Students are a Lidl Obsessed

The convenience of Sainsbury’s local or the penny-scrimping potential of Lidl or Aldi? A question that has plagued Lenton’s rambunctious student population for years.

It is not just localised to Nottingham however, as the battle between ‘The Big Four’ (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons) and budget supermarkets is being waged on a national scale. While the big players still reign supreme, controlling 75% of the market, Lidl and Aldi are making a stand. In a market so completely dominated by the big players, the headway made by the dynamic duo is impressive.

And it is becoming obvious that these new upstarts have got the nation’s supermarket giants on their heels.

In 2013 Aldi’s profits soared by over 50% in the UK. In 2011, economists pinned the sudden surge of success of budget supermarkets on the recession. In the so called ‘race to the bottom’, Lidl and Aldi started the race well ahead of their larger competitors. It was therefore unsurprising that Lidl and Aldi gained from the recession as cash-strapped shoppers sought to find cheaper alternatives to fill their fridges and cupboards.

A quick visit to the Aldi in Lenton gives a great deal of insight into why this is the grocery proprietor of choice for thrifty shoppers. Inside, you would be forgiven for thinking it was the interior of a pop-up shop rather than one of the nation’s favourite supermarkets; the aisles bow and bend under the strain of preposterously full shelves with comestibles arranged in no particular order. However it takes just one glance up at the bold yellow price signs to see why Aldi is just so popular with cost-conscious students; Carino ‘Family Shampoo’: 44p, Spaghetti (500g): 20p, 15 eggs: £1.25 and of course most importantly, coconut flavoured rum: £4.49.

These are just a trifling of the absurdly low prices to be found in Lenton’s budget supermarkets. Low prices alone however cannot explain why, when the recession is in its infirmity, that this popularity is ever snowballing.

One Aldi shopper was very enlightened, describing in a recent interview “Supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s had an autonomy on the market, so when people were paying more they believed they were getting better quality but in reality the quality is just as good or even better here (Aldi) for a fraction of the price.”

Perhaps the move towards Lidl and Aldi cannot be explained purely on a financial basis. ‘The Big Four’ are right to be concerned as here in Britain we may be experiencing the buds of a supermarket revolution towards smarter shopping.

Tom Murray

Image courtesy of Daniel Foster via Flickr

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