It may come as a surprise to learn that the fastest growing jams, spreads and honey retailer is not Waitrose or one of the big four, but discounter Aldi.

The German retailer’s share of the market has soared 53% in the past year to 4.1%, compared with a total grocery share of 2.4% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 28 October 2012]. Impressive enough, but when you consider it is off the back of a 37% rise in 2011, it’s a phenomenal achievement.

And Aldi is not the only discounter over-indexing. Lidl has also had a strong year and indeed overtrades more than any other retailer in the category. So why are the discounters faring so well?

It helps that the growth is off a relatively low base, but Matthew Verity, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, believes it is also part of a wider story.

“Much of the growth of jams and spreads in Aldi and Lidl is a reflection of the strong performance they see at an overall grocery level and across a number of categories,” he says. “It is as much a result of more people walking through the door of the retailers as anything specifically done in the individual categories.”

That said, in a category that has been hit hard by commodity-driven price hikes, being able to offer consumers low prices is key - especially if some of those low prices are on brands.

While Aldi has historically favoured tertiary brands such as its Grandessa range of jams, spreads and honey, Verity also attributes the recent sales growth to the increasing presence of household brands such as Nutella and Marmite.

“At the same time, Aldi still sees strong growth from its own-label offering and this is especially the case in the own-label dominated sector of honey where it has delivered huge levels of growth,” he adds.

Growth that’s set to continue for Aldi and Lidl as long as the economy remains in the doldrums.


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