Australia’s most popular grocery brands might not be what you expect

Australians now prefer home brands to big-name groceries, according to new research from Canstar Blue. Last year, only 44% of

Australians now prefer home brands to big-name groceries, according to new research from Canstar Blue. Last year, only 44% of shoppers preferred home brands but now that figure has jumped to 65%.

Furthermore, 76% of us rate home brands produced by Coles, Woolworths and Aldi as “good quality”. In fact, Aldi has topped a list of the eight most-loved brands in Australia, proving that grocery giants Coles and Woolies are truly getting a run for their money now.

According to Canstar Blue, “unless you have a strong preference for a particular named brand, chances are you will perceive the (home) label alternative to offer better value”.

“You need to be convinced that a big name brand is superior in quality to spend the extra money. With (home) label products improving, the difference in quality seems to be narrowing and consumers are simply following the cheaper prices”, said spokesperson Megan Doyle.

Whilst home brands were once seen as cheap, nasty or inferior – perceptions have changed and customers are making the switch. Ms Doyle says this is because Coles and Woolworths are investing more in their home brands than ever before.

“It’s no coincidence that this change is happening at a time when the major supermarkets are placing more importance on their (home) label offerings than ever before, with Coles and Woolworths trying to cut prices and improve quality to stem the flow of customers to Aldi”.

In fact, Aldi dominated a list of the eight most popular brands in Australia. Whilst some shoppers still prefer more expensive brands for their kitchen staples, home brands made more appearances in this list than ever before. This was based on a survey of 3,000 Australian shoppers during December last year.

Customer Satisfaction Top-Performers
– Milk: Devondale
– Long-life milk: Coles
– White bread: ALDI Bakers Life
– Wholemeal bread: ALDI Bakers Life
– Multigrain bread: Burgen
– Margarine: Nuttelex
– Butter: ALDI Beautifully Butterfully
– Eggs: ALDI Lodge Farms

Which of these products have you tried? Have you made the switch from big-brand labels to home brands? Does this save you money?

  1. I do regularly shop at Aldi, therefore buying their “home brands”. But I’ve found previously that other supermarkets’ home brands are cheap, but inferior quality and / quantity. E.G. tinned tomatoes have less vegetable (fruit?) but a lot more liquid. But on the other hand, flour is flour!!!

  2. Survey was done where there is an Aldi store I shop at Woolworths I buy there home brand such as tin fruit only where it states it is Australian grown fruit if the fruit is from overseas then I don,t, same with the frozen veg only when it is Australian grown and Birds Eye isn’t available.

  3. Will always buy the cheap brand tea bags…..only 2 dollars for 100….we hav always added a couple of leaves of lap sang su chong to either loose leaf pot tea or bag tea to add our smoky bush flavour however the cheap black tea bags are ok on their own also

  4. It took me along time to be converted to an Aldi shopper but now I buy 90% from them. Good comparison at Christmas was condensed milk can’t remember the price now but it was under half the price of the brand name product at Coles, The tinned caramel was nearly a third cheaper. One thing that annoys me is its hard to find the origin of food on Aldi labels. Their organic milk product range is wonderful. I don’t like the bagged up veggies, as they are usually to big for two people but are great for families. I still do most of my veggies at our local fruit and veg shop.

  5. I’m curious, do people prefer home brands for taste and quality or because their spending power has perhaps shrunk?

  6. the home brand it’s not just perception. the quality for a lot have improved. as other only if still Australia product and quality matches

  7. I always check where the product comes from – if it’s not labelled Aussie grown or manufactured it doesn’t go in my basket.

  8. The problem with people buying home brands is that, once the majority do (now according to the article?), the named brands will disappear because they can’t compete. Then, watch the price of the home brands increase and there will be no competition to temper the situation. End result? Food will then be more expensive, perhaps for sub-standard produce.

    • Penny, often “home brands” come from the same factory as regular products …… e.g. Milk, cream, butter. Back in 1950’s my father worked for a butter factory, and even then, they packaged the exact same butter into 5-6 different wrappers, and higher prices for the ” better known ” brands – so it’s been going on for 60 years 😀

    • That’s true. I remember when Franklins first started their plain black and white brand, you could tell which factory produced the item from the packaging. Presumably it was too expensive to change their production line, so they just changed the labelling, not the actual package. However, that’s not the case anymore. As Australian producers disappear, we are getting more imported food, some from dubious sources. As the named brands disappear and go bankrupt, so this trend will grow and we will be forced to buy the inferior imported items.

    • Rhonda, just because home brand products are made in the same factory as brand name ones does NOT mean the quality is the same. For instance, ingredients might be slightly different, quality specifications might differ. Do not assume they are the same.

    • Maureen, totally agree with you. The point I was making though, is that back in 1950 factories were “churning” out the same product under various brand names.

    • Claire Hancock  

      That’s a good point, Penny! Already I’ve noticed a decrease in the number of different brands in some supermarket lines, eg, biscuits.

    • JAY  

      This is another reason I do not shop at Woollies and only occasionally at Coles. They are both so greedy. Iprefer IGA or Foodland where I have a choice if I cannot get what I want at Aldi

  9. This is exactly what the big two set out to achieve a couple of years back when they removed a lot of favourite brand items, and indeed some favourite brands, from their shelves. No one should be surprised that this forced customers to buy their own brands.

  10. I love shopping at the supermarket warehouse places where a lot of the Australian grown food is available at very cheap prices and can be bought in bulk even cheaper making it great for large family’s or for someone like me who stocks up to help my kids out if they need anything. I have a list of 3 places I go to and I love them.

  11. It seems to me that many name brands have shrunk the size of the product so I assume they have reduced the quality too.
    I do not bother myself with price but usually look for those that are entirely Australian – not easy as I recently was in a supermarket buying orange juice and everything had on it, “..local and imported…”
    Of course they are going to get rid or country of origin labelling – apparently people like me who buy Australian are seen to be anti free trade. Us evil patriots – I should be wrapping myself in an Australian Flag that was made in China to show my patriotism rather than supporting Aussie farmers.

    • I’m with you. Always look for Australian first but have to keep checking as some brands move off shore and you don’t know about it. Classic example is Heinz as they were always Australian made and one day I used a tomato soup that just didn’t taste right. Checked can and everything has been moved to New Zealand. Always double check now.

    • Always try to buy Australian myself, we Hv amazing produce in this country why do I need to buy frozen berries from China, or any where else. We Hv to support our farmers😃

    • We are having Chinese rubbish dumped on us while the Chinese are buying up all of our quality stuff. Not only are they buying the produce/product, they are buying the farms. How stupid are we??????

    • Also with you am disgusted with what are the new marketing process just do not buy home brand anything if you have a problem at least you have redress for complaint.

    • Will not buy anything from NZ either they allow imported products from China to be blended or mixed with their produce so no also to NZ wine we are subsidising their wine industry & WW are flooding market to the expense of our wine industry good wine but will not buy.

    • In food I buy Australian where possible! Buy fresh in season, cannot go wrong! New Zealand I give a miss to frozen foods as a lot of it comes from China!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *