Aldi Australia is a fast-rising challenger to the once-cosy duopoly of Coles and Woolworths, thanks to its public image of consistently low prices.
However, perception doesn't always equate to reality, as a Yahoo Finance investigation has uncovered.
Multiple Aldi stores in Sydney this week are selling a 50 gram pack of long chillies for $2.99, which equates to $59.80 per kilogram.
But an independent fruit shop in the same shopping centre was seen selling the same packaged chillies for $14.90 a kilo.
That's a common everyday vegetable sold for 300 per cent more at Aldi.
Both Coles and Woolworths sell pre-packaged chillies that are similarly priced to Aldi – $3 for a 50g pack, or $60 per kilo. But the equivalent chillies in loose form were selling for $24 per kilo.
So if you’re shopping at Woolworths and Coles, you have the choice to buy the same vegetable for far cheaper if you are willing to scoop some up yourself.
Meanwhile consumers at Aldi have no such option and must cough up $59.80 per kilo if they want some chillies for their Rendang Beef.
The lesson for price-conscious consumers is: never assume one retailer is cheaper than another.
Shop at more than one supermarket, and support smaller specialist independent stores who are keeping the big chains honest.
Aldi Australia told Yahoo Finance that its business model deliberately differs from its rivals.
“We only stock one product variant, or in some cases, a limited number of products in each category. It is for this reason we only stock packaged chilies in our stores,” the supermarket stated.
The company stated it was proud of its price transparency.
“[We] were the first supermarket in Australia to independently display unit prices. We do this so our customers clearly understand the price of a product and can undertake their weekly shop with confidence.”
Experienced Aldi shoppers already knew about the chilli pricing discrepancy.
“I never buy chillies at Aldi,” said Josh Stanaway, an Aldi loyalist from regional NSW.
“You have to go another store and pick up loose ones.”
Yahoo Finance each week reveals the best half-price specials at Woolworths and Coles, and the pick of the specials at Aldi, so you can compare before heading to the shops.
Have you noticed other items that are more expensive at Aldi? Contact us.
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