According to new data released by supermarket chain Lidl, consumers in the UK spent £11m less at Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose in January than they did last year and used it instead at the discount retailer. Much of that switch is being fueled by fresh produce.
This huge shift is not surprising given the economic pinch being put on families, but the overall trend is staggering: Lidl says those shoppers switched more £120 million of their premium supermarket spend over the past year to the discounter.
“It’s clear that a lot of shoppers are now refusing to pay a premium for their groceries,” Ryan McDonnell, CEO at Lidl GB, said. “As we progress into 2023, we are seeing more customers coming through our doors, switching spend to Lidl from premium supermarkets. We know they switch to us to make savings, but then they stay with us when they realise that they’re not having to compromise on quality.”
Lidl officials note that fruit and vegetable sales have soared to a “market share high” of 10.2%. But it says the switch is being felt throughout their departments, including meat and poultry, which also posted record numbers.
Lidl and discount competitor Aldi have shaken up the UK market by not only deeply undercutting prices posted by stalwart British chains – notwithstanding their attempt at price matching – but also by continuing to increase their overall footprint with new stores opening almost weekly across the UK.
Lidl, in fact, recently said it will pour £4 billion into its British food business, piggybacking on a five-year £17 billion commitment to British food through FY25.