Albert Heijn NL and BE: identical… or not?

Our Daltix analysts looked at the Albert Heijn range in Belgium and the Netherlands and examined all 27,836 references found on the ah.be and ah.nl websites.

This snapshot (data based on Friday 13/10/17) provided a number of striking insights.

AH Belgium assortment: less is more?

First of all, it turned out that there were only 15,234 common references on both websites. 515 references are unique for the Belgian market (we note Tiense Bloemsuiker, Lotus Dinosaurus and La Croix Javel) and no less than 12,087 products are only sold in the Netherlands. In the “Dutch” range, we encounter butter from Zeeuws Meisje, frozen products from Chef Martin and the “usual suspects”: OTC products and products from the Etos range.

Price variations: from half cheaper to more than 3 times more expensive…

It is generally assumed that an average shopping basket is cheaper in the Netherlands than in Belgium. But, is this indeed true when we compare the pricing on the 15,234 identical references?

The data give a nuanced answer. For 10,603 references (69% of the assortment) there is no difference between the two countries, and the shopper pays exactly the same amount. In addition, there are 1,128 references (7.4%) for which Belgian prices are lower than in the Netherlands, and conversely 3,503 references (23%) for which Albert Heijn pricing in the Netherlands is more attractive.

The next question is for which products the prices differ so much between the two countries.

Well, the Dutch shopper pays up to half as much on Chaudfontaine (flat, 50 cl). What costs €1.25 in Belgium, a Dutch shopper can take home for €0.62! And what about the Tefal pans: the same 28 cm diameter Tefal Revelation frying pan costs only €24.99 on ah.nl, but is worth €42.95 on ah.be! The 28 cm wok pan and 24 cm frying pan are also much cheaper in the Netherlands.

Luckily for the Belgian shopper there are also products for which he/she pays a lot less than his Dutch counterpart. And that includes a striking number of AH private labels. The absolute winner: AH Basic Fabric Softener Blue Freshness. 0.99 € in the Netherlands and, hold on, 0.29 € (!) in Belgium. This product is more than three times as expensive in a Dutch Albert Heijn shop…

And sometimes the Netherlands is just like Belgium: IGLO frozen meals

If we zoom in on the IGLO range in the frozen food category, there are very few deviations to be seen. 15 of the 16 references are priced exactly the same at Albert Heijn in both countries. Only for Iglo Roerbaksensatie Noedels Beef does the Belgian shopper pay € 0.06 more than someone who goes to Albert Heijn in the Netherlands.

If you are now also interested in knowing what insights Daltix can provide in terms of assortment and price, please feel free to contact us.