Industry News,

Coles & Woolworths Financial Report What it means for YOU and YOUR business!

An important week in the world of Australian Grocery retailers with two major industry giants, Coles and Woolworths announcing their financial reports for the third quarter of 2024.  

In this blog post, we’ll delve into what this means for both the market landscape and explore the strategies you need to thrive in this exciting new territory.

We will discuss not only the highlighted key takeaways but also the potential implications for the competitive outlook and what it could mean for you so grab a seat! In today’s fast-paced business world, every savvy CEO and entrepreneur needs to stay on top of industry trends.

This report offers valuable insights on how the investment market has reacted compared to expectations. It also delves into the impact of consumer habits on driving growth and changing purchasing patterns, which in turn shape the retail landscape. Additionally, it highlights the key challenges that will require strategic attention in the current financial year.

For UK manufacturers seeking growth in markets like Australia, it’s essential to grasp trading updates and financial reporting. This understanding allows tailoring offers to align with the market’s current narrative. 

Top Line Overview Coles.

Coles reported ahead of Woolworths, key callouts being:-

  • Total sales revenue rose 3.4% to $10 billion, with a reported 5.1% increase for Supermarkets
  • Private label performance which has been split out rose by 8.8%
  • Online sales experienced significant sales growth of 34.9%
  • Liquor revenue slid by 1.9%
  • Inflation has eased from 6.2% to 2.2% (including tobacco) with key lines including apples, avocados and lamb easing, although the impact of the wheat price on baked goods called out as a driver for higher prices within the category.

Headwinds or Challenges?

  • Coles CEO reported that one of the key messages from the Quarters performance I staht customers are trying to manage ther budgets and trading into more affordable brands (this alongside the recently covered rebrand of Coles Value brand Coles Simply and its premium brand Coles Finest will have in our view contributed significantly to the high growth rate of Private label at the 8.8%)  This growth rate and momentum creating a strong opportunity for Australian and International Contract manufacturers focused on driving innovation into the Private label sector either through the high volume value end or the premium offer as customers continue to purchase more premium foods or ingredients for home use.
  • Having invested in owned brands including Natures Kitchen, Wellness Road, Urban Coffee and Daley Street Coffee as examples these brands now represent almost a 1/3 of total sales.
  • The customer transition from value to premium Private Label was highlighted as consumers look to replicate that dining out experience through home entertaining.
  • Recognising the market strength of Aldi non food items, Pet and Homecare were mentioned as areas of focus as Aldi customers, customers of the big box chemist chains, or Bunnings are targeted.

Top Line Overview Woolworths

Woolworths after Coles, key callouts being:

  • Group Sales $16.8b up by 2.8%
  • Food Sales for Australia $12.58B and increase of 1.5% (significantly behind Coles) and behind the population growth , NZ Food sales increased by 0.2%
  • Fruit, veg and meat prices down by 0.2% vs +5.8% for the same period LY
  • Online $1.93B up 17.6%
  • Consumer habits show a reduced frequency of shop, and lower spending per visit impacted by the high mortage costs and customer sentiment weak.
  • Food inflation has been a focus and CEO recognised they have been out traded this quarter.
  • Own Brand growth strong across Pantry, Frozen & Homecare

Headwinds or Challenges?

  • Interestingly PFD reported showed a slow in sales as consumers switched from dining out to home dining as budget pressures continue to impact the market.
  • Regaining momentum and increasing customer visits or spend per visit

What does it mean? Is it a good time to target the Australian market for UK-based food manufacturers or brand owners?

Whilst Coles clearly won this quarter’s trading the key messages from both updates highlight the  changing attitude of the Australian consumer and the focus on household budgets. Dining out experiences at home, reinforced by the PFD figures suggests an exciting opportunity for brands that differentiate through premium foods whether into the main grocery ailse such as pantry or through the continued growth in the frozen categories. Additionally the consistency of messaging regarding Private Label and its strategic importance for consumers creating demand for innovation that can support the ongoing momemtum behind Private Label growth. The past year and a half have seen an influx of new international brands offering innovation, choice, and consistent supply – boosting confidence among buyers and consumers – a trend expected to persist when products have an appealing purpose. We believe the emphasis on health and well-being will continue to grow faster than the market as value-conscious customers aim to indulge in those special moments affordably.

Prof. Consulting Group.

Are you looking to break into the Australian food industry? Look no further than Prof. Consulting Group! With our team of industry-leading experts and extensive range of services, we’ll help you take your business to the next level.

For more information or to discuss how Prof. Consulting Group can support your business, please visit