The UK arm of German discount retailer Aldi has forced a dramatic shake-up in the country's fiercely competitive supermarket sector, putting intense pressure on the established chains and eating away at their market share. It is now the next biggest supermarket after the traditional Big Four. Local share of the grocery market reached a new high of 7.6% in 2018, having more than doubled since 2012. It wasn't always this way. For many years after its launch in the UK in the 1990s, Aldi failed to make a significant impact on local supermarket chains and its stripped-down store format actually put off many British shoppers used to a more luxurious store environment. The turning point came with the economic downturn of the late 2000s, as shoppers began to seek better deals than offered by the mainstream stores. A key factor was an advertising campaign which highlighted the price comparisons between third-party branded products and Aldi's own equivalents under the tagline "Like Aldi. Like Brands. Only Cheaper." Quality, though, has remained consistently high. In 2018, Aldi was named as UK Grocer of the Year for the fourth time in six years (it had previously won that award in 2009), and also regularly takes the top prize for own-label products. In 2013 it took gold in no less than 16 categories in The Grocer Own Label Awards. It has vowed to increase store numbers from around 790 outlets in 2017 to 1,000 by 2021. For 2017, UK & Ireland revenues topped £10.1bn. Matthew Barnes is managing director of Aldi UK. Aldi UK is a subsidiary of Aldi Sud, one of the two German companies that operate the Aldi brand globally.
Capsule checked 19th October 2018
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Adbrands Daily Update 14th Jan 2019: Discounters Aldi and Lidl suffered unexpected reverses in the UK over the peak Christmas shopping period. Despite a big promotional push, both stores saw their market share slip back slightly from the highs they had been enjoying for the previous few months. According to Kantar Worldpanel figures, Aldi slipped from its record high of 7.6% to 7.4% for the 12 weeks to 30th Dec, while Lidl fell back to 5.4% from its own best-ever 5.6%. Small differences to be sure, but significant nonetheless. Their loss appears to have been the the big four's gain. Tesco and Sainsbury in particular notched up their best performance since Feb 2018 with 27.8% and 16.2% respectively. In a year-on-year comparison, however, Aldi and Lidl were both higher, and Tesco and Sainsbury's lower, than in Dec 2017.
Adbrands Social Media 8th Nov 2018: "Kevin and the Wicked Parsnip". It turns out that McCann UK's Coke Truck/Italian Job spoof was actually only the appetiser for Aldi's real Christmas ad. It's a traditional fairytale epic of the battle between Good (Kevin the Carrot, natch) and Evil (Pascal the dastardly - and French! - parsnip). It's a fun romp very much in the style of previous years' campaigns, complete with trusty Jim Broadbank voiceover and mildly cheeky innuendo ("Right in the nuts!"). But we're a little disappointed to find no further spoofing. So how did Kevin rescue those cliffhanger carrots from the previous ad?
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Nov 2018: Ads Of The Week: "Kevin's Christmas Cliffhanger". In which alternative universe would you expect the Christmas ad from Aldi to trounce the offerings of every other big retailer for humour, cheeky injokes and overall appeal? Well it's the one you're living in. Kevin the Carrot returns for the third consecutive year - and how about that for brand confidence? - in the first part of McCann UK's Christmas campaign for the master retail disrupter. Previous ads got into trouble with regulators for their cheeky humour ("I think I pea-ed myself") and alcohol consumption. The latest pokes fun at Coca-Cola's long-running Christmas truck concept, before morphing into an affectionate tribute the classic British movie 'The Italian Job'. You can just picture the scene in the McCann creative department a month or two ago: "Hang on lads, I've got a great idea...".
Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Jun 2018: In the UK, German challenger Aldi was named as Grocer of the Year for the 4th time in six years at the annual Grocer Gold Awards. Last year it was beaten by a reinvigorated Tesco under CEO Dave Lewis, but this year it was business as usual for Aldi, which has delivered double-digit growth in the UK for seven straight years. Aldi also collected 35 top awards at the Grocer Own Label Awards.
Adbrands Social Media 7th Nov 2017: Ads Of The Week: "Kevin The Carrot 2017". Oddly, Aldi UK's Christmas special from McCann also sees the need to make reference to a current cinema release, though this tie-in is less blatant (and less remunerative) than M&S's. Clearly, fresh ideas were thin on the ground because Aldi and McCann have also seen fit to resurrect the star of last year's ad, Kevin the Carrot, instead of coming up with something new. Yet this Aldi spot does also include the best laugh-out-loud gag of the whole season so far; one that is certain to be replayed endlessly by small boys and girls throughout the country. A warning to all Mums and Dads: probably wise not to serve peas for lunch on Christmas Day unless you look forward to scraping them off items of clothing all afternoon.
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