Battle of the house brands: Aldi comes out on top in supermarket test

Aug 21, 2020
The cut-price German retailer is a hit with Aussie shoppers. Source: Getty.

If there’s one thing that Aussie shoppers love, it’s a bargain – and you’d be hard-pressed to fine a store that offers more deals and special offers than Aldi. From its hugely successful Special Buys offering to its award-winning wine and low prices on recognisable brands, shoppers seemingly can’t get enough of the cut-price German retailer.

And it seems that Australians have taken a liking to Aldi’s own brand products too, as recent Choice testing found that the supermarket’s products were preferred over the house products offered by Coles and Woolworths in six out of 10 categories.

Here’s the low-down on the Aldi products that shoppers can’t get enough of, and how they compared to similar offerings from Coles and Woolies.

Premium ice cream

If you’re after a sweet treat to enjoy this weekend and have a craving for ice cream, then look no further than Aldi’s own brand product. Aldi’s Monarc Indulge Vanilla Opulence scored an impressive Choice rating of 81 per cent.

In joint first place was Woolies’ Vanilla Bean ice cream, however this product will set you back slightly more than Aldi’s. While Coles came in third with its Vanilla Bean ice cream scoring 79 per cent.

Butter

If you love a thick slathering of butter on your morning toast, then you could save money and tantalise your tastebuds by picking up your groceries at Aldi. The cut-price supermarket’s Beautifully Butterfully scored a Choice expert rating of 83 per cent, which puts it on par with Lurpak. Coles’ Australian Butter came in second with, while Woolworths’ Macro Certified Organic’s butter scored 72 per cent.

Strawberry jam

Jam is a breakfast favourite, among young and old alike! So if you’re looking for the best strawberry spread to enjoy on scones or to include in your next baking project, Aldi could be your best bet. The German retailer’s Grandessa Signature Jam comes with a Choice rating of 74 per cent. It tied with Woolworths’ Essentials Jam, and, surprisingly, Woolies offering comes in cheaper!

Coles’ again came in third with its Coles Jam scoring just 62 per cent. However it’s worth pointing out that it still scored higher than Cottee’s and St Dalfour.

Tea bags

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t find comfort in a nice, steaming-hot mug of tea and Aldi’s Diplomat brand scored 73 per cent in Choice testing, pipping Coles’ cup tea bags to the post by just one percentage point and Woolies’ Essential tea bags by three percentage points.

Shredded cheese

In a taste test of 36 different brands of shredded cheese, Coles’ Australian Mozzarella came in third place overall, making it the number one house brand with a rating of 80 per cent. Woolworths Mozzarella, which has the lowest fat content of the three, scored 76 per cent, while Aldi’s Westacre Tasty Light scored 66%. Although Aldi’s product is the cheapest if you’re looking to save some pennies.

Tomato sauce

Most people think Heinz when they think of tomato sauce, but you don’t have to spend big to get the same level of taste as Aldi’s Colway tomato sauce beat out Coles and Woolies in Choice testing. With an expert rating of 70 per cent and a price tag of just $1.39, you can’t go wrong with this product.

Woolworths home brand sauce came in second, with a Choice rating of 67 per cent, and Coles scored the lowest of the three with 64 per cent.

Pesto

Aldi was the pick of the house brands for pesto, with its Remano product scoring 63 per cent. It scored a lot better than the others as Coles barely managed a pass for its pesto with 55 per cent, while Woolies left a bad taste in Choice’s judges’ mouths with a woeful rating of just 32 per cent!

White bread

Shockingly, when it comes to own-brand white bread, it was a gluten-free offering from Coles that bagged the top spot. The loaf, priced at $4.50, received a Choice expert rating of 77 per cent.

Aldi’s Baker’s Life loaf came in second though with an expert rating of 73 per cent, with Woolies’ Country White bringing up the rear at 72 per cent.

Muesli bars

Woolworths was judged to be the best house brand, with its Chewy Choc Drizzle muesli bars scoring 72 per cent overall. In a close field, Coles came in second of the house brands with 71 per cent and offered even better value with more bars in the box for a cheaper price. Meanwhile, Aldi’s Hillcrest bars matched Coles for value, but not on taste, scoring 68 per cent.

Instant coffee

Coles’ Fairtrade Organic Freeze Dried Coffee wiped the floor with the competition, and was named Best House Brand as well as tastiest coffee in Choice testing. Costing just $4, it boasts a Choice rating of 74 per cent overall.

In second place out of the three key supermarket chains was Woolworths with its Freeze Dried Classic Coffee, which also comes in at $4, however it scored a less impressive 69 per cent overall. While Aldi’s Alcafe Classic Gold leaves less to be desired with a Choice rating of 67 per cent, however it does come in slightly cheaper at $3.69.

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