Marketing & PR

Competitor analysis: which supermarket chain is ahead of the rest in Europe?

What are your brand's strong and weak points, and how do you stand out in a highly competitive market? We compared the six biggest supermarket chains and found out which of them is winning customers' hearts.

Yuliia Samsonova

Yuliia Samsonova

Content Marketing Manager

31 October 2022

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If we ask you to list the biggest supermarket chains in Europe, most likely, you will mention Rewe, Kaufland, Aldi, Tesco, Carrefour, and Lidl. These six supermarket chains have literally taken over the market. But what benefits and disadvantages do they have, and why do clients choose each of them? 

Now first things first. We compared the discussions about each brand taking place during the last three months, and it showed that German chains Rewe, Kaufland, and Aldi were ahead of the others.  

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Surprisingly, the German stores Aldi and Lidl were most frequently mentioned in Great Britain, even outpacing Tesco, the most famous of British supermarket chains. 

However, the sentiment of Aldi's and Tesco's mentions was mainly negative. Users from the United Kingdom complained about unfair high prices. In other countries, customers mentioned these supermarkets significantly fewer times in relation to the cost of goods. 

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Top sources 

Predictably, Google Maps was among the main sources of mentions for many brands and the #1 source for Rewe, Kaufland, and Carrefour. This platform is one of the most valuable platforms for marketers as it helps not only detect the problem, but also immediately identifies the locations where customer experience iss far from perfect. 

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However, for some brands, the list of top sources included platforms many companies don't even monitor. 

For instance, the most popular social media for shoppers of Tesco and Aldi is Pinterest. Clients like to share recipes and pictures of meals they cooked with the products they've bought at these supermarket chains. 

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For three of the six chains, Reddit, a platform that marketers often underrate, was among the main mentions sources. To learn more about how brands can benefit from this social network, read our article, where we shared ways how to make marketing on Reddit work. 

To be the leader by the number of mentions is honorable for every brand. But being the leader in the number of positive reviews is much more important. Since social media users tend to share harmful content rather than positive, when clients praise the brand online, it shows real loyalty. 

Our research demonstrates that Rewe, Kaufland, and Aldi are not only the most popular brands on social media but also leaders by the amount of positive feedback. Moreover, these three brands have the least number of negative reviews.

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For most brands, the main source of negative mentions is Twitter. However,, this doesn't mean that certain supermarket chains have the wrong social media strategy on this social network.

YouScan's research of social media trends showed that Twitter unites users who like to focus on negative topics, and because of this trend, brands often face lots of criticism on this platform. 

Google Maps is also often a source of customer dissatisfaction, but actually not in this case. Unexpectedly, this platform has become the main source of positive reviews for supermarkets. 

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Strength and weaknesses

Although the chosen brands work in the same segment and propose similar goods and services, they have dramatically different strengths and weaknesses. 

For instance, Rewe, Kaufland, and Carrefour are praised for their customer service and assortment. Rewe's visitors often mention friendly and helpful staff and say they appreciate the chain has English-speaking employees. 

Kaufland's prices seem the most reasonable for clients. This supermarket chain also gets lots of positive reviews for its store design. Another Kaufland's strength  is assortment: сlients like the variety of goods for daily usage and bakery. 

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Tesco, Lidle, and Aldi are the worst priced according to social media users' opinions. Moreover, Tesco gets many complaints about its customer service, and its clients generally don't express that much of a positive customer experience. The same goes for Liddle. 

Apart from the quality of service, customers choose Carrefour for its assortment and 24 hour working day. One more strength is their clean stores. 

Audience insights

Although supermarkets are oriented towards a wide audience, they can in fact have completely different clients between them. 

Rewe, Tesco, and Aldi often appear in women's discussions, while Kaufland and Carrefour attract mostly men's commentary. 

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Female users prefer to discuss supermarket brands on Pinterest, while male audiences leave reviews on Google Maps and YouTube. 

YouScan's social media listening capabilities allows tracking of  traditional demographic data, as well as of valuable insights such as occupations and interests. Read more about this capability in our article on how to analyze a brand's audience

While Carrefour's core social media audience is mostly interested in fashion and business, the main topic of Lidl's customers is parenting. At the same time, Rewe, Kaufland, and Tesco are popular among vegans. 

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Conclusions 

The research showed that the brand reputation of supermarket chains is proportional to the number of mentions it receives . The more users discuss a certain brand, the more positive sides users admit in their reviews. 

One more actionable insight lies in the origin of sources. Reddit and Pinterest, two underrated platforms, are among the main sources of mentions for supermarkets. As such, it seems that brands should include them more in their monitoring and analysis than they have done up to now. 

And the last important conclusion is connected to audience insights. YouScan's research showed that six similar brands can have clients with absolutely different interests. 

Social media analysis helps brands better understand their audience, analyze a brand's strong and weak sides, compare itself with other market players, and increase customer loyalty. If you want to check how it works – just try YouScan's free demo. 

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