Shoppers unhappy with Coles and Woolies

Stock image.
Stock image.

A SOUTH Australian supermarket chain has been voted the best in the country, while Coles and Woolworths have been rated least satisfactory according to a new survey of Australian shoppers.

The supermarket review, released on Tuesday by consumer advocacy group Choice, also revealed too much packaging on products was the biggest gripe for the nearly 2900 shoppers surveyed.

Consumers ranked SA’s Foodland first – with an overall satisfaction score of 82 per cent – for its helpfulness of staff and locally produced food, followed closely by NSW-based Harris Farm Markets (81 per cent) which also stood out for quality of fresh produce.

“Shoppers are very keen to support local producers and local companies and farmers,” said Choice spokeswoman Rachel Clemons.

Costco came in third for its amount of specials and discounts while Aldi, which came in fourth, was rated the highest value for money.

They were followed by IGA and FoodWorks, whose best assets were ease of checkout.

While Coles and Woolworths claim almost 62 per cent of the grocery market share, more than half of respondents (54 per cent) said they saw little difference between them.

Woolworths was ranked second last, with a satisfaction rating of 69 per cent, while Coles came in last (67 per cent) because customers weren’t happy with the availability of locally-produced food, speed and ease of checkout and quality of fresh produce.

The only positive feedback for the two major chains was a high rating for opening hours.

“Convenience in terms of number of stores and opening hours, that’s where Coles and Woolworths just have it in the bag,” Ms Clemons said.

“But people are looking for more than that, they’re also wanting fresh, good quality, local produce.

“The duopoly need to take note.”

While too much product packaging was the most common frustration for shoppers overall (54 per cent), a lack of locally-produced products (45 per cent) was the second biggest gripe.

Just over 40 per cent of respondents said they use three or more grocery chains for their shopping.