Not really a secret to anyone, private label is often made by the same places that do the name brand stuff with the same quality. Tons of retailers do this.
We have been going to Aldi for many years here in the ATL, and recently Lidl just opened here. We like both stores for staples and fresh food deals but I prefer Kroger for most stuff simply because the combo of sales and digital/printed coupons for name-brand stuff is often better than what you can get at the discounters for private label. Kroger regularly gives me some really good coupons on their own brand too.
One of their private labels I’ve bought is their Benton’s cookies. Those are so obviously knock-off Samoas or Thin Mints. The packaging looks just like Keebler’s version but that brand is only found at Aldi. As long as they keep those in stock year-round for $1-1.5, I’m fine with whatever name they want to call them.
It’s true that Aldi stores are never in very luxurious mall strips. But I think it’d be the wrong target audience otherwise and if rent was expensive for their store locations, that’d jeopardize their low pricing strategy. They already splurge now on accepting credit cards instead of cash only or debit card only in the past.
The Aldi Finds / Aldi Deals are great. Insanely cheap pricing on quality products, but as others have mentioned, you have to luck into them being:
at your particular Aldi
They seem to follow the Costco model of scarcity/limited availability. If you don’t buy it when you see it, no guarantee the item will be there the next time you shop, or ever again.
That said, I did a comparison between grocery shopping at Walmart/Target as well as traditional Grocery stores, and Aldi easily and consistently beats traditional Grocery stores in terms of price. I also have the luxury of having two Aldi’s within 10 miles of me, and one of the Aldi’s is in the same shopping complex as Walmart, so if there is a particular food item that I cannot get/find at Aldi (like my son’s bulk-size Whole-Grain Goldfish crackers), it’s not inconvenient to walk over to Walmart and get them there.
The Walmarts/Targets have the benefit of size and pricing pressure, but even given that, my usual grocery experience is the majority of grocery staples I get at Aldi, and a handful of things (including deli meats) at Walmart. I’ve not been to a traditional grocer in months.
The small size/exclusivity of Aldi also makes for a better shopping experience.
Finally, the Little Journeys Diapers are about $13 for a box of 60, which is the cheapest I have seen diapers anywhere (not counting Amazon Mom/Subscribe and Save w/discounts + Chase Amazon Prime Card – but even then you have to be careful to watch the price and compare).
". . . . when Walmart’s US CEO Greg Foran invokes words like “fierce,” “good” and “clever,” in speaking almost admiringly about one of his competitors, he’s not referring to Amazon. He isn’t pointing to large chains like Kroger or Albertsons, dollar stores like Dollar General or online entrants like FreshDirect and Instacart.
Foran is describing Aldi, the no-frills German discount grocery chain that’s growing aggressively in the United States and reshaping the grocery industry along the way."
“Profits are razor thin.”
“. . . .Aldi has built a cult-like following.”
Above are excerpts from a long article about Aldi. Read the entire piece here:
I was surprised to see Walmart taking notice visibly looking at that graph of price of a 40-item shopping basket between the two. They halved the price gap for staple items in just over a year. But maybe not too surprising if they expect Aldi to become the 3rd largest grocer in the US in a couple of years.
But the demographics skewed towards higher education is a bit of a stunner for me (even though DH and I fit the profile). I’ve never seen a Tesla at any of the two Aldi’s we shop at. Can’t recall many BMW or Mercedes either and the average shopper there looks to me like the usual Walmart shopper.
I also liked the analysis that brand loyalty is no longer what it used to be and how it plays into Aldi’s business model. It feels accurate though. But to be fair, Aldi is doing a great job making their generic products remind you of the brand ones. The honey nut cheerios shown as example in that article is spot on. It’s just different enough to not be illegal but nobody is fooled still.
This is true, but in many cases the items are identical as it is cheaper and easier to buy the existing products in huge bulk rather than to pay for the bureaucratic and technical work as well as new equipment and manufacturing facilities required in the formulation of new products.