Fresh meat sales in Aldi and Lidl in the UK are growing faster that the top four supermarkets there, according to Ed Garner, Communications Director, Kantar Worldpanel.

He said that fresh meat sales was one of the discounters’ strongest categories and other supermarkets could learn from them.

The discounters were no longer perceived as “industrial sheds”, stocking low-quality products, said Garner.

“They are moving away from being ‘cheap-as-chips’ to selling quality food as cheap as chips.”

However, while independent retailers might not compete on price, they had other points of differentiation, such as specialist product knowledge, he said.

“People may well go to a craft butcher because they get advice. That’s the last thing you get in Aldi and Lidl.”

Powerful marketing could also boost top supermarkets’ performance, he said, citing AHDB Beef & Lamb’s consumer campaign to grow lamb sales among younger consumers as a good example.

“Marketing is the answer, not thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, look at the low prices’.”

In Ireland, a recent report from Checkout Magazine and Ignite Research, which measured the shopping habits of 1,000 Irish consumers across the ‘big five’ grocers, found that 23% of respondents do their ‘main shop’ at Aldi, followed by 16% at ‘Lidl’, 15% at Dunnes Stores, and 11% at Supervalu.