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Aldi Grocery Stores something odd

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posted on Mar, 4 2018 @ 10:03 PM
Like I suggested earlier its very possible Aldi's is fine but my trashed and confused American palate notices it's different. We have been known to have peculiar tastes the rest of the world doesn't understand...pretty sure are additives,preservatives sodium,dyes and sugars are over the top compared to the rest of the civilized world. Will obviously have to read the labels and compare.

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 12:48 AM
Maybe I can shed some light on the ALDI issue, since I live near the companies HQs and family estates and have watched the Aldi story unfold for many 10s of years.

And - believe me - in the 70s, Aldi was here also seen as a company offering wares for low income people, and the middle class even felt shame to be seen shopping at Aldi. Today though, it is not uncommon to see even luxury class cars on the Aldi parking spaces.
Over here, too, people claimed that Aldi sold bad wares, because they tought only bad products can be sold at low prices. However, as it turned out over the years, Aldi wares usually are of top quality.
Of course, you cannot buy EVERYTHING at Aldi, some wares are exceptional good, others are quite average and people who have this or that special taste might find not find there what they are looking for. But - there are, after all, many supermarket companies and Aldi is just one of them. I buy something with Aldi, something with Lidl (another big german contender in the discount segment who also starts to branch out worldwide), something in other supermarkets and something in others stores.
Aldi can be a one-for-all shopping stop, but for most people, it is just one of several.

ALDI (= ALbrecht DIskont) comes from the town of Essen in Germany and is run by the founding family (no stock company!) Albrecht since 1913. In 1961, the two brothers who ran the company, split the company because they had different views on business (one, for example, did not want to sell cigarettes in the stores, and so on).

So, they divided Germany - and the whole world for that matter - into two parts, known as the "Aldi Nord" (North) and the "ALDI Süd" (South) region. The USA, UK, Australia and China are all, for example, Aldi-Süd countries, while France, Italy and Spain are Aldi-Nord countries. As exeptions, Germany had both, in the north is Aldi Nord and in the South is Aldi Süd located, and the US also has both, with Aldi-Nord being run as Trader Joe's.

Both companies have their headquarters about 20 miles form each other and both families live close to each other, so strategic decisions are still made, despite different approaches, by their common interest. Both families and companies are not known for any exceedances or scandals and none of them is affiliated to any political or economic group - or known to be influenced by those. The family as a whole belongs to the richest people in Germany. The employees of the companies are paid fairly well and being treated fairly well. Both companies counted together are the biggest supermarket company in Germany.

Their business model has been - and is - a high turnaround, with wares being ideally sold as soon as they arrive, thus reducing costs for storage. Also, they favored wares being sold out of the boxes rather than being placed nicely in shelves, reducing costs for shelve-stuffers and equipment. in the recent years, they gradually upgraped their stores to normal shelf-like stores, though.
As a result of this philisophy, they usually carry only 1 type of ware - 1 type of salt, 1 type of sugar, and so on - and this one type of product usually does exactly what it is supposed to do. In addition, they usually do not sell any brand wares, intead, they used "self brands", so to say a brand that is only sold with Aldi and nowhere else. Recently, though, they have added a few brand names to their offers, but sometimes only for a limited time period in which they are sold to very low prices.

Their wares are constantly tested by the independent German consumers association and come up, for both companies, for tens of years, usually in the top group of quality (and price) of all non and brand wares sold in Germany. They policy on returns is very consumer friendly with damaged wares being replaced right away and with no questions asked.

The secret behind the (no) brand names is that Aldi usually orders large quantities with the brand names and has the wares produced in their factories, just being labelled as Aldi brand. In this way, the brand producers can sell off easily over capacities and also increase theirsales - under a different name that will not damage their "high price" brand. Aldi also owns own factories thorughout the world, though. Well known is, for example, is the "Medion" line of electronics, Medion is an Aldi-owned company whose wares are usually only sold in Aldi stores. In Germany, Aldi also runs a prepaid telephone card company, called "Aldi Talk" where Aldi buys capacities of one of the big telco companies and resells it under the Alditalk name (at very competitive rates, of course).

Now, with the business philosophy known, there needs to be one things added - and this is the claim of "nobody undercuts Aldi prices". This can (and has) lead to Aldi effectively selling at prices at least equal to any competitor, sometimes they sell wares for less than they paid for - just to stay the supermaket with the lowest price.

It has also to be added that Aldi grew up and acts in the fiercest food market of the world, Germany, and is used to cut throat prices. In Germany, supermarkets operate at profit rates of sometimes 2% and less. Which is the reason why even Walmart, who tried to get a foot into the Germany market failed epically and left after just a few years stating that they "cannot compete here".

One of the Aldi brothers died a few years ago and his heirs seem to fancy a more close relationsship of the companies, Aldi also upgraded their stores and offers now even a large variety of "Bio" products. While the stores of Aldi Nord looked for many years "simpler" and more basic than those of Aldi South, they took now a leap forward and the recently opened/upgraded stores are quite nice.

A few remarks at the end:

In Germany, all shopping carts everywhere are chained together and you have to put in a coin (or special token) to get one. This is NOT because people like to live in or steal carts, in fact, this is unknown of in Germany - but to save costs for people herding the carts and make sure that the customers place the cart back where he took it from. It also saves from runaway carts who head for parked cars...

In Germany, it is also absolute normal that you bring your own shopping bag - you can, however, buy shopping bags in the shops as well. Plastic bags are meanwhile (nearly) forbidden to sell, and paper bags ... well, they usually last one shopping trip if at all, but cotton bags can be re-used oevr and over again. And yes, you stuff your bags by yoursef in the shops. I remember having had a fight once when I was shopping in an US supermarket and I started after the counter to quickly put the things into my bag and was then told that this is forbidden and a person has to put them into paper bags first. I never felt more alien in my life any where in the world...

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 01:18 AM
a reply to: carport
A few things to be added:

1) All supermakrkets use the same locking system, so when you have one token (you can get them for free at the counter), you can use this one with every cart of every supermarket. Most people have one of those in their car.
In Germany, you can use also coins of 1, 2 and 1/2 Euro (1,25$, 2,5$ and 0.6$) - at these rates, nobody leaves their carts "unchecked-out", hehe.

2) Aldi does mostly not use worldwide logistics - so the wares you can buy at an Aldi store are mostly from the same region, so to say "produced locally/nationally". Aldi also accustoms to country-tastes, so they do not push german-tastes to the UK or vice versa, unless they have specific "country weeks" where they sell wares from or produced for other countries.

3) In some stores, Aldi and others) will sell fresh food for considerably lower prices about 1-2 hours before closing, thus reducing waste and costs for emptying the shelves .

4) As I have lined out, Aldi stores are in the prcess of being upgraded. The new stores, at least in Germany, have all fresh (and local) vegetables and a "Bio" section and bright lighting in the store.

5) One funny thing ... the attendants at checkout with ALDI were known to be the fastests in Germany, a lot faster than the ones from the competitors. Before they used "scanners", they typed in everything by hand - equally fast as the scanners today, it was quite amazing to watch them (no doubt they were well trained).

6) Aldi keeps, in Germany at least, the use of irregular workers at a minimum. They have almost no (low paid) part-time employees (eg. for stuffing shelves or counters), but favour regular eymployment.

edit on 5-3-2018 by carport because: correction

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 01:21 AM
a reply to: carport

One has just opened near me and they had 20k applicants for around 90 jobs, they pay much better than any other supermarket.
Explains a lot your post on the local suppliers guess thats why our Aldis have decent food and the American ones don't.

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 01:32 AM
a reply to: testingtesting

Well, Aldi is known to react very fast to complaints. So, when the food quality is really (objectively) not ok, they will replace the producer by another one within days.

I am also not sure whether Aldi will run the risk of offering bad food (not withstanding different tastes), because consumer associations and competitors will check Aldi closely. So far, I have not heard about any real, deliberate, "scandal".

BTW - Was it the US or the UK where I heard "We do have many types of cheese ... all being named Cheddar"?

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 01:39 AM
a reply to: carport

They win lots of awards here in the UK also.

Britain's fave supermarket according to which?.

Oh and without a doubt I bet the Cheddar comment was in Yorkshire.

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 09:36 AM
a reply to: carport

Your speed of checkout observation holds true here in the US.
Aldi is one of the only grocery store chains where a customer will offer a person that has only a few items the opportunity to cut in line in front of them. I have had people let me do it, and I have let people do it.
That seldom ever happens at other chains.

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 12:23 PM
a reply to: butcherguy

In stores like Aldi where cashiers are quick and there are no self checkout lanes I would let someone with just a few items go in front. If I am at a regular grocery and there are tons of self or even minimum check out lanes, and I am in a regular one I wouldn't let someone cut as they have several other options.

To all the people that live in Europe, I think in general the food there is better. I grew up there and I really don't think you can compare Aldi US to Aldi or Lidl Europe. To really understand what I mean in my post you have to live here, have had shopped at regular grocery stores, cooked with it, and then do the same with Aldi. My suspicion is that you would definitely feel there is a difference in the food.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 08:50 PM
We did years ago..So we started going to another low priced place called save a lot..been going there for about 15 years now and no troubles...fresh meats and never again no troubles with the place...

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