Europe: Aldi and Lidl continue their strong push

The sales of the two food discounters continue to grow much faster than the mass distribution average in many countries. This largely consolidates their market shares, especially in France, Spain and the United Kingdom, while their situation is more contrasted in the historical discount markets.

The pandemic and the expansion are giving wings to discounters Aldi and Lidl. According to data from NielsenIQ, which closely monitors the performance of predominantly own-brand supermarkets, "these brands tend to consolidate the trends observed in 2020". That is to say, to do better than the average for brands in terms of sales growth. Cumulatively to date at the end of May, the growth in sales of PGC-FLS reached + 6.8% in France at discounters (excluding Leader Price), while it is only 1% for the entire sector. of mass distribution. Data very close to those observed in Spain. In Italy, the SDMP are at + 7.5%, more than double the average. And in the United Kingdom, discounters are even recording double-digit increases, against a solid but less impressive + 3.5% on an industry average.

The situation is different in Germany, where the discount lost ground in 2020, and where current sales decline slightly in this format, while they are progressing overall by 3% across all brands. The major difference in analysis lies in the dominant discount positions in this country (more than 40% of market share) compared to the many other European countries in which this format is in the process of conquest, as in France, UK, Spain or Italy.

Moreover, Nielsen points to "very disparate performances" for discounters in 2020, with a decline observed in mature markets with respect to this format, offset however by "an almost faultless" in the most important markets, in which Aldi and Lidl have almost systematically gained ground against their competitors. The gain in new consumers explains this vitality, as does the return to expansion, as in France. After years during which the parks have not changed, Aldi (via the takeover of Leader Price) and Lidl (which is targeting around fifty openings per year) are focusing on both internal and external growth.

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