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Aldi is now the most-read supermarket catalogue, but Coles & Woolworths convert more readers into shoppers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January 2013 to December 2016, average annual sample = 50,306 Australians aged 14+

Aldi has pipped Coles and Woolworths to become the most-read supermarket catalogue in Australia, Roy Morgan Research shows—but over three in five readers are just browsing.

In an average week during 2016, 5.1 million Australians (aged 14+) read or looked into an Aldi catalogue. For the first time, Aldi’s weekly catalogue reach surpassed that for Coles (4.9 million) and Woolworths (4.8 million).

Readership of Aldi catalogues has now grown for three consecutive years, up 28 percent over the period from four million Australians a week in 2013.

Just like the supermarkets themselves, Coles and Woolworths catalogues remain locked in a tight race: Woolworths had the edge in 2013 with 179,000 more readers; in 2014 both catalogues grew (but Coles grew more) to end in a virtual tie at just over the 5.1 million readers each; Coles first claimed its slim lead in 2015 while Woolworths held steady; but both grocery giants fell back below the five-million mark last year opening the door for an Aldi win. 

IGA’s catalogues also gained readers from 2013 to 2015 but declined in 2016. Of the four big supermarket chains, only IGA is now reaching fewer readers per average week than it did in 2013.   

The weekly reach of Supermarket Catalogues

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January 2013 to December 2016, average annual sample = 50,306 Australians aged 14+

Of course, the bigger issue for catalogue advertisers isn’t simply how many people they reach, but how many readers actually buy something they’ve seen.

On this metric, the clear winners are Woolworths and Coles, with most of their weekly catalogue readers buying something advertised. 52 percent of Woolworths’ catalogue reach leads to a sale (up from 48 percent in 2013), just ahead of 50 percent for Coles (up from 46 percent).

Aldi’s reader-to-shopper conversion rate is unchanged over the period at 38 percent, while IGA’s has grown from 36 to 37 percent.

Percent of readers who buy something advertised in the catalogue

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January 2013 to December 2016, average annual sample = 50,306 Australians aged 14+

Michele Levine, CEO – Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Aldi has overtaken Coles and Woolworths to become Australia’s most-read catalogue. More than five million people read an Aldi catalogue in an average week, and 38 percent of them decide to buy something advertised.

“As well as groceries, Aldi also advertises a range of household, sporting and clothing items in  ‘Special Buys’ catalogues and this no doubt plays a big part in its increasing readership. Catalogue readers who don’t necessarily want to snap up a discounted television, garden shed, or snowboard may well be tempted by next week’s sheet set or bar fridge. Many bargain-hunters keep a close eye on catalogues, ready to pounce when the right deal comes along. 

“Supermarkets, and all catalogue advertisers, need to pay close attention to how many people they reach, who and where those people are, and what share of the audience decides to make a purchase after reading. Roy Morgan Research has a number of consumer segmentations on hand, including Food Segments and Helix Personas, which can give supermarkets greater insight into the ROI of their advertising across all channels.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2