Iceland launches new Aldi middle aisle rival with discount hot tubs and more

Iceland has launched a new range of special 'middle aisle-style' general merchandise items in an attempt to pull shoppers away from rival supermarket chain Aldi. Food Warehouse, owned by Iceland, has stocked up on special "when it's gone, it's gone" items - and has intentionally priced them cheaper than Aldi. A Food Warehouse spokesperson said to Grocer : "Hot tubs are in store now for GBP300 and almost GBP100 cheaper than Aldi's very similar product. [A toy kitchen] is also a whole GBP10 cheaper than Aldi."

Like products in Aldi's popular middle aisle, the latest Food Warehouse special deals are available only while stocks last. Shoppers are advised to be quick as the deals will soon be "snapped up," the supermarket said. : Lidl and Home Bargains shoppers praise GBP2.49 bag that will 'keep kids busy all summer long'

A spokesperson for Food Warehouse said the general merchandise offerings will change throughout the year "but generally cover kitchenware, homeware, gardening, cleaning products and toys, plus seasonal items". "Although [Food Warehouse] doesn't have a middle aisle like Aldi as such, there are dedicated sections in stores," the spokesperson added. Analyst at independent investment group Shore Capital, Clive Black added that Food Warehouse's new middle aisle range will help it increase profits. "The middle aisle can transform the average basket size and gross profit contribution, and this is what The Food Warehouse is trying to tap into," he said. "[Whilst some items will be out-of-budget for some customers, there will still be some shoppers] with cash liquidity looking for a bargain."

The news comes just a day after Food Warehouse's parent company Iceland announced it would be introducing a discount for all shoppers aged 60 and over. From next Tuesday, anyone aged 60+ shopping in the stores will be eligible to claim 10% off their shopping. There is no minimum spend and the discount applies across all products and ranges, for everyone aged 60 and over, every Tuesday.

The retailer said it had decided to bring in the deal after a survey by Age UK revealed that around 75 per cent of older people in the UK are worried about the rising cost of living. Iceland is understood to be the only supermarket in the UK offering a 60+ discount. Managing director at Iceland, Richard Walker said: We have a long history of supporting our over 60s customers, such as when we launched 'Elderly Hour' at the height of the pandemic.

"The cost of living crisis has made support for these customers even more important, which is why I'm proud that we're finding new ways to support them, including the launch of this discount.

We hope it will help all those in this age category to cut costs where they can."