Quality message drives drinks sales at Aldi and Lidl

Private labels are driving the growth in drink sales at Aldi and Lidl, according to the latest figures from Nielsen.

Private label accounted for 86% of value in wine sales at the discounters in the 12 weeks to September 12. Between them, Aldi and Lidl currently have a 9.5% volume share of the market.

Sales of French and Spanish wines are particularly strong, whereas the brand heavy US and New Zealand ranges underindex in comparison to the multiples.

Red wine contributes 45% of total value wine sales at the discounters, significantly more than the 41% at the major supermarkets.

In the beer and cider aisles, Aldi and Lidl have attracted some of key brands in recent years, including Carlsberg, Guinness, Magners and Old Speckled Hen.

However, as in wine, private labels are a major strength. The three best-selling beer and cider lines in Aldi are private label. At Lidl, they take the top two slots.

Spirits are another area of significant growth. The discounters’ share of the UK spirits market by value has risen to 8.5% from 7.6% the previous year. 

Few major spirits brands have been attracted to the discounters. As a result, Nielsen reports that 26% of premium spirits shoppers will not shop with them because the quality of the range is perceived as unattractive.

Lidl’s recent announcement of an expanded spirit range for the Christmas market suggests it intends to pursue a private-line strategy similar to that in its wine offer.

A number of spirits categories already perform better among the discounters than the multiples, including cream and non-cream liqueurs, French grape brandy and white rum.

Overall sales at Aldi and Lidl continue to grow rapidly.

Almost 50% of UK households now visit Aldi or Lidl at least once a month.

Aldi and Lidl accounted for 10.7% of UK supermarket sales in the 12-week period, up from 8.7% year on year.

Sales at both discounters are climbing by more than 20% annually.

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