Back to Blighty yesterday to be greeted by a full page ad in the Times (and probably other papers too) publicising Sainsbury’s ‘Big 5’ deals on fruit and veg. Which bears more than a fleeting resemblance to Aldi’s weekly fruit and veg promotion, the Aldi Super 6.
Could it be that the big boys are getting rattled by the migration of an increasing number of newly budget-conscious customers prepared to give the discounters a go? I suspect it could. According to recent figures from the market research company TNL Aldi’s sales increased over 20% in the 12 weeks to the 15th of June, giving it its highest ever share of the UK grocery market at just under 3%. Those sales have to be coming from somewhere.
How good are the Sainsbury’s bargains though? Well, as usual, a mixed bag. No-one could complain at 49p for a melon (20p less than Aldi’s) or 39p for a bag of radishes but new potatoes still sound expensive at 89p a bag (it doesn’t specify the weight)and berries may or may not be good value depending on whether you’re paying the 99p or £1.99p mentioned in the ad. Half price, as I've pointed out before, is not such a big deal if the price was excessive in the first place.
To put that in perspective here’s a list of prices my fellow blogger Signe Johansen spotted at the North End Market in London last weekend:
2 pineapples for £1
2 v.large bunches bananas for £1
9 lemons for £1
2lb cherries for £1
2 punnets of blackberries for £1
8 perfectly ripe apricots for £1
1 large watermelon for £1
3 galia melons for £1.20
2 large aubergines for £1
And some of you have pointed out even better bargains outside London.
So let’s have a ‘bargain of the week’ contest. Whoever comes up with the best deal this week gets a signed copy of my book The Frugal Cook when it’s published next month! Fire away . . .