential price savings (unit cost) possibly doesn’t warrant exporting AUD to unknown overseas suppliers or supporting unknown farmers in unkwown countries (who may not be paid a fair wage).

My experience with Aldi has been negative. I found their products of a very low quality. I bought a leg ham one Christmas and it was so bad I gave it to the dog. Their tinned tomatoes had zero flavour. Their chocolate is rubbish. I don’t know why people are shopping there at all !!

Most of our super funds are major shareholders in Coles and Woolies and shopping with them means some of the profits go back to our retirement savings. Where as already stated ALDI profits are repatriated to Germany but they do pay Australian wages and taxes.

@tndkemp, the Aldi model is about minimising wages and taxes. Woollies. Coles, IGA etc all have multiple number of staff compared to Aldi. Aldi achieves minimising wages and therefore taxes by limiting service, having products prepackaged and also limited number of products. They also target/concentrate on entering new markets where wages are high and traditional supermarkets have comparably high employment levels…this allows them to minimise operating costs maximising the profits returned to Germany.

If they don’t like setting up in regional areas, why is there Aldi in places like Noosa and the Illawarra?

liz.posmyk is dead right. I my area there are Aldi stores in Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Taree, Port Macquarie and Forster to name a few. Where you really save is in the fresh food aisle with meat, vegies, fruit and dairy. These are what you should be buying - not brand names.

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BUT not all the fruit , vegies, meat, dairy is cheaper than Woolies or Coles . I buy at Coles or Woolies , generic if no brand name on special and meat/chicken only reduced to clear( which is NEVER at our Aldi ) I buy fruit in season and the only times I bought capsicums and carrots at aldi there were mouldy on inside of every capsicum and the carrots went mouldy in one day, My friend bought a turkey roll at Christmas and it was off when she unwrapped it . Sorry Aldi is not the be all and end all of bargain shopping. People have to be aware of the current prices and compare using catelogues or even spend 1/2 hour in each shop to know their prices