They may be Australia’s biggest supermarket chains but Woolworths and Coles have failed to satisfy customers as much as smaller, local stores, a new survey has found.
CHOICE’s new customer satisfaction survey revealed most Australians prefer to support lesser known supermarkets – with many claiming there is a bigger selection of local produce available.
Although Aldi has gained a big following since it first opened its doors in Australia, the German supermarket didn’t take out the number one position either – with a South Australian franchise beating them all.
Foodland climbed to the top spot, receiving an overall score of 82 per cent, followed closely by New South Wales’ Harris Farm Markets with a customer satisfaction rating of 81 per cent. The two were recognised especially for the wide range of locally produced products and the quality of fresh produce.
American wholesale chain Costco came next with 76 per cent, then Aldi on 74 per cent and rounding out the top five was IGA/Supa IGA on 73 per cent.
In sixth place was FoodWorks on 71 per cent and then came the major supermarkets with Woolworths just beating its main competitor Coles with 69 per cent and 67 per cent respectively. Coles didn’t fair well in many of the areas, scoring the lowest of all supermarkets for its availability of locally produced products, quality of fresh food, helpfulness of staff, and ease and speed at the check-out.
However, it wasn’t all bad news for the big brands, with Woolworths and Coles receiving high scores from CHOICE for their online delivery service.
While Harris Farm impressed with its fresh produce, Aldi was voted the best value for money and Foodland apparently has the best store appearance.
According to CHOICE food expert Rachel Clemons, buying local is the biggest must for Aussie shoppers with 45 per cent of survey respondents claiming they were frustrated by the lack of locally produced products at their supermarkets.
“The big lesson for Australian supermarkets is that fresh and local food matters,” Clemons explained. “The CHOICE community is renowned for being informed, discerning and savvy shoppers, so well done to the brands that impressed.”
Aussies were frustrated with a number of other things however, with some respondents calling out supermarkets for having too much of a focus on price and forgetting other important aspects.
The most common supermarket gripe was too much packaging on products, with 54 per cent of people surveyed claiming it’s their biggest hate. This was followed by a lack of locally produced products on 45 per cent, long waits at the checkout at 43 per cent and products being unavailable/sold out on 42 per cent. Rounding off the top five was lack of staff members to provide assistance which scored 37 per cent.