Take Another Look at Aldi’s

I’ve complained on this blog about the lack of market choices here on the near southside of Indy. For some reason, all the specialty markets like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Sunflower Market are located on the north side, about a 15 mile trip one way. We have no shortage of discount markets down here including both Aldi’s and Stop ‘n Save. I decided to check out the Aldi’s again.

Aldi’s owns Trader Joe’s. Aldi’s and Trader Joe’s both sell mostly house brands. It stands to reason that they use a lot of the same suppliers. Each store has its own house brands, but there’s some overlap in the merchandising. For example, both Aldi’s and Trader Joe’s sell chicken sausage, tortilla chips made with organic corn, and olive oil. Aldi’s even sells wine now.

Aldi’s has a new Fit & Active brand which offers lower calorie alternatives to its house brands. They also have several ethnic-flavored brands, including Asian and Mexican, similar to Trader Joe’s (Casa Mamita instead of Trader Juan’s).

On today’s trip I got a 32 oz container of nonfat plain yogurt, tortilla chips made with organic corn, light butter microwave popcorn, a box of cereal that looks very similar to the cereal I buy at Trader Joe’s, and a stalk of celery for $6.75. I saw lots of other good stuff including brown sugar and frozen vegetables.

I was also surprised to see lots of shoppers who look like me. There were two gay couples shopping. Of course, there were a few people who look like I would look if I didn’t have health and dental insurance.

I’m OK if Aldi’s decides to turn itself into a discount Trader Joe’s.

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