Aussie woman's bizarre Aldi find in bag of Smith's chips

A misplaced pack of crisps reveals how shoppers can make big savings, says one retail expert.

·3-min read

An Australian woman has made a surprising discovery inside a multi-pack of Smith's potato chips, pulling out a pack of Aldi's own-brand Sprinters crisps from the larger bag.

The shopper shared a photo of her find on Reddit, revealing the pack of Sprinters crisps she claims came from the Smith's six-pack. "I just opened a packet of Smith's Original chips and found a packet of Aldi brand chips in there," the woman shared.

Speculating about the possibility of the snack food giant manufacturing the budget supermarket's cheaper chips, the customer asked fellow Redditors: "Is this a thing?".

Aldi store; Aldi Sprinters original chips next to Smith's Original chips six-pack
A pack of Sprinters has turned up in a multi-pack of Smith's chips, raising questions about the origins of the Aldi brand crisps. Source: Reddit/gemmahli456

'Same product, just different packaging'

Other Reddit users who claimed to have insider knowledge of the situation confirmed the woman's suspicions. "Parents used to work there; they just change salt content and cooking times for Aldi," one user responded. "Can confirm this is true... same product, just different packaging," another wrote.

Other shoppers contributed their own examples of big-name products being rebranded in home-brand packaging. "Black and Gold brand tampons are exactly the same as Carefree brand but about 1/3 of the price," someone mentioned.

Rebranding a common industry practice

According to Jana Bowden, Professor of Marketing and Consumer Psychology at Macquarie University, rebranding is a common industry practice aimed at achieving economies of scale for manufacturers.

"This might be news to a lot of consumers: many fast-moving consumer goods products - and in fact goods across a range of categories from apparel to electronics - are made in the same factory, on the same line and simply re-badged with different brand names to be sold at different price points," Professor Bowden told Yahoo News.

Smith's six-pack of Original chips
Smith's Original six-packs retail for $4.50 at Woolworths, putting them at 75c a bag. Meanwhile, Aldi's own offering, Sprinters, sell in 20 packs for $8.90, translating to 44c a bag. Source: Woolworths

Professor Bowden revealed that countless premium brands actually share their manufacturers with competitor brands, which are positioned at higher and lower price points in the market.

"From a brand's perspective it's about psychological positioning in the consumer's mind around pricing, quality, benefits and brand image," she said. "That's what allows some brands to charge a premium for their product. It's all about perception, and intangible benefits are also often what make consumers loyal to the brands that they buy."

And the winner is...

Professor Bowden further explained that consumers who are not loyal to premium brands and are open to shopping around are likely to reap the benefits. "There's some significant cash to be saved," she said. "The winner here is the savvy consumer. If you do your research, you can in some cases find the exact same product, or a very similar product, packaged and branded slightly differently but at a much lower cost."

Smith's and Aldi have been approached for comment.

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