Lidl is considering taking legal action over what it says are "factual inaccuracies which have been blatantly mis-communicated" in a recently published grocery pricing survey of own-brand products commissioned by Aldi.
In the survey carried out by retail analysts at Grant Thornton and published last week, both the German discounters were shown to be significantly cheaper than Tesco, Dunnes Stores or Supervalu.
The basket of 62 own-brand products, which included jam, cream, honey, ice-cream, rice, orange juice, cheese, yoghurt, bread, as well as fruit and vegetables, was found to cost on average €65.04 in Aldi, €65.53 in Lidl, €76.54 in Tesco, €80.74 in Dunnes Stores and €95.50 in SuperValu.
Supervalu and Tesco have also raised concerns about the survey, while Dunnes Stores made no comment.
While it indicated a wafer-thin margin of less than 1 per cent between the German discounters, a Lidl spokeswoman dismissed the survey for having "numerous discrepancies" and said that by its own calculations, it was the cheapest supermarket in Ireland.
She said the Aldi survey had suggested there were different prices in Lidl shops in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick "despite the fact that Lidl always uses uniform pricing" across all its stores.
She pointed out that in the apple category, the Aldi survey listed €1.49 as a weighted comparison for Lidl's Oakland Red Apple Tray in Dublin and Galway while in Limerick and Cork, the survey used the price of Lidl's Pink Lady Apples which cost €2.99
She also highlighted two differed strawberry jams priced in Lidl, one which cost €0.90 and another “premium conserve” which was put at €1.93 as well as two differed prices for its bacon.
“When the three errors listed above are amended and the correct products and prices are compared, Lidl’s total basket price should be €64.04 which is a full €1 cheaper than Aldi,” she said. “Lidl is currently looking into legal options around the factual inaccuracies which have been blatantly miscommunicated by Grant Thornton and Aldi.”
In response an unapologetic Aldi said it stood over its report. “The independent Grant Thornton survey confirmed what Aldi and our customers already know - Aldi are the lowest priced and best value supermarket in Ireland,” a spokesman said.