For your information, Aldi doesn’t have anything to do with Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. In fact, the German grocery wasn’t always known as a good store. There was even a time when they were thought to have been offering lower quality products because they were cheaper. However, Aldi has improved a lot and has changed its image. For a lot of Americans, Aldi’s is currently the best place to shop for groceries. Here, we have a list of what you should be buying at this underrated store. Are you prepared to learn of what this famous store has been hiding?
The Boxes Are There For A Good Reason
Have you realized that Aldi’s aisles give off a Costco vibe? Well, you shouldn’t be fooled as the boxes on the shelves aren’t because of the laziness of the employees. Rather they focus on optimizing productivity instead of spending a lot of money on presentation. This is definitely a good thing as there are instances when simplicity and efficiency do the trick. Next time you take a look at the aisles in Aldi remember that the layout is saving you a couple of dollars.
The Keep The Staff To A Minimum
There are a few reasons as to why Aldi is capable of keeping their prices low. One of which would be the fact that they leave the boxes on the shelves so that they wouldn’t prevent more staff than necessary and by doing so, they could offer products at a lower price. The time it takes for an Aldi staff to open the box and place them on the shelves is far shorter than how employees of other groceries would do so.
This Does Not Make Things Easier For The Employees
This isn’t always a good thing though as you could notice that their employees are usually stressed. By keeping their staff number at a low number, the employees have a lot of work to do yet less time to finish them. They are definitely under more pressure than the average grocery store worker. Regardless, former Aldi employees have mentioned that Aldi has provided necessary and fair compensation, as well as great opportunities and benefits that are not available in other stores.
Everything Was Arranged To Make Checkout As Easy As Possible
Aldi is set up in a way that you can get in and come out and leave as soon as possible. Unlike other groceries, Aldi lets their customers to finish their shopping as fast as they could by using various efficient practices such as adding multiple barcodes and installing conveyor belts with just the right length. If there is one thing that Aldi is specializing in, it would be their focus on cost efficiency.
It Might Be Cheap But Not As Cheap As You Think
Aldi is famous for their grocery items that are a bit cheaper compared to their competitors. Although Aldi offers more affordable products compared to their competitors, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are as cheap as they make you think. The grocery has branded their entire store with lingo that pertains to saving, low prices, etc. making you think that you are actually saving, and for that, we applaud their marketing team.
The Reason They Charge Customers A Deposit For The Carts
This may be a bit weird if it is your first-time shopping in Aldi, but this is actually an amazing idea as it forces the customers to bring the cart back to where they brought it. After all, this would help lessen the burden that their employees have less stuff to deal with, helping them focus on the other tasks that have been appointed to them. This indeed saves money, but the problem is that it is not yours!
They Have An Impressive Return Policy
Unlike what other grocery stores usually offer, Aldi offers double guarantee instead of the typical money-back guarantee. What does it mean? Well, it means that if you bought a product from them and you did not like it, you can return it to the store and not only will they replace the item, they would also reimburse you! This is good as it shows you how much they are confident with the quality that they are assuring you.
They Are Not Open Twenty-Four Hours A Day
Unlike most American stores, Aldi isn’t open 24/7, as this store is all about cost efficiency. They aren’t making any profit by opening at 2 AM in the morning as there aren’t customers around, so why should they bother opening their store at this time? This is why the store is only available during 9AM until 8 to 9 PM. Which means, college students can’t work midnight shifts over there.
The Company Has Won A Lot Of Awards
Contrary to what most people believe, grocery stores that offer low prices doesn’t necessarily mean that their quality is lower than the standard. In fact, Aldi has even won awards in the past! The store placed second during the International Wine Challenge for rose wines during a blind taste test. They have also won other awards from the International Spirits Challenge, as well as earning 25 medals during the Grocer Food and Drink Own Label Awards.
They Deliver In Some Cities
In some cities, you have your purchases delivered to you! The chain initially started their delivery services in Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Their clients could buy their groceries through the use of Instacart and would only have to wait for their groceries at their front steps! This is ideal if you are busy and can’t afford to waste any time. There are even rumors that the service will also be available in more cities.
The Controversy Surround Their Bread Machines
Around November 2010, Aldi stores in Germany started to rely on “technological innovation” to offer freshly baked made-to-order bread in only a few seconds. They also introduced baking machines in their stores, which the German Bakers’ Confederation did not approve of, which led to a court battle with the Aldi counsel denying the right to have the machines and dough inspected.
There Are Two Aldis In Germany
Are you aware that Aldi is divided in to two corporations? During the ‘60s, the founders of the company had clashing ideas with selling cigarettes. In an effort to end the dispute between them, they decided to split the company for each of them. The blue and white logo is for Nord, while the fancy looking orange and blue one is for Süd. That explains why there are two different Aldi in Germany.
Aldi Products Do Not Have Questionable Ingredients
Aldi’s products removed various questionable ingredients from all name brand products. The ingredients that have been removed are as follows: hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, and MSG. This is certainly good news for all of us especially for those who are a bit concerned with what they are intaking.
The Truth About Trader’s Joe
Aldi Süd operates under the “Aldi” name in the United States. But did you know that Aldi Nord also operates in America? The Aldi Nord in America is actually Trader Joe’s, which might come a bit surprising for some people to hear. Trader Joe’s is the Americanized version of the German grocery chain, and is currently managed by businessman Theo Albrecht, the manager for Aldi Nord. This explains the lack of advertising and the emphasis on private labeling!
You Can Now Buy Your Groceries At Kohl’s
Did you know that you would be able to buy Aldi from Kohl’s? As it turns out, Kohl’s is planning to lease some of their store space to Aldi, which means, you can now buy everything that you are looking for in one place. Not only will this save you money, but your time as well!
They Have A Rigorous Testing Process
Aldi is very serious about the quality of their items. As a matter of fact, the test kitchens have strict policies. Every product has been tested 30 times before it gets to the store. On top of that, they also re-test them at least once every year and once more whenever a competitor launches a similar item.
Verzicht Is Their Philosophy
The company’s philosophy is “verzicht” which doesn’t have a direct English translation. The word is a combination of “giving up” and “doing without” which symbolizes the company’s thriftiness and simplicity. However, the employees wouldn’t tell you this as they aren’t allowed to speak to the media. We know of this thanks to a regional manager who revealed the company’s business plan in a book. The key is to set a goal and forget the rest!
The Best Time To Shop Is Wednesday Morning
The store holds Aldi Finds day during Wednesday. By the time they open their doors, employees will place seasonal products on the shelves at amazing prices. This includes everything from patio furniture to a fresh rack of lamb! Typically, their products are in high demand, which is why it is advisable for you to head there as early as you could as the quantities are limited. You can buy literally anything if you visit the store on this day.
You Can Look Out For Discounts On The Website
As we have previously mentioned, the store is known for their low prices, but not a lot of people know that you can save even more money by regularly visiting their website! All you have to do is head to the site, click on “Weekly Specials”, and choose a store. By doing so, you can be assured that you would not miss out on any discounts without having to visit the store yourself.
Aldi Has A Lot Of Private Label Brands
Most stores have their private label that allows them to offer high-quality products at a cheaper price. Aldi is not an exception to this. While a lot of chains are satisfied with having only a single private label, Aldi has over 10. Their inhouse products account for 90% of their products. Some of their lines are L’oven Fresh, Mama Cozzi, LiveGFree, and Casa Mamita. Which is why they could offer a lot of products for low prices.
How To Get Your Money Back
Some stores are associated with the cashback app called Ibotta, while Aldi doesn’t use it. Regardless, you can still get cashback when you visit one of their stores. The chain is linked to Checkout51, a cashback application that does exactly what Ibotta does. All you need to do is install the app, save the offers on your grocery list, and download the invoice to avail of discounts. Pretty neat right?
Ask The Employees For Advice
You could ask Aldi employees for help as their employees prefer to shop at the store as well! Because they are also patrons of the grocery chain, they know the products like the back of their hands. Therefore, they are the people who you should go to when looking for advice as to what you should buy and avoid at the store. If you aren’t sure about a purchase, don’t hesitate to approach an employee for their opinion.
Aldi Does Not Support Food Waste
We are all aware that one of the biggest societal tragedies would be food waste. A lot of grocery stores and restaurants would usually throw away food. However, Aldi does not approve of this. Instead, the chain has partnered with a non-profit organization called Feeding America. Whenever they have leftover food that they failed to sell, they would instead give it to the charity. Let’s hope that other groceries would do the same thing too.
You Will Find Surprising Products On The Shelves
Aldi offers a lot of basic products that most of us have known and used for a long time. If you look carefully at their selection, you could also find items that you didn’t even know existed! The Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix is one example of that! But for some reason, their employees love this product so much. We will be honest with you and admit that we had no idea that Red Lobster even made supermarket products.
You Can Use Their Boxes In Lieu Of Shopping Bags
Have you realized that a lot of places and establishments began banning and restricting the use of plastic bags? This has been implemented to help protect the environment. Which is why people are advised to bring reusable bags instead! But there would also be times when you would forget about them and accidentally leave them. Thankfully, you could use Aldi’s empty cardboard boxes around the store as a substitute! Keep reading to find out what you never knew about your favorite brother-company, Trader Joe’s!
Free Samples Of Everything Are Available
If you wish to try or sample a product that they aren’t offering samples of on that very day, you could ask a Trader Joe’s employee for their advice and recommendation! They might open a box for you and allow you to sample the product right then and there!
They Do Not Use A PA System
Instead of using a PA system, Trader Joe’s use a bell system in their stores with the number of bells signifying what needs to be done. One bell means a new register needs to be opened, two means there is a question at checkout, and three is to call for a manager. According to them, using a PA system doesn’t fit their vibe and brand, “Those blustery PA systems just didn’t feel right to us.”
Products Are Constantly Coming And Going
Did you know that Trader Joe’s receives new products on a weekly basis? With new stuff coming in so often they are quick to cut products where necessary. However, this also means that you may not be able to find various items for a whole year because of seasonal issues.
You Can Return Something You Do Not Like
If you ever purchase any product from them and was quite unsatisfied, or if you were not fond of the food product that you bought, you could easily return it to the nearest Trader Joe’s store. They would be happy to refund you without asking anything about the product. This is definitely a customer service trait that all grocery chains should adopt.
90% Of Their Products Are Store-Brand
Trader Joe’s is able to keep their costs low because the majority of their stocks are of their own brand. However, even if it is their own brand, they still regularly check the quality of their own items. Your staple items will certainly be cheaper than at just a regular supermarket. So, if you are looking to buy a certain product but you don’t have much with you, you know where to go.
Private Label Products Are Free Of All The Bad Stuff
Just like their sister company, Trader Joe’s private label products also rid themselves of artificial ingredients such as GMO’s, MSG, artificial flavoring, preservatives, added colors, or trans fats. Their products all go through a series of taste testers to make sure that their food is both healthy and the best for their consumers.
Most Popular Item: Mandarin Orange Chicken
This year’s Customer Choice Awards winner is actually Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken. In order to find the winner, consumers were surveyed, and this was an absolute all-round favorite. The runners-up also had tough competition, such as cookie butter, men’s cheese, and more.
No Coupons Available
Unlike most grocery stores, Trader Joe’s doesn’t use any coupon as they really can’t afford to lower their prices any further. After all, their prices are already low enough for people to be able to buy easily. The company works hard to provide the highest quality product in the lowest price possible, which is why membership rewards as well as coupons would do nothing but put them at a loss.
They Treat Their Employees Super Well
The company also pays and treats their employees with high regard! It is rare to see an unhappy employee in Trader Joe’s because of how the company is treating them. Their part-time workers are usually paid for around $20 an hour while still receiving full benefits. While managers have been said to earn around $130,000 annually.
Any Waste Is Donated Locally
Just like their sister company, they also do not throw away their food items that are about to expire as well as those that have not been managed and sold. These items will be taken off the shelves and would be donated to various charities. The store donates their excess food locally, and even donated a total of $341 million to local food banks and projects in the year 2016.
Staff Shirts Actually Have A Meaning
Employees of Trader Joe’s wear different shirts for a reason. The shirts are a symbol of the positions of the employees. Those who wear solid-colored t-shirts are the ones who are called as “crew members” while managers and higher-level employees all wear the button-down Hawaiian shirts. This is a good way to let the customers be able to distinguish who they are supposed to look for when they are in need of something.
There Are Rewards On Offer For Bringing Your Own Bag
Just like other big companies, Trader Joe’s is also doing their part in cutting their carbon footprint. One way that they are doing this by reducing the number of plastic bags used. You could qualify to sign up and win a $25 gift card if you shop at Trader Joe’s with a reusable bag. This would really motivate their customers to use reusable bags instead of opting for plastic ones.
Each Location Has An Artist On Staff
The company really invests in their appearance and marketing tactics. Trader Joe’s employs an artist that would always be in-house and is available to change up the décor and boards whenever it is needed. This is also why their murals are rooted locally and explains why they look fresh. We hope that other grocery stores would also adopt this idea as this is a very beautiful addition to any stores.
There Triple Ginger Snap Cookies Are A Favorite
If you ask anyone what they love to buy at Trader Joe’s, you can be sure that they would tell you all about Trader Joe’s cookies. These cookies have been the store’s best-seller for a lot of years as everyone simply can never get enough of it. These cookies aren’t seasonal nor unpopular, which is why you can expect to get them every time you head there. The sweet treat is loved by all.
They Only Buy From Manufacturers or Growers, Not Distributors or Middlemen
Trader Joe’s do not get their products through a middleman, instead, they would but the product directly from its manufacturers. Anyone could be a vendor at Trader Joe’s, but just because everyone could do so does not mean that it is going to be easy. The requirements are difficult and if you want your products to be stocked in their stores, they must be top-class. They truly value how and where their products came from.