It's not just the price. To be considered satisfied, consumers demand that the establishment where they fill the shopping cart offers a balance between this and many other variables, such as quality or variety in what they offer on their shelves. And Bonpreu, Hipercor and Aldi, each in its respective category (supermarket, hypermarket and discount store), seem to meet this requirement: they are the best chains where to make purchases according to users, according to a study published on Monday by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU).
The OCU publishes this study every four years, unlike the annual price report. And it does so because the price is not by far the only variable that consumers take into account when choosing whether to buy in one trade or another. The results of this analysis make it clear: chains with high prices, such as El Corte Inglés, are positioned at the top of the list, while others that have traditionally used the savings hook, for example Dia, occupy the last positions.
The edition published this Friday was prepared from 5,882 interviews, conducted between September 28 and October 15 of last year, and the analysis of 12 variables ranging from proximity, cleanliness, variety of products and brands or prices to the quality of meat, fish, fruits and vegetables and white label. The report assigns to each category a score and a global satisfaction note on which the position of the chain in the final list depends.
The general conclusion that is extrapolated from the analysis is that the supermarket gains strength over other formats. Bonpreu brings out the best global score at all, with 84 points, driven above all by the variety and quality of its products, although it falters in variables such as proximity or prices. It is closely followed by Consum, El Corte Inglés (with 80 points) and Mercadona (79), with a final score equal to or higher than that of the best rated hypermarket (Hipercor, with 79) and the discount store with the best score ( Aldi, also with 79).
Supersol, Simply, La Plaza de Dia and Carrefour Market are, on the other hand, supermarkets that are less valued by consumers. According to the respondents, the highest quality fish is Hipercor, and the lowest quality fish is Covirán; the best meat is in Hipercor, El Corte Inglés and Froiz, in Dia and Supersol the worst.
The price no longer moves the consumer
The OCU has been studying for 14 years what consumers value to be satisfied with the establishment where they are going to buy. In this time you have noticed that traditional trade, even if it keeps shrinking in front of large stores, it does so at a lower rate than expected. It is more: it remains the favorite channel for the purchase of fresh, mainly meat, fruits and vegetables, bread and fish. Its retreat, however, has not favored the hypermarkets, long victims of a slow decline reflected in the decrease in sales. But neither to the supermarket. It has been the discount stores that have scratched share since the beginning of the crisis.
Chains such as Lidl or Aldi have managed to maintain their traditional clientele and at the same time conquer new consumers thanks to the change in their format, which today is not only based on competitive prices but on an increasingly visible commitment to frescoes and variety of assortment.
Also Alcampo, among the hypermarkets, benefits from this equation: it is not considered the brand with the best prices, but it achieves one of the best balance between prices, comfort, variety and quality. The same is achieved by Aldi, Mercadona and E. Leclerc.
The Mercadona phenomenon
The Juan Roig chain manages, once again, to excel. According to the OCU study, it is the most desired trade: up to 33% of respondents would like to have a Mercadona near their home. The survey details that more than seven out of 10 Mercadona customers indicate that the strong point of the chain is the price, in addition to appreciating its comfort and wide selection.
But its true added value, where it stands out from other competitors, it's your white mark. Farmer, Deliplus and Bosque Verde are the best valued products of the manufacturer, and where loyalty grows the most. Its weak point, on the other hand, are the fresh ones: consumers still do not consider Mercadona at the same level as other establishments, such as Bonpreu or El Corte Inglés.