Aldi has declared that the way people shop for groceries in Britain has undergone a significant transformation due to the current cost-of-living crisis.

The company, which has witnessed an influx of approximately one million additional customers into its stores over the past year, attributes this change to the escalating living expenses, asserting that a new breed of discerning shoppers has turned away from traditional, full-priced supermarkets.

Record sales surge in response to consumer demand for value

In the 12 months leading up to December 2022, Aldi reported a remarkable surge in its annual sales, reaching nearly £2bn, totalling £15.5bn—a historic high in its 33-year history.

This surge has been fuelled by consumers grappling with inflation, placing a premium on affordability like never before.

The most recent data reveals that Aldi’s sales have grown at an impressive rate of 17.1%, making it the fastest-growing supermarket in the UK, with a market share of 10.1%.

The company reported an operating profit of £178.7m ($217.2m) for the previous year, as opposed to £60.2m in 2021, indicating a profit margin of 1.2%.

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Aldi attributes this year-on-year increase to a prior exceptional year when its profit margin plummeted to an 11-year low of 0.4%, primarily due to substantial investments in Covid-19-related measures.

Aldi’s ascension in the UK supermarket landscape

Aldi, which initially opened its doors in 1990, surpassed Morrisons last year to become the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket chain.

According to the German-owned discount stores, two-thirds of households across Britain now choose Aldi as their preferred grocery shopping destination.

The supermarket has also emerged as the second most popular choice among households for conducting a full weekly grocery shop, indicating a growing reliance on the discounter for all their grocery needs.

Giles Hurley, chief executive officer for Aldi UK and Ireland, emphasised: “Although inflation is easing, households are still under real pressure from higher living costs. As a result, Britain is shopping very differently than it did 18 months ago—fewer trips, more own-label products and switching supermarkets in search of better value.”