SUPERMARKETS: Who do shoppers rate worst for local produce?
Coles and Woolworths have been snubbed in a satisfaction survey run by a leading consumer advocacy group, with many Australians punishing the major supermarkets for a lack of local and fresh produce.
South Australia's Foodland has been applauded in recent years for its decadence and range of produce, having being dubbed the "best supermarket in the world".
And advocacy group Choice's survey backed up this claim, with the Adelaide-based franchise topping the list with the highest percentage of satisfied customers at 82 per cent, closely followed by Harris Farm Markets at 81 per cent.
The two were commended for the range of locally produced products and quality of fresh produce.
The US wholesale chain Costco came in next, while German chain Aldi was ranked fourth - easily outperforming the other major franchises in Australia.
Woolworths was ranked second last and Coles came in last, with the latter receiving the lowest score for its availability of locally produced products, quality of fresh food, helpfulness of staff, and ease and speed at the check-out.
Harris Farm was ranked highest for fresh produce, Aldi best value for money and Foodland had the best store appearance.
The advocacy group says more than 2800 respondents completed the survey.
"The big lesson for Australian supermarkets is that fresh and local food matters," Choice food expert Rachel Clemons said.
"We asked them about everything from store presentation to value for money.
"The Choice community is renowned for being informed, discerning and savvy shoppers, so well done to the brands that impressed."
Australian supermarkets rank for overall customer satisfaction in 2019:
1. Foodland (overall score 82 per cent)
2. Harris Farm Markets (81 per cent)
3. Costco (76 per cent)
4. Aldi (74 per cent)
5. IGA/Supa IGA (73 per cent)
6. FoodWorks (71 per cent)
7. Woolworths (69 per cent)
8. Coles (67 per cent)
Buying local was a priority for many consumers, with 45 per cent of the survey respondents saying they were frustrated by the range of products in this category.
But customers were most peeved by the plastic waste and the unnecessary packaging on the products.
Choice said some respondents were critical of the supermarkets focusing too much on price and ignoring other important features of a store.
Wayne from Victoria said in the survey "supermarkets believe it is all about 'the lowest price' when to me it is more about range, quality and service".
Top five frustrations of supermarket shoppers:
1. Too much packaging on products (54 per cent)
2. Lack of locally produced products (45 per cent)
3. Long wait at the check-out (43 per cent)
4. Products being unavailable/sold out (42 per cent)
5. Lack of staff members to provide assistance (37 per cent)
Coles is ramping up its convenience strategy by adding 75 new products to its range of ready-to-eat meals intended to be bought and consumed on the run.
The plan includes beginning to refurbish 100 supermarkets in the next six months to allow them to stock classic cafe-style meals, such as the Australian favourite avocado with mini toast.
"Our customers are increasingly seeking to reclaim their time, but with minimum compromise on freshness, quality, and flavour," a Coles spokesperson told news.com.au.
"Coles research has found 33 per cent of customers don't know at 5pm what they'll be having for dinner that night, and around 50 per cent say they don't have time to cook from scratch.
"So, we are developing more fresh, innovative products including food-to-go and meal solutions."
Coles will roll out a range of new convenience products this week, including nine freshly prepared breakfast items for $4.50 each.
"We are also increasing the space allocated to fresh convenience in stores where customer demand is high, with an expanded range to be available by the end of the calendar year," the spokesperson said.
Those breakfast items include:
• Smashed avocado, tomato, fetta and toast
• Smashed avocado and egg
• Homestyle beans, bacon and egg
• Coconut chia with mango and passion fruit
• Granola and yoghurt
• Acai, banana and oat
• Apple bircher with cranberry and coconut
• Mexican style bean salsa with egg
• Hot smoked salmon, brown rice, egg and spinach