- a blog about food and value

Christmas shopping at Aldi and Lidl

Aldi's Luxury All Over Iced Christmas Cake: €9.99

Aldi’s Luxury All Over Iced Christmas Cake: €9.99

Liveline was hopping this week as angry farmers decried below-cost selling of fruit and veg in Aldi and Lidl. Between now and Christmas, Aldi is selling a 1kg bag of carrots, a 1.5kg bag of potatoes, and a 500g bag of sprouts for six cent each. Meanwhile, Lidl will sell a one-kilo bag of potatoes, onions, and carrots and 500g bags of sprouts and turnips for five cent each. So, pretty much, free.

It’s hard not to feel some sympathy for farmers, who say that they are taking the hit. The supermarkets, on the other hand, say that they, not farmers, are taking the hit. The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, is likely to introduce legislation to protect vegetable growers. In the middle of all, the consumer: who can blame them for bringing the Christmas bill down a bit?

There’s a lot of other decent offers and good value in both Aldi and Lidl. Christmas is a time of cheese, and I’m a big fan of Aldi’s Specially Selected cheeses: Tipperary Blue, Camembert, and Oakwood Smoked Cheddar are all €2.99 each; they go well with the Specially Selected Cracker selection (€1.29). Smoked salmon, a Christmas favourite, is €2.99 at Aldi.

And, in both places, you’ll be hard pressed to find better wine deals in both Lidl and Aldi, which we’ve written about before.

What do you make of the ongoing price wars? Where will you do your Christmas shopping this year?


  1. There’s no clarity over the Aldi and Lidl’s 5¢ / 6¢ vegetable offers. It’s hard to see how the farmers could be taking the hit on that one, they set their prices and sell to many suppliers. It’s up to the supplier to decide on how they would like to sell on that produce to their customers. Are the farmers claiming that, because Aldi have decided to sell a bunch of carrots for cheap that they’ve had to hand out the carrots for free? Total BS.

    These kinds of deals are standard in the retail industry: sell something below cost to get the punter in the door, then hope that they buy a load of other product to make up the difference (and is the whole reason restaurant Groupon deals exist). This has zero impact on the supplier.

    I wouldn’t normally be an Aldi / Lidl customer, but I would be very tempted based on their current deals.

  2. Hi Peter, hope you don’t mind, I changed your name to Peter2 to avoid confusion! I think that farmers are feeling a pressure to accept lower prices from whatever supermarket they supply to, while smaller greengrocers can’t compete. That’s the competitive market, I suppose, but on the other hand farmers have to be able to make a living – not that I’d fully trust what the IFA says it on either. I can see both sides on this one and, unusual for me, don’t really have a strong opinion on it!

  3. Loss leaders in retail are as common as angry farmers in Ireland. There’s a lot of people pretty hard pressed at the moment. Fresh food is rarely cheap. I think it’s great that people can now get their five-a-day for half nothing.

    Lidl just opened up beside where I live. Went in yesterday to get a litre of milk. Came out with 2 plants, 2 cheeses and some sugar. Tempted by the box of drill bits. Forgot the milk.

  4. I’m a little conflicted about this. On the one hand, I appreciate a bargain; on the other, it’s important that farmers have the right to a living wage – and I think it’s disingenuous to suggest that farmers come up with this price point and then approach the supermarkets.
    Isn’t it time we as a society had a conversation about the real price of food – not just the cost at the checkout, but the cost for the farming and retail sectors of producing veggies for a matter of cents?

  5. Food in Ireland is far too expensive and needs to be much cheaper. So bring on the price war, for several years more. The best thing about Aldi and Lidl is that they are not part of the pre-existing cartel and they are slowly driving high-cost Dunnes / Tesco to the wall.

  6. I think these deals are disgusting. They do nothing but promote food waste and rip off our indigenous growers. Fresh produce should not be sold below cost.

  7. On the contrary, it’s the indigenous growers and even more the supermarkets who have been ripping us all off for years. It’s Ireland’s high food prices which are disgusting.