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Learning the ALDI Secrets

I’m back with one last ALDI post to wrap up this series. I have learned SO much through this short term ambassadorship with ALDI. I’ve gone from being fairly unfamiliar with the brand and the benefits of being an ALDI shopper to understanding their unique operating procedures and the method behind their customer service experience and becoming a brand advocate. I can honestly say that I will be adding ALDI to my list of frequently visited stores and I already have a list going for all the things I want to pick up on my next trip.

Here are the links to the other posts in this series so that everything is in one place.

Shopping and Saving at ALDI
ALDI Shopping Haul and Side-By-Side Cost Comparison
An Afternoon in the ALDI Kitchen
ALDI Smoothie Challenge & Tons of Recipes

And that brings us to today. The last activity that we did on our visit to the ALDI headquarters was tour a local ALDI store to learn about the operational efficiencies that allow them to beat conventional grocery stores in pricing by a landslide. This tour was extremely educational and made me truly appreciate how smart and forward thinking ALDI is as a company.

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The store that we toured was located in Geneva, Illinois, just a few miles away from their corporate headquarters in Batavia. I was immediately drawn to it’s spacious layout featuring clean design and abundant natural light. One of my first comments was, “My local ALDI looks nothing like this!” I learned that all ALDI stores built after 2003 feature this type of layout but the older stores are smaller and more compact.

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You’ll notice that most of the items on display at ALDI are stacked boxes whenever possible and no shelves. This allows them MEGA operational efficiencies in that they don’t have people stocking shelves for hours upon end. It takes an average of 5-6 hours to stock and entire ALDI store. The boxes are designed to compliment the product packaging so that the aisles look neat, organized and aesthetically pleasing despite the fact that they consist of a lot of stacked cardboard boxes.

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Another simple efficiency that ALDI features is multiple UPCs on their packaging. The average item contains five bar codes. This means faster check out times because cashiers don’t have to search for bar codes.

ALDI Hosts Blogger Tour of Geneva, Illinois Store

As I mentioned in my first ALDI post, 90 percent of the brands featured at ALDI are private label. And if you’re wondering who makes the private label brands for ALDI, it’s the SAME food manufacturers that make other grocery store private label brands as well as the national brands. And as far as country of origin, if the product does not state on the label the country where it was made, it was made in the USA.

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ALDI is so confident in the products they offer their customers that they offer a double backed guarantee. If a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with an ALDI food product, they will replace the product and refund the purchase price.

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Each store features a “special buys” section with 20-30 food and non-food products that are offered at a great value. These products change weekly and can include anything from kitchen appliances to workout gear to seasonal food items to outdoor furniture.

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Lack of organic meat and eggs was a concern of mine in shopping at ALDI but I did learn that they are featuring organic chicken and grass fed beef as Special Buy items on a routine basis. Once a Special Buy becomes popular enough, they will consider adding it to their regular line. (Word to the wise…the next Special Buy on grass fed beef will be March 26 so mark your calendar!)

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The produce selection in this store was especially nice.

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With some killer deals on weekly produce picks including $0.99 cantaloupe, $1.29 pineapples, $1.49 asparagus and $0.99 tomatoes on the vine.

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ALDI is working on the in-store tagging and labeling of their food. In the next year they will have key nutritional data on the front of all private label products and in the next few months they will have shelf tags for all organic and gluten-free items so that they are easier to identify when shopping.

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Check out at ALDI is quick and painless. You have to bring your own bags or pay for them and they do not accept credit cards due to fees. They also do not accept coupons because there is always a cost associated with these programs that the store has to pass to consumers in another way. Also, while you’re shopping you’ll notice that there is no music. This is so that they don’t pay licensing fees (which are actually really expensive). They are serious about being as efficient as possible.

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At the end of our tour we gathered for a group picture and were sent on our way with a snack box for our travel home.

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I truly enjoyed my this experience working with ALDI and meeting nine other wonderful and inspiring bloggers.

Check out:

ALDI is currently on an aggressive growth plan and adding 650 stores in the next five years…including the West coast for those of you who asked…so look out for an ALDI near you!

This post is sponsored by ALDI as part of my ALDI Fresh Blog Ambassador partnership. 

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 17, 2014, 3:22 pm

    I will admit we have an Aldi here but I have only been once. I really need to take the time and check it out a bit more! It looks like I could find some great deals!

    • 2
      B DeVries January 13, 2016, 1:50 pm

      You’ll save as much time as money~I can get through every aisle and my entire shopping list at Aldi in the time it takes me to get one or two items at a “super” grocery store. Just looking at all the brands/sizes/sales in other stores in order to get the best price drives me crazy!

  • 3
    Lee March 17, 2014, 4:45 pm

    Do they take debit cards?

    • 4
      Jeff April 17, 2014, 9:58 pm

      You bet they do – no credit cards, only debit cards, EBT cards, and CASH!

  • 5
    Jojo @ RunFastEatLots March 17, 2014, 5:43 pm

    This series has been really interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing!

  • 6
    Kim @ FITsique March 17, 2014, 7:20 pm

    You keep giving me more and more reasons to try Aldi out!!! I had no idea they had the variety of products that they do!

  • 7
    Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily March 17, 2014, 7:58 pm

    Wow. If the Aldi near us was that nice, I would actually shop at it!

  • 8
    Rebekah March 17, 2014, 8:20 pm

    I wish I had an Aldi near me!

  • 9
    A. March 18, 2014, 6:29 am

    I know it is a contract, but you’re squeezing a bit the lemon with the Aldi’ posts, if I may say…

  • 10
    Brittany March 18, 2014, 8:41 am

    So, question not related to your post…I was going through the workouts you’ve posted for some inspiration, and saw that you are really good at push ups! Do you have any tips for working up to doing push ups on your toes?? I feel like coming back up is the hardest part for me, and I’m not sure if it’s a mental, coordination, or strength issue.

  • 11
    Laura March 18, 2014, 1:03 pm

    My grandmother has been an Aldi shopper for YEARS. She’s always been very frugal but as a nurse, also health-conscious. Now I understand why those 2 things aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive when it comes to shopping at Aldi’s.

  • 12
    Luke September 8, 2015, 5:10 pm

    As I type this, I’m drinking a glass of Aldi milk. They’re constantly adding more organic and gluten free items and truly stand by all of their products. My wife and I plan our meals, and always head to Aldi first. We eat very well, and buying all we can at Aldi saves us an average of $200.00 a month for a family of 3. Yes. That much!!

  • 13
    Felicia January 7, 2016, 5:47 pm

    I am CRAZY about the Specially Selected Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce. Is there a way to find out who the supplier is? I know they supply to other chains as well.

  • 14
    Simon March 4, 2016, 7:44 am

    I found your posts by searching online for who makes Aldi brand foods. My wife & I have been shopping at Aldi for the last decade (when they first started showing up in NC). One thing I have noticed over the years is they have really started to branch out on their products. Everything used to be very basic staple items. Now there are specialty chips, spreads, and even organic items being added. The only complaint I have is the fresh meats are a bit on the high side, but the frozen meats are cheap. Still, the only place I can get a cart full for a hundred bucks these days, and the food is just as good (sometimes even better than) the national brands!

    • 15
      Connie April 29, 2016, 11:43 am

      Like you I do a lot of shopping at Aldi’s, I’d say at least 95% of my groceries come from there. But also like you I find their fresh meat to be a little too expensive. I have a small freezer and we do have one grocery store chain here in Kalamazoo that has these crazy meat sales every couple of months, buy two packages and get three free! These aren’t small packages either, they’re family size and it covers everything from bacon and sausage to steaks, roasts and chicken. When they have that sale I stock my freezer full and continue to buy everything else from Aldi.

  • 16
    Emily Holdorf October 27, 2016, 12:02 pm

    I’m a nutrition/food blogger & would love to partner with a great store, such as Aldi! How did you go about doing so?

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