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After several mentions of Aldi in the Trader Joe's Products discussion, I thought I would start it separate discussion for the chain store.

Coincidentally, I read an online article this morning about Aldi coming to America and targeting Walmart:

"The German chain that's beating Wal-Mart at its own game"

Quote

Aldi stores lack the massive size and selection of a Wal- Mart -- they tend to be around one-tenth the size of an average Wal-Mart and carry few national brands. Yet their rapid proliferation and the chain’s ability to offer even lower prices than Wal-Mart are putting pressure on the Bentonville, Arkansas- based discounter. And as Aldi expands aggressively in the U.S., it’s becoming just the latest in a long list of problems for Wal-Mart.

We don't have them in my area, yet. 

What are the store's strengths? And what are their weaknesses? 

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Im motoring over tomorrow for the specials and to take some pics if they let me

 

Sirloin Roast 2.99 / lbs

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I find Aldi stores to be depressing. They are dimly lit and the produce is on the verge of going south for the most part. Very limited selection. The last thing I purchased was a package of 100-calorie almond packs and some dried fruit strips. I went there because of the TJ's link, but you'd be hard-pressed to see the connection. Not worth a special trip, and hard to believe they are serious competition for Wal-Mart because of the limited selection. I guess for those on fixed income, for whom the dollars must be watched carefully, they would pick up certain things at Aldi and get the rest elsewhere.

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Aldi sucks!

 

A previous post of mine.....

"My neighbor is a shut-in. I've shopped for her there a few times.

Below is what I've noticed about some of the products she's purchased......

 

Carbon Monoxide treated fresh meat!

Underweight eggs with the occasional bloody yolk!

Underweight cheese!

Un-graded solution soaked frozen chickens!

Xanathan gum thickened cottage cheese!

Nasty Chinese frozen fish! <Gross>

All around crappy low quality and inconsistent food products!!

The sugar is inferior beet sugar, the flour is inferior as well.

The sour cream was runny,the runniest I've ever seen.

The ham is LOADED with sugar - the equivalent of of almost 1 and 2/3 tablespoons of sugar per pound.

In the produce section, the cauliflower and onions were covered with aspergillus niger (black mold).

Package sizes are often not standard - Frozen broccoli at Aldi is .99 for 12 ounces while the frozen broccoli at the predominant grocery store in this area is .99 for 16 ounces - tricking many people who don't watch package sizes closely into thinking they're getting a better deal.

Many of the frozen foods are freezer burned, or loaded with ice crystals!

Canned sardines full of sandy gritty roe! Yuck!

 

I wouldn't mention the word Aldi anywhere near her anymore....LOL
She had very bad luck with Aldi stuff over the holidays. (a couple years ago)
She baked a ham from there that literally turned into a cinder because, I think, it had too much added sugar. She actually baked it 25 degrees less than what was recommended because it started to turn black early on, she's no cooking novice and I know that her oven is properly calibrated because she bakes cakes all the time for extra income and always uses an oven thermometer.
She was making something with their cottage cheese that required heating the cottage cheese, it all turned to liquid!!!
Oh, and she bought dog biscuits there that were full of little black beetles that infested her pantry."

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39 minutes ago, Toliver said:

After several mentions of Aldi in the Trader Joe's Products discussion, I thought I would start it separate discussion for the chain store.

Coincidentally, I read an online article this morning about Aldi coming to America and targeting Walmart:

"The German chain that's beating Wal-Mart at its own game"

We don't have them in my area, yet. 

What are the store's strengths? And what are their weaknesses? 

I haven't experienced any of the horror stories @DiggingDogFarmrecounts. But I'm pretty picky about what I buy there. I will buy butter because it's a buck a pound cheaper than Kroger. I will occasionally buy snack crackers or other snacky things. I have never bought fresh meat there, although I've heard good things about their ham (I'm a Honeybaked Ham or a Petit Jean Farms ham person, myself). Haven't bought any dairy other than butter.

 

Like a lot of stores, they may be cheaper on one thing and higher on something else. I saw packaged cake mixes (base for some of my desserts, as I'm not much of a pastry chef) for $1.99, when I can buy them all day at Kroger for $1.29.

 

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The nearest Aldi's to me smells so bad I won't go in. Also, as @BeeZee said, very dark and depressing.

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Wow

 

looking forward to my trip tomorrow !   11.1 miles !

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Been in two Aldis.  Its as everyone above says. Produce crappy and browning. Meat selection limited. Faint odor.

 

Reminded me of a Tesco I stumbled into in Dublin...but worse

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Very disappointed with my first visit and never went back.  Produce was lackluster, very little fresh meat/poultry.  There were some OK imported (German) chocolates, but I can get better chocolate at similar price points at Trader Joes.  I browsed the store for quite awhile looking in vain for anything interesting. 

 

For me, Aldi's was as someone else aptly put it: depressing.  

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double Wow.

 

well  tomorrow its partly sunny, no snow, no rain, no need for conditioned air, plenty of that outside w the window down 1 "

 

Ill motor by for 'Fun"

 

I may not get that chuck roast, as it not a sirloin 'flat' and would need at least 24 ++ in the SV'd-er.

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Are Aldis still all cash only operations?  I popped into one a few years back and was unimpressed with the selection, and unable to make the trial purchase I intended to because they process no plastic at the POS.

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There was an Aldi's in town when my wife and I had just gotten married, were both still in school, and definitely had a limited income, though we were still above the poverty line, so I will not push that point too much.  Anyhow, we weighed our pennies and still found we were better off paying for better quality at Kroger or Meijer.  Produce that melted into goo the next day and other food that was just shy of inedible the day you bought it?  Money wasted at any price.

 

This was fifteen years ago.  It has really made me pause to hear the waves Aldi has been making in the past couple of years.  I assumed they must have changed, and went into one a couple of years ago to look again.  It did not take me long to turn around and head back out.

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Aldi made its bones on "high quality - low cost" with a number of "cost cutting measures"

 

- cash (later checks); no credit cards

- now credit cards, no checks.

- no baggers / utility employees

- no frills

- minimum "display" effort - open the case lot - plunk it on a shelf

- no free bags - BYOBag/Box

- Feed-a-Quarter shopping cart control; put in a quarter to release a cart; get a quarter when it is returned

 

the "high quality" bit is somewhat imagination.  few national brands - many local/store brands which in their marketing hype are "better" - your experience and opinion may vary.

 

personally I _like_ the shopping cart "deposit" idea (this is common throughout Europe) - if you've ever come back to your car on a  windy day to find some lazy SOB's cart embedded in your car door, you might like it too....

 

dimly from memory, it's a German originated business; three brothers currently doing their thing; they got along so well that they had to split the business into North Germany, South Germany and USA.  what you're seeing in USA is one man's vision of how to run a grocery store - absence any input from reality.  well, except for the credit card bit.  they finally figured out not everyone walks around with $200-$300 in their pocket.  actually that credit card acceptance co-coincided with the Federal move to food stamp debit cards.  funny thing about that....

 

 


Edited by AlaMoi (log)
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I've been to Aldi's once and I won't go back.  Aptly put:  Depressing.

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Oddly, they seem to be busy. I don't get this.

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Im pleased that  for for the 11.1 mile trip gas here is  $ 1.75 a gallon

 

thinking of the much larger loss the trip would be  ( round trip , see ) when gas was over $ 4.00

 

al least some of the economics are working out in my favor.

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It does sound like quite a different experience you guys are having!

 

I'd describe the layout of my local Aldi as basic but clean. I wouldn't want to do my regular shop there as there is a lot less variety but there are some things I find it good for. I generally do a biggish shop at Christmas for specific items and then occasionally pop my head in when passing the rest of the year. It's good for continental stuff which I guess is no surprise. The fresh produce has looked OK when passing through but in the main I am interested in packaged goods and the frozen section.

 

The frozen section is good for posh shellfish at Christmas (I bought whole crab and lobster there last year) and also for game, I've bought partridge and quail there relatively regularly. They have some venison meatballs which are also tasty. They have a small Polish section which occasionally carries interesting stuff, the last thing I bought there was some raspberry and cherry syrups. Sometimes they have interesting oils and vinegars. Their Parmesan is good and cheap. At Christmas I bought pate which comes in a mini Kilner jar (in part for the jar but it is tasty), anchovies in oil, stollen, panettone, salamis, turron and whatever that Spanish fig cake thing that goes with cheese is called. My crackers came from there too! Sometimes their wine section has good deals, I got 5 puttanyos Tokaji there last year. It just depends on what they have. They are also quite good on plants - we have a decent apple tree from there courtesy of my father in law, and my bay in a pot came either from there or Lidl. I think of them and Lidl as very interchangeable, but I go to Aldi more as it's more convenient.

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>> Oddly, they seem to be busy. I don't get this.

 

not everyone can afford to pay $15.95 for a pound of beef . . .

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@Tere

 

 

seems you might have gotten a different brother

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7 minutes ago, cdh said:

Are Aldis still all cash only operations?

 

"Q. What forms of payment are accepted at ALDI stores?
A. We welcome cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, most debit cards, the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and Link cards. At this time, we do not accept checks or the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC)."

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It looks like the UK is part of Aldi Sud, which also runs the Aldi branded stores in the US. Aldi Nord is the Aldi that runs Trader Joe's.

 

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldi anyway.

 

So not a different brother.

 

A lot of their stuff in store is also own branded in the UK. Although they would offer a well known brand for the basics. So you might have Aldi ketchup and Heinz, but probably only those two and one bottle size to keep down stocking.

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57 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

>> Oddly, they seem to be busy. I don't get this.

 

not everyone can afford to pay $15.95 for a pound of beef . . .

 

Spoiled meat is no bargain, though.

 

And regular supermarkets run sales and two-fors that can get meat prices far from that level. And those meats are fresher.

 

I suspect that Aldi is mostly used for pre-packaged stuff.

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In Austria Aldi = Hofer. When I visited my daughter, then living in Vienna, we shopped there. It was 100% different from the US Aldi stores that I have been to - clean, well lit and the produce and meat while not exceptional were certainly acceptable.

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15 minutes ago, ElainaA said:

In Austria Aldi = Hofer. When I visited my daughter, then living in Vienna, we shopped there. It was 100% different from the US Aldi stores that I have been to - clean, well lit and the produce and meat while not exceptional were certainly acceptable.

 

having schooled, lived and worked in Germany for years/over decades - there is zip comma zero comma zilch question - in my mind / experience - that the USA Aldi's would died a faster than an immediate death in Europe.  Europeans simply do not put up with the trash and garbage Americans do.

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I dont get it. All the Aldis Ive been to have been brightly lit, clean, the produce was fresh and theres never an odor.

I shop there 2 times weekly

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