Never shopped at ALDI? Me neither. Until they invited me to tour their store and test kitchen. Read on to learn about my experience and my top 3 reasons why you should check out ALDI!This blog post is sponsored by ALDI. Thanks for supporting the brands and organizations that help make TFD possible. As always, all opinions are my own!
Until last week, I’d never step foot inside an ALDI. I’d heard great things about the retailer from friends and colleagues but I never experienced the ALDI magic for myself.
So when ALDI reached out to me to ask if I’d want to visit their Test Kitchen and tour one of their stores, I was all in to learn more about this unique retailer that manages to sell groceries at affordable prices.
ALDI has been in the U.S. for 40 years now – they have 1,600 stores in 34 states and are continuing to expand. Their mission is to provide affordable, high-quality products that are available to everyone. I was very impressed with my first ALDI experience and appreciated learning about the retailer’s business model to keep the cost of groceries down.
Wondering why you should try shopping at ALDI? Here are my top 3 reasons:
#1: You can save up to 50% on groceries.
ALDI is super smart – they know just how to set up their stores to save labor costs and in turn keep their grocery costs low. For example, they include multiple UPCs (barcodes) on their packaging to ensure that the checkout cashier only has to scan the item once, making for an overall faster checkout experience. Faster checkout = less checkout lanes = less labor to hire. They also save costs with their stocking strategy. Their cases are built so that you can stock the case on the shelf without having to unpack each individual product. Same strategy applies to their coolers – they roll gallons of milk and eggs right up to the cooler doors. Minimal stocking = less labor = lower costs passed on to you, the consumer!
Some of my favorite cost savings worth noting:
Spices at $1.19!
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Almond butter at $1.49!
Wine! They had quite the selection of award-winning wines for under $6.
ALDI has made sure that their exclusive brands (which makes up about 90% of their products) are free from certified synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated oils and added MSG. They also listened to their customers who said they wanted more produce variety and have now tripled the size of their produce section. Their shoppers also said they wanted more gluten-free products so ALDI launched their own line of gluten free products, called Live G Free. Since launching Live G Free in May 2014, they have had over 125 items in the line.
Looking to make healthier choices at the grocery store? ALDI has you covered. They’ve teamed up with a group of five registered dietitians to identify the products with most nutrition bang for their buck, deemed as Dietitian’s Picks. Plus, ALDI launched their healthier checkout lanes earlier this year – no longer will candy and chocolate tempt you after a long grocery shop. They replaced the typical checkout lane contenders with better-for-you products like nuts and trail mix.
#3: ALDI makes sure their brands taste just as good, if not better, than their competitors.
As part of the ALDI tour, we visited their test kitchen where they test 15-20 products every day and test each product a few times each year. They compare their own brands to other suppliers to make sure their quality is on par or even better. They put us to the test too – they set up a blind taste test with 8 different products, one sample being an ALDI brand and the other being a national brand and had us guess which was which. They totally stumped me on three of them!
- Tortilla Chips. ALDI tortilla chips ring in at $1.19 vs. the national brand at $3.51 for a cost savings of 64%!
- Vegetable Chips (this one stumped everyone!). ALDI vegetable chips ring in at $2.79 vs. the national brand at $4.18 for a cost savings of 33%.
- Dark Chocolate. ALDI Dark Chocolate rings in at $1.99 vs. the national brand at $3.50 for a cost savings of 43%.
ALDI made sure we didn’t go hungry throughout the course of the day. Not only did we play the fun ALDI Or Not game, we sampled ALDI recipes (more to come on those in a later blog post), snacked on ALDI hors d’oeuvres (cheese, crackers, olives, nuts, etc.), sipped ALDI wines, participated in a blind taste test (literally they blindfolded us) and then were sent off with a delicious dinner to end the day. Also, ALDI makes the best veg-centric centerpieces. On the menu: Power Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette Sautéed Green Beans and Tomatoes Potato Cauliflower Smash with Parsley PestoMaple Walnut Crusted Sockeye Salmon
Guilt-Free Brownie Truffles (made with black beans!) and Lemon Blackberry ShortcakeOverall, I was super impressed with ALDI. I think it’s a great first stop shop for anyone who is looking to save a buck or two (or ten or thirty) on their grocery bill. Big thanks to ALDI for the hospitality and for showing me around their store and test kitchen!
Tell me, have you ever shopped at an ALDI?