Aldi is taking another step into the world of luxury goods. It has revealed to AOL that it is launching its own brand of caviar. The beluga caviar sells for £9.99 for 20 grams, and is part of a range of fancier food available in the run-up to Christmas.
The range of posh food will also include fresh scallops, fresh dressed crab, a whole goose, rib of beef, and a five-bird-roast. They will be joined by some of the luxury favourites Aldi stocked last year, including fresh lobster and whole legs of Spanish serrano ham. They are being tagged as 'Christmas with all the trimmings.'
These luxuries are more expensive than their cut-price counterparts, but Aldi is offering them at a significant discount to their cost elsewhere. If you take caviar, for example, you'd pay £143 for 20g of farmed beluga caviar at Fortnum and Masons compared to £9.99 at Aldi. Likewise, the whole goose will be £35.99 at Aldi, while at Waitrose a bird costs £45.
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This is becoming an annual wheeze on Aldi's behalf. In the run-up to Christmas they advertise a small number of high-end luxury products in order to tempt buyers to give them a try. Last November, for example, they announced a range of specialist luxury drinks, including a 30-year-old Speyside single malt whisky which usually costs £131, which was priced at £54.99.
They know that traditionally shoppers will 'trade up' at Christmas, paying more in order to go to a posher supermarket. This may mean trading up from a discounter to the big four, or from one of the big four to a high-end retailer like Waitrose or M&S. By offering what they are calling "a luxury Christmas that every family will be able to afford" they hope that existing Aldi shoppers will decide to trade up to luxury food in Aldi rather than go elsewhere.
Meanwhile, they also hope to convince curious shoppers from across all their competitors to give Aldi a go, and see whether they can trade up on the luxuries this Christmas without trading up on the amount they spend.
This only stands a chance of working because Aldi has kept a focus on quality in recent years - alongside price. This can be seen from the fact that it continues to win accolades for its products. These include a recent Which? best buy for an Aldi washing up liquid - pushing Fairy into second place. It also won a gold medal from the International Wine Challenge for its £5.25 cream sherry. And in February Which? named it Britain's best supermarket.
And while Aldi caviar may seem like an odd kind of luxury, this marriage of quality and low prices is working its magic on shoppers. Its recent results showed that profit was up 65.2%, while the store opened 42 stores last year.
This profit is down from the previous year - reflecting the fact that margins have been cut even further - but it is a runaway success compared to its more expensive counterparts. Sainsbury's, for example, has seen sales fall in six of the past nine months.
But what do you think? Will you serve Aldi caviar this Christmas? Let us know in the comments.
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