Aldi has been one of the fastest growing retailers of any kind in the United States. The German grocery store chain grew from a single location in 1976 to over 2,300 domestic stores today. The company added about 120 new stores in 2023 alone and doesn’t seem to have plans to slow down anytime soon.
In 2022 (the last full year for which finalized data is available), Aldi gained about 9.4 million new customers. Of course, one of the reasons for the growth is a wider footprint. As a personal example, a new Aldi opened in late 2023 about 10 minutes away from my house, while I previously would have needed to drive about half an hour to shop at Aldi.
There are plenty of good reasons why so many Americans have become loyal Aldi customers in recent years. Here are just a few of them.
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Aldi costs less than its rivals
First and foremost, shoppers love how much further their grocery budgets can go at Aldi. Many different comparison studies have been done, and almost all have found that Aldi has generally lower prices than other popular chains — even those known for discount prices. For example, Aldi’s produce has been found to be up to 68% cheaper than Walmart’s, and it can be significantly cheaper for organic meats.
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With inflation hitting grocery prices hard in recent years, being able to save money on food is more important than ever to Americans’ personal finances. And Aldi can certainly help you do it.
Aldi sells versions of popular products with safer ingredients
As a parent of two picky children, ages 8 and 5, it’s a constant struggle trying to balance foods my kids will eat with making sure they’re eating reasonably healthy products.
For example, my daughter only wants to eat Cap’n Crunch cereal for breakfast, while my son doesn’t want anything but Lucky Charms. Unfortunately, both of those are filled with dyes and other junk we don’t really want to eat. Aldi not only offers its own version of each that is completely dye-free, but they’re also significantly cheaper than the name-brand products. And most importantly, my kids can’t tell the difference in taste.
This is just one example. Aldi offers several versions of popular products without dyes and other ingredients that should generally be avoided.
Aldi products are guaranteed
A guarantee is especially important when a store sells a lot of unique products like Aldi does. Fortunately, all Aldi exclusive products have the company’s “Twice as Nice” guarantee, which essentially says that you can bring back any product you don’t like and get your money back.
Some exclusions apply, but this does make me feel more comfortable about being a bit adventurous when it comes to food shopping.
The bottom line
To be sure, there’s no such thing as a perfect grocery store, and Aldi isn’t an exception. For example, you need a quarter to use an Aldi shopping cart, and there have been times when I forget one (I understand why Aldi does it, but this is still a pain point). And Aldi doesn’t always have the same products in stock from visit to visit, at least not as reliably as some of its competitors.
Having said that, ever since an Aldi opened near my house, that’s become my go-to grocery store for many items. And as you can see, there are some excellent reasons.
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