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  • Writer's pictureSavvy

Which Supermarket Loyalty offering gives you the best value?

Updated: Nov 21, 2023


What are the SavvySpender.ie loyalty awards?

The SavvySpender Award recognises the companies that deliver excellent customer loyalty offerings and value to their customers in Ireland.


The Awards are completely independent. To ensure that we give as impartial advice as possible for Irish shoppers, brands don't nominate themselves for an award or influence our choice of winners.



Best Supermarket Loyalty 2023


Our approach in assessing Ireland's best supermarket loyalty offering:

  • SavvySpender tested each supermarket's loyalty offering – from registration through to redemption of awards.

  • We surveyed SavvySpender customers to get their views on best value programme.

  • We reviewed app store ratings & reviews.

  • We created a basket of goods containing comparable products across the big 5. supermarkets. While the products are closely matched there are variances in size in some instances.

  • We then simulated the additional savings a shopper could get if they used all available promotions, discounts and vouchers at each of the supermarkets.

  • As Aldi don't have a loyalty programme we haven't included them in this review. We did include them in the shopping basket comparison.



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Dunnes Stores VALUEclub & Shop & Save


Dunnes Stores loyalty offering comprises short-term promotions, shop & save money-off vouchers as well as the VALUEclub card.


Points on spend

VALUEclub members earn 1 point per €1 spent at Dunnes. For the average Irish household if they did all their supermarket shopping at Dunnes they would earn about €80 worth of points in a year*.


Money-Off Vouchers

Shop and Save vouchers give regular Dunnes shoppers €10 off every €50 up to 3 times per shop. That works out at a maximum that's €30 off a €150 shop. To avail of this instore you need to have collected vouchers in your previous shop. You don't need to have already collected vouchers if ordering online.


When using vouchers, Dunnes are probably hoping that you spend more because you know you're getting money off or are tempted to buy high margin grocery / clothing items. But if you stick to predominantly own-brand goods you can get exceptional value.


Partner Offers

Since 2022, Dunnes Stores have partnered with Three Ireland. Three+ members have been able to avail of a monthly Dunnes €5 or €10 off voucher which can be stacked with their regular Shop & Save vouchers.


Dunnes Mobile App

Dunnes Store app is the mostly highly rated supermarket app in Ireland (in both Google & Apple stores). Users can access vouchers, see their points balance & latest offers. They can also shop for fashion or grocery goods however you are taken out of the app if you do so.


SavvySpender’s customer survey showed that nearly 75% of respondents viewed Dunne’s loyalty offering as being easy to use. With the majority of respondents who shop at Dunnes saying it either gives good or exceptional value to them.



 


Lidl Plus


Lidl Plus is an app-only loyalty offering. Lidl Plus users can avail of weekly coupons that give product discounts when activated


Coupons

Through Lidl Treats all customers get coupons with discounts of specific products. You need to activate the discount in the app and then scan your app at the till.


Scratch & Win is designed to add a little fun with customers scratching an app coupon to reveal lucky dip discount. Occasionally there is a coupon that gives money off the overall basket of goods e.g. before Easter there was a €3 off €50.


From our research the weekly coupons could get a Lidl Plus customer €5 to €10 off their shop per week assuming that they used all the coupons. However it is likely that only a small number of customers always avail of all the coupons.


Draws

Lidl have occasional draws that Lidl Plus customers get entries to after meeting spend criteria. Similar to Supervalu’s Scan to Win, these encourage repeat spend but customers chances of winning are relatively low.


Shopping Lists

Some recipes within Lidl's website & the Lidl Plus app can be saved to a shopping list on the app that can be referred to in-store.



 




Supervalu Real Rewards


Real Rewards combines weekly Money Off vouchers, personalised coupons, a scan to win draw along with occasional deals.


Money-Off Vouchers

Real Rewards customers get a weekly Money Off voucher with two per customer provided on occasional weeks. While Supervalu don’t publish the requirements that determine the voucher amount a customer gets, from our research they can range from €5 off €35 to €12 off €100.


A plus of Money Off vouchers is that customers get a voucher every week regardless of whether their last shop was at Supervalu. A downside is that Supervalu don’t communicate the requirements required to get the higher euro value vouchers.


Coupons

Real Rewards customers can also avail of weekly coupons. These are personalised based on previous purchases. In our review of a handful of accounts, most of the coupons were own-brand versions of items previously purchased. Customers who redeemed all coupons could get €4 / €5 worth of discounts per week in the event that they used all the coupons.


Scan to Win

Is a monthly draw. It is a fun addition to Real Rewards and it encourages repeat spend as each time a customer shops at Supervalu they get one free entry into the monthly draw. The chances of winning a big prize are relatively low as there are twelve prizes for the whole country each month. There is also a €100 voucher per Supervalu location each month on offer.


Partner Offers

Real Rewards customers who also are Electric Ireland customers can get €5 off their Electric Ireland bill every two months. If a customer has both gas and electricity accounts with Electric Ireland they can get 2 x €5 vouchers every two months or up €60 worth of discounts over the course of a year.


€20 Supervalu vouchers can earned when opening or renewing a car or home policy through Supervalu Insurance.


Supervalu also have Getaway Breaks containing discounted hotel & B&B stays. You don't need to be a Supervalu customer to use this service.



 



Tesco Clubcard

The Tesco Clubcard loyalty offering combines points earning points on each shop and with other Tesco products (mobile phone, fuel), discounted ‘Clubcard Prices’ for its members and a recent addition is personalised coupons.


Points on spend

Club card members earn 1 point per €1 spent instore or online at Tesco. For the average Irish household if they did all their supermarket shopping at Tesco they would earn about €80 worth of points in a year.


Clubcard points can also be earned when scanning a Clubcard at Certa fuels stations (1 point per €2 spent) or by paying a Tesco mobile bill (2 points per €1) .


Using Clubcard Points

Clubcard members can choose to either have their points converted into money-off vouchers that are issued quarterly or put towards a Christmas Savers scheme which issues vouchers in November only. Members get a bonus if they choose to top up their Christmas Savers account - €3 if you top up by €50.


A key benefit of Clubcard is as well as using points to get money-off shops, users can choose to use them to get discounts on experiences. Clubcard points can be used to get products, experiences or days out with Tesco’s partner retailers including DisneyPlus, Milano & Center Parcs. Each €5 of Clubcard vouchers equates to €15 off at the partner.


The €80 that the household earned in Clubcard points in the above scenario could be exchanged for up to €240 worth of goods/services at Tesco’s partners.


Clubcard Prices

The big three supermarkets all have regular discounts across thousands of products each week. Tesco differs from Supervalu & Dunnes because Tesco customers must use their Clubcard to avail of these ‘Clubcard prices’.


Coupons

Tesco launched personalised coupons in 2022 which according to Tesco were “for their most loyal customers”. This has not yet rolled out to all customers.




 


Summarising the value offered by each supermarket


To help us decide on the best supermarket loyalty offering, we compared a basket of goods across Dunnes, Lidl, Supervalu, Tesco as well as Aldi. These prices reflected the price on the last week of April. Some items were on promotion.


We then looked at what additional savings shoppers could avail of using each loyalty programme.


As Dunnes & Supervalu Money-Off vouchers can be used every week across the full basket of goods we minused them from their respective basket amounts.


We have also noted the value of points that Dunnes & Tesco customers would have earned on this shop.


Finally, we noted the value of discounts that Lidl and Supervalu customers could get if they used all coupons.



Basket of goods comparison:



Winner

Our choice of best 2023 supermarket loyalty offering goes to Dunnes Stores:

  • based on our study, their 'save in the aisle and save at the till' mantra is not empty jargon.

  • it's easy to spend lots of money in Dunnes, however by availing of their weekly discounts, buying own-brand & using vouchers there is no doubt Dunnes can offer great value. See more of our supermarket shopping tips here.

  • Dunnes scored highest in our customer survey for ease of use and for value-provided.







 

Commended

The 2023 supermarket loyalty offering spot goes to Supervalu Real Rewards:

  • while not as strong as Dunne's Shop & Save offering, Supervalu's Money Off vouchers still give very good value to their customers. Households who do multiple shops per week at Supervalu can avail of 2 vouchers per week by having two Real Rewards accounts.

  • While it's unlikely that customers would use all their coupons each week, they do give an opportunity to save a little extra off most shops.

  • Supervalu's partner offers e.g. Electric Ireland add extra value.






 



APPENDIX: Detailed Price Comparison









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