£10 Aldi gin knocks £50 rivals flat

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Another scoop for Aldi. The German supermarket's £10 Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin has seen off rivals costing up to five times its cost, grabbing a silver medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2013.

Aldi's amaretto and peach schnapps also chalked up high scores in the Liqueurs category. But you might need to be quick on your feet to pick up some award-winning Aldi gin.

Be quick

High-profile awards always see a rush to the aisles. In this case Aldi's London gin beat mainstream brands such as Bombay Sapphire (£21.70), and artisan favourite Hendricks (£26.39), both lagging behind the Aldi product after a day of blind testing. Aldi's gin was was described as "ripe, citrus aroma with rounded spice and a touch of juniper".

"Our expert buyer," says Aldi's Tony Baines, MD of Buying, "works closely with some of the world's leading distilleries to enable us to deliver high quality Own Label spirits to our customers – so it is fantastic that our commitment to quality has been recognised by as prestigious a group as the ISC tasting panel."

Aldi has a track record of causing a few alcoholic blushes from fancier labels. Last year its £3.59 Spanish Toro Loco Rioja saw off several French Grand Crus, while its £3.49 2010 Shiraz also scored highly from 300 experts at the International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Top spirits

Latest Kantar Worldpanel figures show that Sainsbury's was the only big supermarket player to see market-beating year-on-year sales growth (+6.2%). However Aldi posted a +30.8% sales growth for the 12 weeks up to 17 March as British shoppers erred on the side of austerity and caution.

Aldi is also increasingly looking at smaller store convenience formats, a la Tesco's Express and Sainsbury's Local. Tesco, retreating from a miscalculated hypermarket push, is thought to have more than 800 sites lined up for development across the UK.

Meanwhile, Aldi celebrates: "It's safe to say we're all in high spirits today," said Baines, "and we hope our customers will enjoy raising a glass of Gin & Tonic to our success."

Seven of the craziest supermarket glitches
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£10 Aldi gin knocks £50 rivals flat

One of the most popular glitches, was a wine deal at Tesco back in November 2012, where a series of offers clashed, leaving a bottle of £9.99 wine selling for £1.50.

The 'three wines for £10' deal apparently clashed with a '25% off when you buy six or more bottles' deal. The 25% was accidentally taken off the original price rather than the reduced one, leaving the wine at rock bottom prices. Deal-hunters cleared the shelves around the country.

Perhaps the most popular glitch from Tesco came in June 2011, when instead of taking £4 off the cost of a £20 case of beer, the supermarket accidentally started selling the cases for £4. The ensuring rush was nicknamed the 'beer stampede'.

Sadly not every supermarket pricing glitch comes with such a happy ending for consumers. In March last year the bargain-hunters thought their luck was in, when Tesco accidentally priced the new iPad at just £44.99 instead of around £650. Sadly it spotted the mistake before shipping the goods. The small print on its website meant it could refuse to sell at this price, and refund their customers instead.

In September 2012, Asda was responsible for one of the most expensive glitches. The Asda Price Guarantee offered vouchers to customers who could have got their shopping cheaper elsewhere.

However, when certain trigger products were in the basket, the supermarket massively under-priced the shopping at other supermarkets, and offered huge vouchers to shoppers. In many instances the vouchers came to roughly the same as the cost of the shopping.

In April, a mistake on their website resulted in Tesco selling 8 packs of Bulmers cider 568ml bottles for £5 - rather than a six pack for £8.

Deal-hunters snapped up the deal online, and had varying degrees of success. Some had their order delivered in full, others had six delivered for £5 - and were able to negotiate their way to another two, while others were offered six for £5 or their money back.

October last year saw one of the most famous glitches, when Tesco Terry's Chocolate Oranges were subject to two deals at the same time, and the price dropped from £2.75 to 29p. There were plenty of people getting chocolate oranges last Christmas.

A buy-one-get-one-free deal went awry at Tesco in March. People putting four tubs of I can't Believe It's Not Butter or Oykos yogurt packs into the trolley were only being charged for one.

Soon the online deal-hunting community was in action, with one person bagging 50 tubs of butter and 22 pots of yogurt for £8.79 - a saving of £133.89.


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