Sainsbury’s Feeling A Lack Of Christmas Cheer As Aldi and Lidl Are Heading To Wonderland

LONDON, 22nd DECEMBER 2022: Data released this week suggests that Sainsbury’s is  heading for a tough Christmas, with online searches for the supermarket taking a tumble during the busiest shopping period of the year. 

MediaVision’s annual “Top 10 Supermarket Christmas Winners” reveals that of the leading supermarkets,  Sainsbury’s has seen the biggest drop in online searches from the start of December; a fall of 3,462,198 compared to the same period last year. 

Rival Tesco saw a decrease in searches of 472,286 while Asda experienced a drop of 108,563.

It was much better news for the German discounters, Aldi and Lidl. In the “Top 10” line up, they were two of only three “risers” – seeing a 93,002 and 69,358 increase respectively even if they still represent a smaller share of the pie than the “Big Four”. Total searches for Aldi came in at 2,313,418 while Lidl saw an impressive 1,258,058 searches in December, narrowing the gap on stalwarts such as Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

This news is unlikely to land well with Sainsbury’s whose CEO, Simon Roberts recently announced £550m worth of investment to cut prices in store to compete with Lidl and Aldi. 

Only Costco saw a larger increase, with 150,962 searches vs the same period last year, as it almost broke the 1m mark for searches (926,462).

The Top 10 Supermarket Christmas Winners 2022 by search volume in December to date is:

  1. Tesco at 5,546,176 (-472,286 vs 2021)
  2. Asda at 5,439,012 (-108,563)
  3. Sainsbury’s at 3,608,246(-3,462,198)
  4. Morrisons at 3,557,691 (-687,869)
  5. Aldi at 2,313,418 (+93,001)
  6. Iceland at 1,906,673 (-161,810)
  7. Waitrose at 1,651,233 (-355,179)
  8. Lidl at 1,258,058 (+69,358)
  9. Costco at 926,462 (+150,962)
  10. Ocado at 679,653 (-45,454)

MediaVision’s data also revealed that the busiest period in the lead up to Christmas was w/c 11th December with a total search volume of 9,761,225 across all supermarkets. However, this was down from 11,473,134 from last year’s festive peak – also w/c 13th December.

MediaVision, the organic first search agency carried out the analysis using their proprietary Digital Demand Tracker tool, part of their Metis technology that analyses UK search data from AdWords and Google Trends, and is able to produce search insights four times faster than standard industry SEO tools.

Louis Venter, CEO at MediaVision, comments: “The lead up to Christmas is always a busy time for all supermarkets, but this year the cost of living has led to consumers looking for alternatives to their normal retailer of choice. It should come as no surprise that Aldi and Lidl are seeing big increases in search, proving they are ever-more serious contenders for the UK supermarket crown, while Sainsbury’s are finding themselves in the eye of the storm – wanting to compete on price, while known for choice and quality. A difficult balance, when people are counting the pennies.”

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