Aldi sells posh wine and spirits at massive discount for Christmas

Aldi has launched a range of posh booze for Christmas - will it lure the affluent from Waitrose?

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Aldi has unveiled a premium range of alcohol for Christmas, with some incredible discounts. Among the bargains is a £76 bottle of vintage dessert wine (the Hungarian Chateau Pajzos TokajiAszu 6 Puttonyos 2008) which is for sale at just £18.99.

There's also a Ducastaing 1973 Armagnac - of which the equivalent costs around £90 - selling for just £24.99; and a Glen Marnoch 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, which again usually costs up to £90, selling for £29.90. All three are selling at a quarter of the price of their competitors. Meanwhile there's a Cognac, brandy and tawny port at less than half price the price of similar ones elsewhere.

Why?

It's part of Aldi's tried and tested festive strategy. This super-premium range is designed to get well-heeled shoppers in through the door for Christmas. Part of the aim is to get the kind of shopper who usually stocks up for Christmas in Marks & Spencer, Waitrose or even Fortnum and Mason. Once they are in the stores, the hope is that they discover the quality of the rest of the premium range - including Serrano ham and lobster tails - in time for Christmas.

The other strand to the strategy is to appeal to more affluent shoppers who already use Aldi for smaller top up shops for specific things, and encourage them to try more of the range for Christmas by offering some high-end festive specials. Tony Baines of Aldi said in a statement: "It is no secret that our shopper demographic has evolved. We're confident this new range will appeal to both existing and new Aldi shoppers."

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Will it work?

We know from past experience that this range will be popular, and that if you want to take advantage you'll need to be quick. You might not have thought that a £18.99 bottle of wine would fly off the shelves, but last year similarly pricey wines were nowhere to be seen in a matter of days.

It's part of a series of changes designed to win over wealthier shoppers. This includes opening a raft of new stores in posh areas, launching a bigger premium range, offering more fresh food, and moving into organic fruit and vegetables - to give wealthier shoppers more of what they want in store.

The approach is paying dividends too. Nowadays a fifth of all Aldi shoppers are middle class or richer. It's one of the main drivers behind the fact that while the major supermarkets struggle, Aldi increased sales by 27% last year.

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