Nicolas Maeterlinck

Colruyt remains the cheapest in supermarket survey

According to an annual survey of prices in Belgian supermarkets carried out by the consumers’ association Test-Aankoop, the Halle (Flemish Brabant)-based chain Colruyt remains Belgium’s cheapest supermarket. Interestingly, Colruyt stores that are located near to a branch of Albert Heijn are 3% cheaper than the chain’s other stores.    

Test-Aankoop’s Simon November told journalists that “Colruyt has to make great efforts to undercut Albert Heijn’s prices".  

Supermarket

Average annual spend per person

1. Colruyt

2,080 euro

2. Albert Heijn

2,127 euro

3. Carrefour Hyper

2,256 euro

4. Makro

2,293 euro

5. Delhaize

2,310 euro

6. Intermarché

2,373 euro

7. Cora

2,391 euro

8. Match

2,456 euro

“Colruyt is the cheapest, but Albert Heijn is just 2% more expensive. However, what is really worthy of note is that Colruyt stores that are not near to an Albert Heijn are 3% more expensive than Colruyts that are near to an Albert Heijn store.

We can only conclude that Albert Heijn is competing strongly with Colruyt and that Colruyt has to make an effort to undercut it”, Mr November added.

Albert Heijn’s price war is mainly on branded goods.  “If we look at international brands such as Coca-Cola, Mars and Nutella, we see that Albert Heijn is often cheaper than Colruyt.”

In response Colruyt often offers quantity discounts. For example offering 4 for the price of 3. “Colruyt is cheaper for those taking advantage of this kind of offer”, Mr November said.  

Branded goods: Colruyt versus Albert Heijn

Supermarket

Average annual

spend per person

1. Colruyt near to Albert Heijn

2,558 euro

2. Albert Heijn

2,594 euro

3. Colruyt not near to Albert Heijn

2,645 euro

Discount chains

However, not all supermarkets are including in the list. Lidl and Aldi were left out as they sell too few branded goods for a comparison to be made.

However, if branded goods are left out of the equation and only own brands are looked at Aldi and Lidl win the price war hands down. Colruyt comes in third behind the German-owned discounters.

Supermarket

Average annual

spend per person

1. Lidl

1,026 euro

2. Aldi

1,061 euro

3. Colruyt near to Albert Heijn

1,328 euro

4. Colruyt not near toAlbert Heijn

1,352 euro

5. Albert Heijn

1,374 euro

Test-Aankoop has changed its survey methods in order to counter allegations that some supermarkets cut their prices during the period in which the price survey was carried out.

While previous Test-Aankoop carried out its survey of prices twice a year and published an annual report, the consumers’ association now keeps tabs on price throughout the year.