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Germany: Aldi vs. Lidl: Price comparison

It started with the VAT cut. For weeks, Aldi and Lidl have been fighting a bitter advertising battle in which they are trying all imaginable tricks and marketing gags to outdo their competitors. The conflict culminated in the fact that Aldi and Lidl both printed a shopping cart comparison in their handouts, in which each competitor claims to have better prices than the competitor. It is about nothing less than the price sovereignty among the discounters, the crucial question: Who is the cheapest discount store in Germany?

See also this German video supporting this articles:

Aldi vs. Lidl: With these advertising tricks, the discounters are currently fighting for the lowest prices. So that you don't have to rely on the statements and advertising of the companies, the independent journalist Maximilian Nowroth quickly made a shopping cart comparison himself and published it on his YouTube channel. He went shopping in Düsseldorf, in the Lidl store on Königsallee, the Aldi-Süd store is directly opposite.

He acquired 15 basic basket products such as long-life milk, toilet paper, butter, bread, jam, cucumbers, apples, bananas, chocolate, orange juice and pasta. He buys all of these from the discounters' own brands.

There were also seven products from well-known brands, such as Iglo fish fingers, Funny Fresh Chips, Krombacher beer, Nutella and Coca-Cola. Nowroth selected these because they are available from both Aldi and Lidl. The journalist made sure to only buy the products when they are not on special offer so that price competition is not distorted.

In addition, 5 products from the organic range such as carrots, eggs and tomatoes were tested, as well as the three trend products oat milk, veggie burger patties and high-protein pudding.

The result

At Lidl Nowroth paid a total of 44.02 euros (US$53.32). At Aldi Süd, the same purchase cost 42.07 euros (US$50.95). This makes Aldi 4.43% cheaper than its main competitor, Lidl.

Why is that?

With many individual basic products there was either no price difference at all or Lidl was a cent cheaper, according to the result of the receipt comparison. Lidl was only seven cents cheaper with butter. The bottom line was that all of Lidl's basic products were 87 cents more expensive than Aldi.

How can that be? The reason: cucumbers, apples and bananas were significantly cheaper than food at the discounter, even if the products were highly comparable. The apples (both Braeburn and New Zealand types) cost about 1.83 euros (US$2.22) at Aldi and 2.55 euros (US$3.09) at Lidl.

In contrast, the prices of the discounters hardly differ for branded products. Here the FMCG brand producers are influencing and dictating the price levels.

Fruit and vegetables make the difference

When it comes to organic products, the vegetable counter is again important: the prices of the trend products are almost identical, the difference is made by organic carrots and tomatoes. In summary, it can be said that fruit and vegetables were almost a quarter more expensive at Lidl than at Aldi.

As the German retail sector magazine “Lebensmittelzeitung” revealed last week, Lidl had also increased the prices of the items from the shopping cart comparison again after the promotion.

Nowroth confronted Lidl with its result and the price increase after the shopping cart comparison advertising. The answer from the press office: “In principle, sales prices are subject to continuous fluctuations due to their dependence on various factors such as supply and demand or raw material prices. Customers can always find the current price transparently on the receipt and in the branch on the price tags of the respective products."

When the reporter asked whether the trickery in the advertisement was tantamount to deceiving consumers, the Lidl spokeswoman did not answer.

Consumers are more likely to emerge from this price battle as winners. At the same time, the following applies: Don't rely too much on advertising and flyers, rather check and compare the prices yourself if this is important to you.

As a conclusion: "Don't let yourself be fooled, especially not when it comes to the price."

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