Discount grocer Aldi is set to launch a ‘super premium’ drinks range as it looks to compete with wine merchants and specialists in targeting drinks connoisseurs, it has been announced today.
Being launched to appeal to the increasing number of ‘upmarket’ shoppers who use the supermarket to source quality wines and spirits, the range has been unveiled following data from Nielsen which revealed that the number of shoppers from the wealthiest social classes shopping at the store has rocketed 18 per cent in the last 12 months.
Over the same period, the year to the end of April 2012, sales of wines over £4.99 have surged 87 per cent and total spirits by 38 per cent and Aldi has promised that its super premium range will offer high-end drinks for an average of 225 per cent less than the standard supermarket price.
Available from Thursday November 22nd while stocks last, the range includes a Grand Cru Champagne for £22.99, a 54 per cent discount on its usual market price and a Grand Cru Classé 2004 Margaux for £22.99, 47 per cent less than its standard price.
As consumers continue to lose confidence in the troubled economy, many have adjusted their shopping pattern and split their weekly shop between upmarket grocers such as Waitrose and discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.
This ‘two nation divide’ has seen a majority of supermarkets aim to dominate the middle ground and reduce prices at the expense of reduced margins as well as extend their product ranges.
Supermarket Morrisons recently unveiled plans to enter the multichannel realm with a Morrisons Cellar wine range available online within its second half while Asda announced plans for a new alcohol product range having teamed up with Leiths School of Food and Wine in London.
Aldi’s range features a number of rare wines, as well as winners of awards including the 2012 International Wine & Spirit Competition winner, while it will also offer brandies, rums and whiskeys.
Explaining the reasoning behind the move, Aldi Managing Director of Buying Tony Baines said: “It is no secret that our shopper demographic is changing.
“In Britain we have experienced a fundamental shift in our perception of value in the past five years, and with that shift we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of more affluent shoppers who are choosing Aldi for the quality and value it delivers.
“We’re getting increasingly known for our quality wines and spirits, and our medal chest has grown considerably over the past year with more than 100 award wins since January.
“We are sure our Super Premium drinks range will delight our shoppers, as well as making the world of premium wines and spirits more accessible to those who haven’t previously been able to enjoy them.”
Aldi also announced plans for a permanent premium wine range to be known as The Exquisite Collection, a range of seve single-varietal wines launching on November 30th.