Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Snadra

Aldi in Australia

Recommended Posts

So, confessions time: I have been known to shop at Aldi, and what's more, I like it. The selection is limited, but not unchanging, (some of) the quality is good and it's easy to get in and out pretty quickly. After a bit of experimentation, there are a few things we buy at Aldi quite regularly, including:

Unsalted butter $1.49/250 grams: I do more baking than my hips need. Their butter is always fresh and sweet and the price is excellent. I only buy it elsewhere if I have to.

Rye bread $1.99/500 grams (approx 8 slices): This is the brick-like stuff that has no preservatives and yet seems to last forever. It's as good as anything I remember having in Germany, and the nearest equivalent I can find elsewhere is much more expensive and I've frequently found stones/hardbits in it.

Chocolate Moser Roth $2.49/125 grams; Choceur $2.49/200 grams: I suspect that when Aldi first came here Whittakers supplied their chocolates - the blocks looked the same as Whittakers and they had an odd mouthfeel and almost artificial flavour. They've since changed and the quality is really good. The Choceur 'dark' isn't nearly dark enough for my taste, but it has a nice smooth texture and no off flavours; it's perfect for baking applications - I chop it to use instead of chocolate chips and find the flavour superior. And the Fruit & Nut version, which is filled with sultanas and hazelnuts is addictive. The Moser Roth chocolates are excellent, with a nice snap (except in summer in my kitchen), and are conveniently packaged in 25gram tablets to prevent over indulging.

Potato Gems/Jewels $2.49/750 grams: We don't buy much in the way of prepared food (the great lean cuisine experiment of '06 ended in a freezer full of expired frozen meals) and I don't like oven baked fries but the potato jewels are very good as a side to almost anything. And anyway, it's not my fault see, because eGullet has this whole thread on tater tots, and it brainwashed me.

Obviously there are a few more things, but I'd like to hear from you.

Do you shop at Aldi? Why or why not? What have you found to be worthwhile and what was disgusting?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was checking out ALDI's website and hubby looked over and said, "oh, ALDI - they sell the almost out of date products." Now, the ones he's referring to are the ones in England. Are the Australian ALDI store the same way?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not so much, Anna. Mostly they sell brands of products you don't find anywhere else. Not the mainstream stuff you'd get in the more popular supermarkets and bottle shops.

My housemate bought some of their peach schnapps. Even after a couple of hours of mixing together ungodly cocktails involving Black Sambucca, Bailey's, Butterscotch Schnapps and cheap Irish whiskey could we stomach this stuff.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoy most of their breads. I haven't tried the rye one, but their sourdough is surprisingly good (better than any supermarket one I've tried) and their raisin/fruit loaf is equally superior. They have a really thick ("cafe style") fruit loaf or a thin one.

And I agree on the chocolate too... I'm sure that chocolate conoisseurs would turn their noses at it but I find it quite pleasant. I try to buy fair-trade chocolate and they have an organic fair-trade block which is much cheaper than others ($2 for 100g) which i've found very acceptable for cooking. The dark one, anyway. I don't like their fairtrade milk chocolate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoy most of their breads. I haven't tried the rye one, but their sourdough is surprisingly good (better than any supermarket one I've tried) and their raisin/fruit loaf is equally superior. They have a really thick ("cafe style") fruit loaf or a thin one.

And I agree on the chocolate too... I'm sure that chocolate conoisseurs would turn their noses at it but I find it quite pleasant. I try to buy fair-trade chocolate and they have an organic fair-trade block which is much cheaper than others ($2 for 100g) which i've found very acceptable for cooking. The dark one, anyway. I don't like their fairtrade milk chocolate.

I love a nice fruit loaf once in a while. I'll have to give that a go. We tried the crumpets a while ago but I found them oddly sweet. I don't buy eggs from them because they're not refrigerated and I find the white are always too runny.

We tried the fairtrade (or was it organic?) chocolate when it first came out and it was sort of chalky, but I might give it another go now.

The rye is great, but it's a super-heavy one you have been warned!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was checking out ALDI's website and hubby looked over and said, "oh, ALDI - they sell the almost out of date products." Now, the ones he's referring to are the ones in England. Are the Australian ALDI store the same way?

Not to the best of my knowledge! That said, I have seen quality problems with their vegetables. I used to buy the packages of baby spinach quite regularly (I love spinach) but they don't date the packages and I had a few that were less than fresh once opened. I don't buy it any more.

In general the quality has been really good for what we buy, but I can't comment on their processed/convenience foods.

Not so much, Anna. Mostly they sell brands of products you don't find anywhere else. Not the mainstream stuff you'd get in the more popular supermarkets and bottle shops.My housemate bought some of their peach schnapps. Even after a couple of hours of mixing together ungodly cocktails involving Black Sambucca, Bailey's, Butterscotch Schnapps and cheap Irish whiskey could we stomach this stuff.

They sell some name brand products, but mostly house brands (which is why you don't see them elsewhere). In fact the arrival of Aldi in Australia was the catalyst for a lot of scrambling by the Coles/Woolworths duopoly. As a result we now see a lot more house brands in both major supermarkets, in tiered quality levels. For a while they gave them specific names for different categories the way Aldi does, but now they've gone to the same name across all categories, but with a different name for each quality level. You can tell which brands are in/trying to get into Aldi by their packaging: their barcodes are supersized to meet Aldi requirements.

Aldi doesn't sell alcohol in NSW, I can't speak for other states. I do remember buying a shockingly awful bottle of schnapps in a German one on our honeymoon (it may have been a Lidl or similar) :wacko: . Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!

Another good product I'd forgotten about: Tinned Organic Tomatoes $1.29/400 grams: again, really good quality, and comparable to the italian brands at the supermarkets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Trader Joe's in the US, you have to experiment and figure out what you like, then hope they continue to carry it.

I buy low-end tuna for the cat, chocolate as above, some of the chocolate biscuits, some processed food I'm embarrassed to admit. I use the organic coffee. The chicken seems ok and the bacon is leaner than I've seen at the major stores. I've bought some decent cleanskin SA wine at 6 bottles for $10. The liquor was drinkable but I deserve better.

The tater tots & hashbrowns are ok but I was disappointed that the hashbrowns were preformed bricks instead of just shredded potatoes that I could use for other things.

Oh yeah, the 4 L tins of Australian EVOO are pretty good for everyday use.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Trader Joe's in the US, you have to experiment and figure out what you like, then hope they continue to carry it.

....

Funny you should mention that, I was just getting ready to reply that our Trader Joe's chain is now owned by one of the brothers that started the European Aldi chain. See Wikipedia link here TJ link. From what Snadra and the rest of you are saying, the business model sounds similar. Although in over 30 years of shopping at TJ's I've never experienced a problem with their produce, or with out of date products.

And I can vouch for the fact that the Trader Joe's version of Tater Tots is *far* superior to the branded ones. Hopefully they'll continue to carry them !


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was checking out ALDI's website and hubby looked over and said, "oh, ALDI - they sell the almost out of date products." Now, the ones he's referring to are the ones in England. Are the Australian ALDI store the same way?
That is a slur madam! ALDI UK don't sell near-to-date items. Though there are some shops/chains that specialise in this end of the market.

Oz ALDI must be superior on the checkout front. It is the main thing that puts me off. The whole store is run very lean, personnel-wise. Usually only one checkout, sometimes 2 if it is very busy.

Moser Roth choc is nice. We frequently indulge. I can also recommend the choc chip brioche loaf.

Veg is a bit iffy. But I like their small packs of sugar snap peas, mangetout, baby sweetcorn, asparagus.


Best Wishes,

Chee Fai.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was checking out ALDI's website and hubby looked over and said, "oh, ALDI - they sell the almost out of date products." Now, the ones he's referring to are the ones in England. Are the Australian ALDI store the same way?
That is a slur madam! ALDI UK don't sell near-to-date items. Though there are some shops/chains that specialise in this end of the market.

That is why I asked. Hubby said that he used to live across the street from one and that's what the store sold. That was 12+ years ago. It seems like that isn't the case as he remembered in Oz.

If it's like Trader Joes, I'm a happy camper!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Trader Joe's in the US, you have to experiment and figure out what you like, then hope they continue to carry it.

I buy low-end tuna for the cat, chocolate as above, some of the chocolate biscuits, some processed food I'm embarrassed to admit. I use the organic coffee. The chicken seems ok and the bacon is leaner than I've seen at the major stores. I've bought some decent cleanskin SA wine at 6 bottles for $10. The liquor was drinkable but I deserve better.

The tater tots & hashbrowns are ok but I was disappointed that the hashbrowns were preformed bricks instead of just shredded potatoes that I could use for other things.

Oh yeah, the 4 L tins of Australian EVOO are pretty good for everyday use.

Don't be ashamed of the convenience foods! Spill! To be honest, if chocolate isn't a convenience/junk food, I don't know what is. And my husband just reminded me that there is at least one convenience food we get from there: american style hot dogs. I love the ocassional tube of mystery meat, as long as there's a decent time interval between hits, but every hotdog I've tried here has been mushy and horrible. The American style ones from Aldi are surprisingly good, with a nice bit of snap to them.

WRT tuna, they have a chunk-style tuna in small tins that's very good, and is sustainable. I've tried the smaller bottles of Aussie olive oil and it's not bad. And they have signed up to the Australian Olive Associations Code of Practice too.

So is it very similar to Trader Joes? For some reason I always thought that Trader Joes was more upscale, but maybe I've got it wrong - I've never been to one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So is it very similar to Trader Joes? For some reason I always thought that Trader Joes was more upscale, but maybe I've got it wrong - I've never been to one!

Oh, Trader Joes isn't upscale. The "uniforms" are Hawaiian shirts! TJ's everyday prices are often much less than the typical supermarkets.

I can't wait to check out ALDI once we get there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having shopped both chains in the U.S. - both stores have mostly private-label products. The "high-end" Aldi brand - is it Grandessa? - seems to be the same as Trader Joe's, at least in jams/preserves and some of the teas.

Trader Joe's IS more upscale and has infinitely more customer service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having shopped both chains in the U.S. - both stores have mostly private-label products. The "high-end" Aldi brand - is it Grandessa? - seems to be the same as Trader Joe's, at least in jams/preserves and some of the teas.

Trader Joe's IS more upscale and has infinitely more customer service.

Private label - THAT's the term I couldn't think of for the past couple of days!

Customer service at Aldi is practically non-existent here, and the queues through the checkout can be a bit annoying, but at least they move quickly, so I never really feel like I'm waiting forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I would never put Aldi and Trader Joe's in the same sentence!!

Trader Joe's is a PALACE compared to Aldi both in the UK and Australia!

The Aldi in North Sydney is particularly bad, dirty and populated with a few surly staff members, definitely not enough to handle the volume that goes through there.


www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading this thread while chatting on the phone to a friend who is from Australia. She said her husband was addicted to the frozen "pocket pies" he would buy at Aldi and would microwave four at a time and hunch over his plate while devouring them as if someone was going to snatch the plate away.

However, she also said that since moving here, he has become "addicted" to frozen burritos and eats them the same way. She has to buy them in the big restaurant service bags at Smart & Final, otherwise they are too expensive the way he consumes them.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I would never put Aldi and Trader Joe's in the same sentence!!

Trader Joe's is a PALACE compared to Aldi both in the UK and Australia!

The Aldi in North Sydney is particularly bad, dirty and populated with a few surly staff members, definitely not enough to handle the volume that goes through there.

Sounds like the reverse of some of my experiences at Woolworths and Coles supermarkets near me ($8 for a punnet of mould-laden raspberries, anyone?), whereas when I shop in the more upmarket neighbourhoods the quality is much better. There are 3 Aldi shops in the Northwest that I have been to fairly regularly and they are never dirty and the staff are always quite friendly.

Interesting to read of a different experience. I wonder why the difference though?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading this thread while chatting on the phone to a friend who is from Australia. She said her husband was addicted to the frozen "pocket pies" he would buy at Aldi and would microwave four at a time and hunch over his plate while devouring them as if someone was going to snatch the plate away.

However, she also said that since moving here, he has become "addicted" to frozen burritos and eats them the same way. She has to buy them in the big restaurant service bags at Smart & Final, otherwise they are too expensive the way he consumes them.

Meat pies are a pretty iconic food in Australia (how much meat they contain is a matter of some debate). A recent choice article rated the Aldi meat pies quite highly, but I prefer a tourtiere myself :raz: .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The almond biscuits who's name I can't remember well enough to even find on Google are quite nice. And the Jaffa Cakes are very good but not quite as nice as LU Pims (aka PMS biscuits - not that that's a problem for me).


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll never buy the pet mince at Aldi again. Twice I've got bad bags and you know it's really bad when the dog can't hold it down.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sad to report they no longer sell the rye bread I loved so much. Now I have to resort to the not as nice and much pricier Delba. Durn it!

on the plus side, the Choceur Fruit & Nut chocolate (with hazelnuts) is very nice indeed.

We also tried one of their long-life rosti-in-a-pouch and it wasn't bad. Not amazing, but great for a shelf-stable products.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope some of you see this before it's too late. I was at Aldi today and spotted a special on the following (all Coolabah brand):

* mini spits (rated up to 8kg, spit itself is battery powered) - ~$50

* 4 burner gas BBQs - ~$170

* gas-powered smoker (think the American style BBQ that's hard to find at a reasonable price here) - $200

I came out with a smoker and spit. Testing the spit tonight with a duck.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be interested to hear how it goes! In the meantime, if you're looking for local expertise on the subject, you can check out The Aussie BBQ Forum. A really friendly group of people who cover everything from the traditional Aussie sausage sizzle to American-style BBQ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went shopping at Aldi yesterday because I couldn't face Woolies at the shopping centre. Once again I picked up some of their grass-fed beef for dinner last night, and it was delicious, with a deep flavour and that resilience that I associate with grass-fed beef. Is it as good as what I had at Rockpool? Probably not, but it's an environmentally-friendly option that is affordable and good quality. Frankly, I also like that it's vacuum packed so I can keep it in the fridge instead of freezing it.

I also bought some 300ml cast-iron mini cocottes. I've been lusting after the Staub ones for a while, and while these probably aren't quite the high quality of staub, they are very good, and for $7 as compared to $50 (on sale) for the Staub, there's really no comparison for me. Plus they are almost the same blue as my Le Crueset pot. Of course, it's the wrong season to use them, but I'm all ready for next winter now!

On the other hand, I picked up a packet of green beans to go with the steak, and they were pretty woeful. I tend not to buy veggies there because the quality is so variable, even for what is kept refrigerated. Then again, the quality at our local Woolies and Coles is often pretty woeful too....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...