UK shoppers have been flocking to discounters in their droves this summer with consumers now more willing to mix and match their food purchases.

One in three UK households has shopped at hard discount stores this summer, according to market analyst ACNielsen, paving the way for significant growth.

ACNielsen manager Jonathan Banks said: "The discounters are now getting consumers to recognise that they offer not just extremely low prices but also extremely high-quality goods. In Aldi's television advertising, for example, they are not banging on about prices any more. They are talking about the quality of the goods."

Banks noted that the rise of discounters was partially driven by changes in consumers' shopping habits. They complemented weekly shopping with top-up trips, during which they were likely to visit limited-range discount stores. He added: "Mixing and matching is a wider trend. Consumers are happy to book a stay in four or five-star hotels and travel there on a discount airline. The same is true with food."

The discounters in the UK have generally underperformed, accounting for just above 5% of the grocery market - far lower than in Germany or Denmark, for example, where they command up to 40% market share.

But Banks said discounters plans to expand store numbers were key. "If they want to get consumers, they will have to get more local outlets. What has driven growth in ­Europe is store numbers. It will be the same here."

However, Citibank analyst David McCarthy was doubtful that discounters would make a dent in the multiples' market share. He said: "The hard discounters are underperforming if you measure by floor space.

"The biggest discounters in the UK are actually Tesco and Asda. Their value own brand lines are cheaper than the discounters lowest brands, even though they are not always as good quality. And Tesco is already upgrading the quality of those lines."

A recent study from consulting company ­Allegra Strategies projected that discounters would grow turnover at a rate of 86% over the next five introduces multibuys

The drive by discounters to become a feature of the mainstream UK grocery scene is gathering pace. First Aldi reinvented itself as a retailer of premium quality foods, and now Lidl is introducing multibuy-based special offers.

The move by Lidl, which is backed by newspaper ads highlighting deals on leading brands, marks a significant departure from the hard discount chain's traditional focus on everyday low pricing. The print ads show bogofs and three-for-two offers on brands such as Pepsi, Beck's beer, Weetabix and Ambrosia.

A Lidl spokesman said: "We started it in Scotland a month ago and are now rolling it out across the country."

Lidl was previously unable to process multibuys at its tills, but has updated its cash register software, he added.