# Use the magnifying glass to find the price difference between Aldi, Lidl and Penny Market G7

Since last January, on the last day of every month, we have been virtually buying 42 basic food products at Aldi and Lidl, and since February this year, we have expanded the circle with Penny Market and Tesco. This is the G7’s subjective (statistically unrepresentative) consumer basket, with which our goal is to monitor price differences between store chains on the one hand, and to track food inflation (or deflation) on the other — according to our own perspectives.

The contents of our shopping cart are displayed by clicking on the star at the end of the sentence*Potatoes (red) 3 kg
Sugar, 0.5 kg
Flour, 1 kg
Oil (sunflower), 1 l
Butter, 0.25 kg
Bun, 0.5 kg
Kifli, 0.5 kg
ESL potential 1.5%, 1 l
ESL potential 2.8%, 1 l
Sour cream 20%, 0.5 l
Natural yogurt, 0.5 l
Kefir, 0.5 l
Tomatoes, 1 kg
TV paprika, 0,5 kg
Carrots, 0.5 kg
Turnips, 0.2 kg
Alma, 1 kg
Banana, 0.5 kg
Ground coffee (100% Arabica) 0.25 kg
Chicken breast, 1 kg
Turkey breast, 1 kg
Minced pork, max. 20% fat content, 0.5 kg
Pork Paris, 0.2 kg
Toilet paper, two layers, 200 sheets
Coca-Cola, 1 l
Zabital, 1 l
Rice, (min. “A” quality) 0.5 kg
Spaghetti pasta, (durum) 0.25 kg
Eggs, 10 pieces
Onions, 0.25 kg
Snake cucumber, 1 piece
Carbonated mineral water, 3 l
Only, 0.05 kg
Lumpy cottage cheese, 0.2 kg
Gouda sajt, 0,2 kg
Pork loin, 1 kg
Trappist cheese, 0.2 kg
Cocoa / cinnamon snail, 0.2 kg
Uht of this, 1.5% 1 l
Uht of this, 2.8% 1 l
Orange, 0.3 kg
. And our methodology can be read by clicking on the star at the end of this sentence*For each product, we record a specific price, kilograms, liters, pieces, or in the case of toilet paper, a sheet.
We always consider the cheapest version of the product currently available.
If a product is on sale, we calculate the non-promotional price so that a short-term but large-scale temporary price reduction does not cause large fluctuations in the monthly data.
Any price discrepancy is considered a promotion that can be clearly identified by the buyer in the store. These are typically: 1) A label with a special offer 2) A label with a percentage discount 3) A label with a lower and a higher price, even without the word “special” and / or percentage.
If only one price is shown on the label, then regardless of its color and shape, it is not possible for us to decide whether the product is on sale and therefore we do not consider it on sale.
Packaging is not taken into account in order to keep the specific price of the product comparable in the long run. Example: We buy one kilogram of a product each month at the lowest available unit price, even if that price belongs to the two-kilogram package. This ensures that if the one-kilo package of the product is removed and, for example, the 1.25-kilo version is introduced instead, our comparison remains correct.
Some products are defined more precisely than others. For example, milks with different fat contents are considered a separate product, but no qualitative difference is made between potatoes or apples. For the latter, we assume that even more price-sensitive buyers do not see them as separate products that do not compete with each other.
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One year after we started the measurement, i.e. at the end of January this year, we found that in our experience there is no significant difference in the price levels of Aldi and Lidl, due to seasonal fluctuations, but not even due to the epidemic. He pointed out that the total cost of our individually weighted basket of 42 products throughout the year (between January 2020 and January 2021) never shifted significantly from the “average value” of around HUF 16,000 (+/- 5 percent).

However, on March 31, 2021, we experienced a rather surprising coexistence even for the last 14 months. By this time, examining all three discount chains (Aldi, Lidl and Penny Market), our data showed that

the price of 18 of the 42 products is the same in HUF in all three chains, and the price of another 7 products shows only a minimal difference, ie in the case of a total of 25 products it did not matter exactly in which store we would have bought it.

That is, we found a roughly 60 percent match between the three discount chains.

Before we get into the specific prices of shopping, it is usually worthwhile to go through in alphabetical order how much price difference we found between the stores for each product.

The first figure shows the differences between Aldi and Lidl.

The large white section in the middle of the figure is a spectacular indication of how much the pricing of the two discount chains moves together for most products.

The second figure shows the differences between Aldi and Penny Market.

Even in this comparison, there are quite a few products that would have a substantially different price, and one of the extremes of the differences is salt, which is a particularly cheap product in the composition of the consumer basket. Thus, the total amount of the basket value is practically not moved by this difference, its role is not relevant for our article.

It is only interesting to note that in Aldi, salt seems to be relatively expensive because it does not have an iodinated version there, but in the other two discounters you can always get iodine-free salt, much cheaper. We don’t (for the time being) see this as two types of products, assuming that maybe price-sensitive shoppers don’t even consider it when they’re on the shelf.

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Our third figure compares Aldit to Tesco.

Again, salt comes to the fore, as it seems that we did not find cheap salt in Tesco compared to the discounts, but this does not move the basket value substantially either. It is also worth noting that the only non-discount member in our comparison is Tesco, which operates in a different business model, may have a different target audience in part, and offers completely different purchasing conditions and product selection.

Since we tried to put “standard” staples in our basket, we find the comparison acceptable, the hypermarket serves as a kind of external benchmark because, as can be clearly seen, the world of discounters is otherwise quite uniform.

Figure 4 helps if one wants to choose between Lidl and Penny Market.

It can be seen from the data that Lidl is currently more different from Penny Market than Aldi, meaning that overall, at the three discounters, Aldi and Lidl are currently moving very together, there is usually little point in choosing between the two, but there are more products available in Penny Market. , which is just more expensive or cheaper than the other two.

Our fifth figure contrasts Lidl with Tesco working in a different business model.

Of the four stores we examined, this pairing shows the most differences. We can dispense with soaring salt prices again, but at Tesco we have not yet found a cheaper version of one of the most important basic products of the future, oatmeal, which discounters have long kept on their shelves (although it is undoubtedly not a key commodity in a food chain today). In addition, it is still worth noting that in quite a few cases, the hypermarket can go to discounters in price, such as for important products such as chicken breast or bananas.

It is interesting that the price of bananas in Aldi and Lidl rose from 449 forints to 479 forints just a year ago, and has been there since then. We also see this stone-carved banana price in the Penny Market, but Tesco can buy it from elsewhere, because the current base is 429 forints.

Finally, the figure below shows the differences between Penny Market and Tesco.

An important aspect for calculating the above differences is that (as indicated in the methodology) we always put the products in the basket at the price calculated without the promotion. So the many coincidences we have experienced are always relevant to this, because we are watching the general trends in the long run, which would easily be misled by a large discount.

An important question for the wallet is how much we would have paid for our basket in total in each store, this is usually shown in the figure below.

In our subjective basket, Penny Market and Tesco became 6.4 percent and 3.2 percent cheaper, respectively, in a month, Aldi moved down 1.8 percent, and Lidl became 1 percent more expensive, but with a basket worth more than 16 thousand forints. the latter two are negligible items. Lidl is only a hair cheaper (with us) than its two main competitors working on a similar model.

The largest overall price difference between the three discounts is only 1.7 percent at present, which in our case is HUF 280,

and this is already a small amount that is not very noticeable in a weekly bulk purchase.

The basket value calculated from the combined average of Aldi and Lidl otherwise shows a decrease of 6.3 percent over one year (i.e., between March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021). (In Penny Market and Tesco, we can only count on something similar from 2022 onwards).

A month ago, in February, we measured 4.5 percent discounted food deflation, while representative data released by the Central Statistical Office since then showed 3.4 percent inflation.

(Addition: on the day of the publication of our article, the CSO released its data for March, and according to this, official food inflation was 2.7 per cent on an annual basis (compared to the deflation of 6.3 per cent measured by us.)

Related articleRelated articleWe put the Aldi-Lidl-Penny trio together with Tesco, it becameWith our shopping cart, we went beyond the usual Aldi-Lidl pair and started comparing their prices with Penny Market and Tesco as well.

Data Aldi price comparison food consumer basket retail Lidl Penny Market Tesco Read more

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