What is the lure of Aldi's Market?

Ok, they have an efficient 25 cent per shopping cart system that seems to work. A bring your own shopping bag rule that saves the planet. They carry a ‘Berrman’s’ instead of ‘Hellman’s’ mayo facsimile and line of obscure chicken ‘Wyngz’ that makes me chuckle. Prices for some items I know are cheap.
Visited an Aldi’s for the first time in CT. Was not impressed with the drab atmosphere, their ‘private label’ products, or the unappealing produce section. What am I missing?

Of the two German discounters, we always find more to buy in Lidl. Aldi is OK but only OK

The appeal of both, of course, is price. You need to go along with an open mind to the lookalike branding. Mrs H reckons there’s real bargains to be found on the wine shelves.

Not a place to do the full week’s shopping, IMO.

You go there for the essentials. There are people who eat mostly the same standard foods all the time and also buy cheaper non-food products. Shops like Aldi are for those people as price-quality ratio is good.

I think your first four sentences answer your own question. I’m not sure the atmosphere is much of an issue, as I go to buy food, not to have an uplifting experience!

An Aldi opened near me here in the UK last September, and I’m quite a fan. Oh, and also quite a lot less poor (My bills are really, really much less. 25% at least for everyday items such as tinned tuna, washing detergent, good cheese, butter, frozen fish, apples…I could go on!).


I find myself there more for the non food, seasonal items, as found in their flyer. Their chocolate is OK though. Oh and their 99 cent liverwurst/braunswieger.

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We did leave the store with a package of frozen scallops, paper plates and container of eggs. We tried the scallops last night and they were fine. But are their other products any good?

I tried their brand mayo, which is packaged to look like Hellmanns. I took it right back as soon as I tasted it, and have avoided their dry goods generally since then. The veggies I picked up seem old, they probably truck them in from the West Coast I’m guessing. Last stop, NY.

The one thing I got hooked on was their Pumpkin Chipotle sauce, located with the spaghetti sauces. It was fantastic, so of course they seem to have discontinued it. Luckily I found a copycat recipe online. Their cheeses are nothing to get excited about either. I seldom pick up more than three or four things when I go. One being chocolate, of course.

Here in my corner, cheese, chocolate, and wine are the biggest bargains. I’ve been nothing but pleased with their private label offerings, as they are truly equal to the brands i buy (and are likely from the same production line)

It’s not convenient for me so it’s not weekly, but I do shop there regularly, and do as one of my friends does --starts at aldi then fill in at a regular store.

The store here is less than a year old, and always clean. It’s brightly lit and pleasant, but as above I don’t need luxury to buy groceries.

Like Harters, I prefer Lidl and am delighted to see them expanding in the US

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In the UK, either Aldi or Lidl (I can’t recall which) recently had an advertising campaign urging customers to use them for “the full shop”. I’m not sure I could that, mainly as the meats are not generally ethically raised, but if I had to I could get most of the weekly shoppping there without too much grief. And all of it if price ever became a real major factor for me.

However, I like to regard it as a foraging exercise, much as I regard a similar irregular visit to our nearby premium supermarket (Waitrose). Most weeks, the shop is at the midrange place just up the road (Sainsbury)

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That’s the point…shop there first, then fill in as needed at the bigger shop.

So pick up lettuce, tomatoes, napkins, loo roll, etc (because Aldi do carry organic, too) then buy whatever you couldnt or wouldnt buy from Aldi at the bigger store.

Aldi is not for everyone, the quarter return is a big plus for me. One of the few stores in which I don’t have to worry about my car being damaged by runaway carts.
Personally I enjoy seeking out new and appealing items . Here are some threads that discuss or make mention of the store and its products.

I read recently that lidl will be expanding in the US, I hope in the North East. I like all of the choices we have and find them necessary since so many chains suck or are prohibitively expensive.

The markets vary greatly by location. I know many who rave about Aldi. I visited in Baltimore and there was nothing worth buying for me. I’ve visited several in Ohio and some are ok, others not worth visiting but it’s yet to become a weekly staple store for me.


They actually have recently opened a half dozen or so In NC, SC and VA. Quite a few other locations will open within the next year. Next week I’ll be traveling through a town with a Lidl and hope to be able to stop by and check it out. The early reports sound promising!

Out of curiosity have visited the nyc aldi’s a few times, it’s not very convenient.
I came home with some fun euro condiments (my weakness!) likes mustards and pickles and jams, some quite good dark chocolates, box of spatzle mix… non essentials but fun stuff that didn’t add up to a whole lot.
Produce was cheap and beaten up a bit- but then again same can be said for a lot of produce in nyc stores.

We shop at an Aldi in NJ. The store is kept clean most of the time but popular items or remainder products they are anxious to sell now marked rock bottom priced can be thrown about in bins, off shelves.
Our usual shop includes, AP flour, sugars, jarred olives, pickles, artichokes and roasted peppers, eggs, butter, canned white meat chicken, tortillas, Pam, some cheese and specialty items on seasonal rotation. Last year the jarred stewed purple cabbage was great and the christmas stuff is fun, Halloween candy (brand) is marked way down post holiday, I personal love the fresh brioche buns and cinnamon rolls. Plenty of items I pass up and other than whole garlic cloves and bags of whole lemons, we don’t buy the produce. I wish they sold fresh herbs and more of a fresh floral section. The rock cornish hens in the freezer were surprisingly good on the grill!

That’s pretty funny. 35 years ago my husband was buying 99 cent/pound braunschweiger for his lunch. How are they selling it for the same price today??

I shop Aldis primarily for a few items: crackers (many of which I prefer to their brand named counterparts, at half the price), cookies, corn chips, and sometimes odd featured items. The Aldis nearest me was one of the first ones in my state and is indeed rather glum and quite small but a new and much larger store has recently opened near me. However, what the small store lacks in amenities it makes up for with the fastest most efficient and most helpful cashiers I have ever encountered in any grocery.They are particularly nice to the frail and elderly shoppers, who are often confused by the pace at the checkout. I have watched as cashiers have helped these people count out their money (lots of handfuls of change) and assisted those with physical disabilities, all with the greatest respect and friendliness. It’s great to see these teenage cashiers treating the elderly so well. For this reason alone, I will probably continue to shop at this Aldis, although the “fancy” new one is closer to my home.

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That’s what I was wondering too, although I recall getting deli liverwurst at the regular supermarket for 99 cents maybe 10 or 15 years ago. But not anymore, the price suddenly shot up. The amazing thing is that it is a good as any I’ve ever tasted! It’s from Germany I believe, so you’d think it would double the price of anyone else.

Based on your comments, I will revisit Aldi when I am near one. I get this market is an example of German efficiency at work. I would not go out of my way. Thanks for the tip about the braunschweiger, and I will be sure to stay away from the ‘Berrman’s’ mayo…

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