The international discounter has lifted its standing among Aussie shoppers in recent months, lifting its ranking from third to first since April.
Research firm Roy Morgan surveyed around 4,000 Australians to compile the ranking, generating a score that subtracts distrust from trust.
It was distrust that did in Australia’s largest supermarkets Coles and Woolworths, neither of which placed in the top 10. Aldi also outperformed the likes of Qantas, Bendigo Bank, Bunnings Australia and Kmart. Interestingly, Metcash supplied IGA also made the top 10, also beating out Coles and Woolies with the eighth spot on the list.
The findings indicate that Aldi has managed to hook customers on its reputation for an affordable and reliable experience, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said.
“Nowhere is a high level of trust more important than when it comes to the provision of the food we eat,” she said.
“Aldi’s ability to excel at its core competencies has built a level of trust in the Australian market without at the same time attracting the degree of distrust seen by its rivals.”
Aldi’s position in the mix sits in stark contrast from the state of Australia’s grocery sector ten years ago, when local players held a tighter grip on the market. In the years since launching Down Under in 2001 Aldi has expanded its offer nationally, most recently rolling-out more stores in South Australia and Western Australia. Its price-centric offer has catapulted its brand to local prominence, drawing a loyal base of shoppers looking for bargains or increasingly buying groceries from a broader range of sources.
Aldi has also recently made significant improvements to its fresh food offer, refurbishing a large portion of its store network to focus more heavily on produce. But while Aldi has come out as top dog on key perception metrics, other supermarkets have a growing distrust problem, Levine said.
“To rise to meet the challenge presented by Aldi, and other newer entrants into grocery category such as Amazon Fresh, Costco and Kaufland, traditional market leaders Coles and Woolworths need to develop strategies to reduce their growing levels of distrust,” she explained.
Roy Morgan said distrust was driven by perceptions about greed, dishonesty and deceitful business practices, while trust was defined by reliability, customer focuses and knowledgeable staff. She noted that distrust can trigger customer churn, kill customer and supplier engagement, can cause reputational damage and is a bellwether for an unsustainable future.