Sainsbury’s to price match against Aldi

Date : 10 February 2021

Nick Gladding

Senior Retail Analyst

In what it describes as its ‘boldest ever value campaign’, Sainsbury’s has launched its own Aldi Price Match mechanic aligning prices with those at the discounter across hundreds of popular lines.

250 lines covered

The campaign will apply to around 250 lines covering own brand lines, focusing on key household staples in categories including meat, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy. Aldi Price Match will apply in larger stores and online, but not in convenience stores. Prices will be checked twice weekly.

Source: Sainsbury's

First major action under Food First Plan

The initiative is the first since the launch of CEO Simon Roberts’ plan in November to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s business with a pledge to invest where it matters most to shoppers.

The move builds on a number of recent initiatives to strengthen Sainsbury’s value credentials. For several years Sainsbury’s has used its “PQF” price quality framework to decide how it should invest in price and quality to deliver the best volume responses. It has also replaced its basics range with a number of category specific ‘entry price point brands’ that provide a more quality oriented look for its lowest tier private label range. Sainsbury’s value focus has also been strengthened by the development of the Price Lock campaign which guarantees consistent value on around 2,500 products for at least eight weeks.

Defence against discounters and Tesco

Besides taking aim at Aldi, Sainsbury’s move will also help defend its position against Tesco which has stepped up communication of its own Aldi Price Match scheme. Launched last March, its scheme now covers some 500 lines and is credited with helping Tesco achieve switching gains from the discounters in recent trading.

Echoes of Brand Match

Aldi Price Match is not Sainsbury's first foray into price matching competitors. In October 2011, it launched Brand Match, a mechanic that checked the price of brands against Asda and Tesco (later simplified to just Asda) with coupons issued at the checkout for use on a future shop if the products bought were more expensive at Sainsbury's.

The scheme was scrapped in 2016 in favour of more targeted investments in lower regular prices across brands and private label. Sainsbury's was mindful at the time that the mechanic did nothing to address the threat from discounters and that processing paper coupons at the till created delays for customers and costs for the business.

Emphasising quality as well as low prices

Commenting on the launch of Aldi Price Match, Simon Roberts said: “We are making great progress delivering our Food First plan and I’m determined that in these tough times, we do even more to help our customers save money. Our new commitment to match Aldi prices on hundreds of our most popular products will mean our customers can be confident that they are getting the quality they expect from Sainsbury’s at great prices.”

Example price cuts

  • by Sainsbury's 21 Day Matured Rump Steak 225g reduced from £2.50 to £2.32
  • by Sainsbury's British Whole Chicken Breast Fillets 1kg reduced from £5 to £4.79
  • by Sainsbury’s 2 Smoked Basa Fillets 240g reduced from £2.50, to £2.39
  • Imperfectly Tasty Baby Potatoes 1kg reduced from 95p, to 65p
  • Green Grocer Frozen Berry Mix 1kg reduced from £2.50, to £2.39
  • by Sainsbury’s Plain Flour reduced from 80p, to 45p
  • by Sainsbury’s White Pitta Bread 6pk reduced from 45p, to 35p

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