28 Secrets Aldi Doesn’t Want You to Know
Aldi definitely has nothing to do with the likes of Whole Foods or Sprouts. In fact, the originally Germany-based grocery chain hasn’t always had the best reputation. For a long time, their lower costs were associated with lower quality. But Aldi has been working on changing its image, turning its bottom-of-the-scale label into one of the most popular grocery destinations for many American shoppers. Wonder what’s hiding behind the big-name market? Here are 17 secrets Aldi doesn’t want you to know.
1 There’s a reason they keep the boxes
You might have noticed that Aldi’s aisles have a somewhat Costco vibe. But don’t be mistaken, the boxes on the shelves have nothing to do with the employees being lazy.
It is rather tactic to stop spending so much time and money on presentation and optimize productivity.
2 They have very little staff
One of the reasons why Aldi’s prices are so low and why they keep the boxes on the shelves is because they keep the staff to a minimum, which allows them to save money.
In doing so, they can afford to offer some of the lowest prices on the market.
3 The staff isn’t necessarily thrilled about it
As a result, you might notice that employees sometimes seem a little stressed. This is because, by keeping the staff to a minimum, they each carry more responsibilities and have to do more in less time.
That being said, ex-employees have reported that paydays, benefits, and opportunities are good.
4 There’s everything in place to make checking out as fast as possible
Aldi has everything in place for you to be able to get in, get out, and get home as quickly as possible. Unlike Whole Foods, the grocery store’s approach isn’t to create a special shopping experience, but rather help their costumers get things done as fast as possible while purchasing more for less money.
To do so, they use a few tricks to keep things moving such as the perfect length of conveyor belts and multiple barcodes.
5 It’s cheap, but not as cheap as they claim
Aldi has mainly built its reputation on its low prices. And this is no scam. Their prices are a lot cheaper than their competitors’.
However, if you compare their name brand to other store brands, while Aldi’s are still the most affordable option, the difference is not as high as the chain claims it to be. We have to blame (or credit?) their marketing efforts for that one.
6 There’s a reason they charge a deposit to use their carts
First-time shoppers might find it a little weird. But when you really think about it, it really isn’t a bad idea: the tactic forces shoppers to return their cart so they don’t have to pay an employee to do it.
So it does have to do with money, just not your quarter.
7 Their return policy is crazy
Aldi doesn’t do money-back guarantee, they do Double Guarantee. This means that if there is something you don’t like, you can return the remaining portion and they’ll replace it and reimburse you.
Talk about serious quality assurance… Pretty insane.
8 They only open during peak hours
Unlike most stores in the US, Aldi doesn’t do 24/7. As you know by now, the chain is all about efficiency in order to save money (and make it) and since an empty store at 2 am means they are paying staff while making no income, most Aldi only open from 9 am to 8 or 9 pm.
That way, they don’t have to pay a bunch of college students willing to go red-eye to afford university tuition.
9 They won some major awards
Unlike what people used to think, Aldi’s low prices don’t mean low quality. The corporation has the awards to prove it.
They placed second in the International Wine Challenge for rose wines in a blind taste test and some top honors at the International Spirits Challenge and some 25 medals in the Grocer Food and Drink Own Label Awards.
10 They deliver!
It all started with Dallas, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. These lucky Aldi customers can order their groceries through Instacart and have it delivered to their door.
This time-saving solution is said to be expanded to many more cities. So keep an eye out and conference call your entourage once they offer it in your city.
11 Their bread-on-demand machines were at the heart of a controversy
In November 2010, German Aldi stores turned to “technological innovation,” to offer made-to-order freshly baked rolls in a matter of seconds with their in-store baking machine. But the German Bakers’ Confederation took it personal.
The whole thing ended up in court with Aldi’s team of lawyers and attorneys denying the court the right to inspect the machines and the raw dough…
12 There are two different Aldis
The Aldi banner is actually divided into two different corporations: Nord and Süd. In the 1960s, when the two founders couldn’t agree on selling cigarettes or not, they simply decided to split the company.
Nord’s logo is blue and white while Süd‘s logo is orange and blue. The southern Aldi is also a bit fancier.
13 Aldi products contain no artificial colors, hydrogenated oils and MSG
They removed questionable ingredients from their name brand products.
Good on them… And us! Still, don’t go canceling your health insurance.
14 Aldi and Trader Joe’s
In the US, Aldi Süd is simply known as Aldi, while Aldi Nord operates as… Trader Joe’s. Incredible, right?
But yes, Trader Joe’s is basically an Americanized version of Aldi. It’s actually now managed by businessman Theo Albrecht, the manager of Aldi Nord. Now the emphasis on private labeling and a definite lack of advertising all makes sense, doesn’t it?
15 You’ll be able to get your groceries at Kohl’s
Kohl’s will be subletting space in their stores to Aldi. A great way to save time and shop for everything in one place.
Not only will you be saving money, and better afford your mortgage, but you’ll be saving time as well.
16 The product test process is intense
Aldi takes the idea of quality very seriously. In fact, their test kitchens have very strict policies. Each product is tested 30 times before it makes it in the store.
They are also re-test at least once a year as well as every time one of their competitors launches a similar product.
17 They are all about verzicht
There’s no direct English translation, but the word would mean a combination of “doing without” and “giving up.” Basically, it’s all about simplicity and thriftiness.
No employee will tell you this, as they are not allowed to talk to the media, but when a regional manager published a book that revealing Aldi’s business plan, we all learned that their philosophy is all about keeping things simple. It all boils down to setting a goal and getting rid of everything else.
18 It’s best to go on Wednesday morning
Wednesday is Aldi Finds day. As soon as the store opens, employees place seasonal products on the shelves at very advantageous prices. These can be as much patio furniture as a fresh rack of lamb. Anything is possible!
Since these products are usually in high demand, it is essential to get to Aldi early in the day, because once the quantities are sold out, they are not restocked.
19 Their website announces all their discounts
Aldi is known for its low prices every day of the year, but by visiting their website regularly, you could save even more money! Just go to their site, click on the “Weekly Specials” tab, and select your store to make sure you don’t miss out on any discounts.
That’s not all Aldi’s website can provide you with, however! Indeed, if you go to the “Corporate Info” section, you can access Aldi’s entire Corporate Responsibility Policy. This is what we call a transparent company!
20 Aldi specializes in offering private label brands
Most stores have their own private label, allowing them to offer even cheaper quality products. In this respect, Aldi is no exception, quite the contrary!
While other chains are satisfied with just one private label, Aldi has over 10, accounting for 90% of the products they sell! These include Oven Frech, Casa Mamita, Mama Cozzi, Never Any! and LiveGFree.
21 You can get money back on your purchases
Several stores do business with the Ibotta cashback application, but this is not the case with Aldi. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to get cashback while shopping there!
Aldi does business with Checkout51, a cashback application that works the same way Ibotta does. Simply download the application, save your favorite offers on your shopping list, then download a copy of your invoice to get your discount!
22 Employees can give you buying advice
Aldi’s employees work at this store, but not only! Most of them are also customers of the chain, so they know the products even better than a simple employee who is not a seasoned consumer.
As a result, no one is in a better position than the employees to advise you on the products sold at Aldi. If you are hesitating to buy something, find employees and ask them what they think!
23 Aldi gives food back to the community
As we know, food waste is a huge scourge of society. Tons of food are thrown away, especially in restaurants and grocery stores. However, Aldi is not contributing to this scourge!
The chain is in partnership with the non-profit organization Feeding America, to which it donates the leftover food that has not been sold. What a nice gesture!
24 Aldi sells several surprising products
Of course, Aldi sells basic products that we have always known and consumed, but if we take the trouble to dig a little deeper, we can also find products that we didn’t even know existed!
Indeed, one of Aldi employees’ favorite products, for example, is Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix. Did you know it existed? Did you even know that Red Lobster makes products for supermarkets? There is also a divine Funnel Cake Kit with pitcher pouring spout that is really worth knowing!
25 Forgot your reusable bags? Aldi has boxes for you!
For the good of the environment and everyone, the use of plastic bags is now banned or restricted in many places. When we go shopping, we must, therefore, remember to bring our reusable bags if we don’t want to pay extra. But what happens when we forget them?
Don’t panic! At Aldi’s, you may have noticed that empty cardboard boxes are often lying around the store. These are boxes used in past shipments and any customer in the store can take them to put their purchases in!
26 They have a new plastic bag strategy
Since February 24, 2020, Aldi has banned plastic bags from its stores. Indeed, the chain takes the environment and climate issues to heart and tries as much as possible to promote recycling and reusable bags.
It’s a trial run in 100 stores across the Midlands. Aldi will continue to offer its low cost compostable bags, but will encourage the purchase of reusable drawstring produce bags, reusable fruit and vegetable bags and flexi-loop bags for life.
27 You have to pack your groceries yourself
Unlike other grocery stores where packers put your products in your bags for you, Aldi does not offer this kind of service. You have to pack your purchases yourself.
To speed up the checkout process, most stores have a packing area where you can take as much time as you want to pack your purchases before you leave.
28 Aldi doesn’t accept manufacturers coupons
If you’re the type to look for every possible manufacturers coupon to get discounts on your purchases, give up now, or avoid shopping at Aldi. They only accept their own coupons.
Aldi wants to optimize its service at the checkout in order to reduce its customers’ waiting time and maintain a good turnover, which is why they will refuse any coupons you may present them.