more »" />

A Look Inside Aldi

by Meghann on March 11, 2014

Let’s see, where did I leave off?

Last Thursday I flew to Chicago, hung out at the Aldi Test Kitchen, and stayed up late drinking wine and playing in the snow.

floridasnowgirl

Floridian and proud, yo!

Friday I tried to sleep in, but was wide awake by 7:00am. Stupid internal alarm clock. Hmph. At least I had some time to get some work done before meeting everyone in the lobby for breakfast.

After breakfast we piled in the bus and headed to a nearby Aldi for a grocery store tour.

groupshot

Group shot: Lorraine, Sarah, Wendy, Shannyn, Bex, Jenn, Caitlin, Roni, Jennipher

I’m almost afraid to admit how much I enjoyed the Aldi tour. We spent a little more than an hour roaming the aisles and reviewing everything in the store item-by-item. I left the store not only starving (talking about food makes me hungry), but dying to grab a cart and shop. Nothing makes me more pumped about grocery shopping than talking about grocery shopping.

IMG_3577

So what did I learn? A ton.

Did you know Aldi has been in the U.S. for over 40 years? They currently operate 1,350 stores in 32 states across the U.S., with plans of opening 650 more over the next five years. They also plan to open their first warehouse in California, allowing them to expand to the west coast.

The majority of stores opened after 2003 are stand alone locations with lots of window, natural light, and high ceilings to open the space up. The store we toured in Geneva was gorgeous. Very clean and open. I wish the Aldi near me was this nice.

IMG_3559

To cut costs (and then pass those savings along to customers) Aldi focuses only on products customers purchase on a regular basis and stores are only opened during frequently shopped business hours. They do not have traditional sales, nor do they accept manufacturers coupons (coupons come with a price tag). Instead Aldi focuses on everyday low pricing, with weekly special buys. Also, Aldi does not rely on traditional advertising. They have loyal customers that bring organic growth thanks to word-of-mouth promoting.

Fun fact: most new customers come to Aldi because of the baking aisle. Low-priced spices and baking ingredients are a sure-fire way to most customer’s heart.

IMG_3586

Another fun fact: Aldi has a Double Quality Guarantee. If you purchase an item and are unhappy with it for whatever reason, you can bring the item back to refund purchase price and Aldi will replace the product.

IMG_3572

One of the more unique characteristics of Aldi are the invisible shelves.

IMG_3555

All products are shipped in ready-to-shelve packaging that can be stacked on top of each other. The boxes are also color coded, so each item can stand out.

IMG_3558

(Awesome chips, by the way.)

In traditional grocery stores, items are placed on the shelf one item at a time. As you can imagine, this becomes a time and labor intensive project. Thanks to the invisible shelf concept, it takes half the time to stock an Aldi store. All they need to do is open the box and stack.

Also, check out the numerous UPC codes on Aldi products.

IMG_3556

Aldi products typically have 5 UPC codes. The numerous UPC options per package is just another example of how Aldi saves time. There’s more than one way to scan a product, so cashiers can quickly work their way through a customer’s order.

Cashiers are also trained to scan items quickly to prevent the build-up of lines. Working off the cart of the person in front of you, putting groceries directly in the cart instead of in bags, multiple UPC codes options, etc. – all time savers! With a quicker process of getting customers through lines, Aldi requires less cash registers and employees (saving them money and passing those savings on to the customers).

IMG_3599

Because Aldi locations require less associates than your typical grocery store, they have a reputation of starting employees out at significantly higher than minimum wage. Aldi also offers benefits to employees who work 20+ hours. When a new locations opens, thousands will line up at the in-store job fair, hoping to break into the Aldi family.

IMG_3602

Now for the run down:

· Aldi corporate has been tasked with improving nutritional values in Aldi exclusive products. They are currently working on removing HFCS from products.

· As of January, organic produce is now available in all stores. Selections is dependent on region.

IMG_3617

· Aldi is currently testing the market with organic meat. Mark your calendars! Organic grass fed beef will be a special buy at all Aldi location on March 26th . Quantities are limited and this is a popular item (aka go early because they sell out fast).

· Look for Gluten Free and Organic shelf tags, Aldi is slowly rolling those out. You can also check packages for Gluten Free labels.

IMG_3605

 Are you on Aldi overload yet? 😉 

Truth: I was so pumped after the tour, that I went straight to Aldi on Saturday morning to stock up on pantry essentials for the week. I was so excited to try new products that I ended up spending more than our usual weekly bill – whoops. Just goes to show ya that even when you’re saving on regular items, it’s still easy to pile the cart high with random items and overspend.

I had a blast with the Aldi crowd last week and look forward to watching the supermarket chain continue to grow, grow, and grow!

What’s your favorite part of a grocery store?  

This post was sponsored by Aldi. All opinions are my own. 

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jojo @ RunFastEatLots March 11, 2014 at 10:57 pm

My fave part of a grocery store is the bakery and the alcohol section (especially at Whole Foods)
Jojo @ RunFastEatLots recently posted..Weekly Goals and ENERGYbits Giveaway Winner

Reply

2 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 11, 2014 at 11:31 pm

I love the fresh produce section. Hands down my favorite!
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..15 Links That Will Help Make You a Better Runner

Reply

3 Danielle @ It's a Harleyyy Life March 12, 2014 at 6:31 am

I love this store for its baking aisle like you said! You can’t beat the prices for the spices! (hey that rhymed)
Danielle @ It’s a Harleyyy Life recently posted..WIAW 3.12.14

Reply

4 Nikki March 12, 2014 at 9:26 am

I love Aldi too. I go to both Aldi and my normal grocery store once a week.

Reply

5 Lesley March 12, 2014 at 9:42 am

This makes me want to check out my nearest Aldi store. It’s near my old apartment but not far from my current home.
Lesley recently posted..In a Dragon Mood

Reply

6 Jessica @ pugrunaholic March 12, 2014 at 10:46 am

I love aldi’s! I haven’t been there in a while though. I wish ours was this nice!
Jessica @ pugrunaholic recently posted..Day 2: WW

Reply

7 Amanda March 12, 2014 at 11:16 am

We only recently got an Aldi store here and I haven’t checked it out yet. After reading your post I’m thinking I need to stop by soon!
Amanda recently posted..{Makeup} Berry Lips and Strawberry cheeks

Reply

8 Alaina March 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I just recently went to the Aldi close to where I live and it is definitely not as nice as the one you visited. But after seeing all of these posts about the company, I think I’ll shop there more often now. 🙂

Reply

9 Melissa March 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Aldi is one of my favorite grocery stores! I’ve been shopping there for years and they always have the best deals and quality on produce, baking items and other special deals. It is my go-to store, without a doubt!

Reply

10 Lesley Moore March 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I used to love shopping at Aldi. But to be honest, we stopped buying meat there once we read and saw news reports that their beef contained horse meat. Was this addressed at all while you were there? I would hope that this was a rumor. Or if it was true it was quickly fixed. I’m just curious if there is any truth to it and if it is something they practice. I will continue to buy other groceries there but I just cannot buy the meat until I know that it doesn’t come from a horse!

Reply

11 Elyse March 12, 2014 at 12:42 pm

This was only for the European stores that the beef contained horse meet.

Reply

12 Jodi March 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm

The first time I went to an Aldi was in Iowa! I live in the Caribbean (I’ve got island fever) and was really impressed with the packaging and the prices. It was a grocery experience to remember because I had never seen anything like it. Would love to go back and plan to do so when I visit the US again.

Reply

13 Steph March 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Which Aldi do you go to? We hit the one on Bearrs/Florida. It’s much, much better than the one on Hillsborough Avenue. There’s also one on Fowler near the Target by USF which is ok, but the Florida avenue one I’ve found to be the best near me. Love Aldi!
Steph recently posted..Cherry cheesecake bars

Reply

14 Betsy March 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm

All of your Aldi posts are making me so excited that I’m finally moving within walking distance of one next month! I can’t wait to see how much money I save shopping there.

Reply

15 joelle (on a pink typewriter) March 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm

I love grocery shopping too! I’d never heard of Aldi til you mentioned it here! Guess we don’t have any open in SoCal.
joelle (on a pink typewriter) recently posted..Running Through Pain

Reply

16 Runner Girl Eats March 12, 2014 at 8:12 pm

I love the simplistic concept of Aldi. Straight and to the point!
Runner Girl Eats recently posted..“Everything is so perfect, I feel like I am in a dream.”

Reply

17 Anna-Marie @BeautyandtheBeets March 13, 2014 at 8:34 am

Maybe our Aldi stores in Orlando are owned by a different group? Every Aldi here I have been to do not offer organic anything. They also smell bad, have roaches crawling across the floor amongest shoppers, have flies flying around your head and the produce is mostly rotting. Honestly, I went to one and was disgusted. Went to another thinking it was an isolated event, then went to a third thinking there is no way this place is that bad. Maybe, just maybe, the Orlando stores are not a part of the same Aldi you were at? I would shop at Winn Dixie or even Walmart before I would ever step foot into an Aldi in the Orlando area again.
Anna-Marie @BeautyandtheBeets recently posted..Having a Berry Good Time

Reply

18 [email protected] March 13, 2014 at 9:26 am

We don’t have Aldi here but my favorite part of grocery stores is the section with hummus, salsa, and other fresh goodies!
[email protected] recently posted..New Blog, New Month, New Goals

Reply

19 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} March 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

Loving these posts! My a huge Aldi shopper I am so glad they are getting this light! I love the produce department of any store, and checking out all the fresh foods and bright colors!
Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} recently posted..ASICS + Life + Food {TTT}

Reply

20 Ashley March 13, 2014 at 3:36 pm

I love every part of grocery shopping. So glad I’m not the only weirdo that loves it 🙂

Reply

21 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner March 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Yesterday, my husband and I made our monthly grocery store trip(s). First, we went to Aldi, where we filled our cart to the brim for $140.00. Then we stopped at a local grocery store afterwards for everything we missed. One basket: $70. It really is amazing how much money we save when we go to Aldi first for things like pretzels, cheese, baking supplies, and canned goods. They keep getting better!
Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner recently posted..Sandwich Week

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: