Supermarket customers love chasing a bargain, but nearly three-quarters say they buy their favourite, well-known brands over cheaper, store-owned ones.
Except at one chain.
More than 60 per cent of Aldi customers say they prefer nabbing the German-owned discount chain's own branded products, new research from Roy Morgan shows, whereas only about 30 per cent at Coles, Woolworths and Foodland do so.
Overall, despite nearly half of Australia's 14 million regular grocery shoppers seeking to cut costs, 70 per cent say they stick with their favourite brands.
"Over the past five years, the proportion of grocery buyers who say they buy more stores' own products than well-known brands has remained static," said Angela Smith, Roy Morgan's group account director.
"Grocery buyers who usually shop at Aldi are a striking exception, being keen bargain-hunters and prolific consumers of stores'own products. A product's brand or label is less likely to be a conscious factor in their purchasing decisions."
The findings, based on more than 12,600 respondents, also show about half of regular Woolworths, Coles and Foodland shoppers agree with the words: "I trust well-known brands better than the store's own." Only 29 per cent of Aldi's agree.
Woolworths customers are the least likely to snap up the store's private label items such as Homebrand, Select and Macro Wholefoods.
The news is a downer for marketing-dominating Woolworths, which on Tuesday conceded its shoppers viewed the quality of Aldi's private label brands to be on par or better than Woolworths' Select brand and superior to its entry-level Homebrand range.
The retail giant announced plans to slash the prices of private-label grocery brands, which may cost it as much $1 billion.
In the house-brand category, analysis by Morgan Stanley found Aldi's prices are 21 per cent more expensive than Woolworths' budget Homebrand range, but 27 per cent cheaper than Woolworths' mid-tier Select range.
Aldi's brands are 6 per cent cheaper than Coles' own-brand range, but Coles' brand prices are on average 34 per cent cheaper than Woolworths' Select brand.
At a strategy briefing on Wednesday, Coles' managing director John Durkan said it will expand its own branded product range to drive growth and to rival Woolworths' plans to match Aldi prices.
He said the aim was to move away from discounted promotional pricing to "stable everyday pricing" of its own brands. He gave 99¢ Coles Scotch finger biscuits as an example of everyday pricing.
"We want a range of products across many categories as we can that customers are willing to purchase from us," he said.
"High-quality Coles brand products at everyday prices that allows shoppers to get into those categories at a reasonable price."
An Aldi spokesperson said an increasing number of high-income households and shoppers aged under 35 with no children were shopping at its stores. She said the chain was a "price leader".
"ALDI has eliminated all costly extras and overheads by selecting only the best products in each category, displaying products in reusable crates and not giving out plastic bags, which encourages customers to recycle," she said.
"We concentrate on selling our select range of exclusive brands rather than spending money on customer loyalty programs or expensive point of sale displays," she said.