Australians have chosen their favorite supermarket chain – it’s not Coles or Woolworths.
Many of us will not recognize it.
The unexpected winner comes after consumer research found that the corona virus infection has spurred high demand among Australian shoppers for locally made products.
Now, our connection appears to extend beyond local products to supermarkets.
A New Survey of Choice, Shopkeepers said their favorite supermarket was Southland-owned Foodland.
If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone.
This chain only operates in SA, Northern Region and New South Wales.
Supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles topped the top 10 list, ranking eighth and ninth, respectively.
In second place are the Drakes in South Australia and Queensland, and the second on the Harris Farm Markets in New South Wales.
Along with Footland, these chains are rated higher than competitors for product range, available brands and availability of locally produced foods.
Locally owned stores are on a chord strike
Although Footland operates only in three states and territories, the success of the chain is no surprise, said Gary Mortimer, a professor of retail at the School of Business at Queensland University of Technology.
“Local supermarkets owned by this type of family connect well with the community,” he said The New Daily.
This is because they offer locally produced products, and the owners are usually locals who hire team members from the community, he said.
They also tend to support more social events such as school fundraisers.
In 2016, Foodland shocked Australia when the Fruville store in Adelaide was named the best supermarket in the world.
Unlike most supermarkets, the Fruville store offers a cycle of in-store social events, including a night market and live piano performances.
For those who prefer a less stimulating environment, there is the usual ‘quiet hour’ at the supermarket, where the lights are dimmed, the noise is reduced and a quiet, stress-free experience is created.
Professor Mortimer said the epidemic strengthens this connection between communities and their supermarkets.
“By 2020 we have seen a return to localization as a result of increased home stays, increased work from home and less passenger traffic within the CPDs,” he said.
“If you’re at home, you’re more likely to go to a local store, have a coffee at a local store and support local businesses and local brands.”
While Foodland topped the list for overall customer satisfaction, other supermarket chains shone in different categories in the survey.
For example, shoppers looking for value for money rated Aldi as the highest, while voters chose Harris Farm Markets as the best place for quality new produce.
This is not bad news for Coles and Woolworths.
Shopkeepers were given both online shopping services, self-service renewal options, product range, brands and two chain points for easy access to carts and baskets.
“The most interesting thing is that we all complain about self-service updates, but research shows that this is exactly what we want, as Coles and Woolworth succeed in that type of update,” said Professor Mortimer.
The best single criterion for the Coles and Woolworths ratio (parallel to Footland) is their opening time.
They are rated lower than some of their competitors by all other criteria.