Is Aldi Just Trader Joe's Without The Marketing Budget?

The New York Times has an interesting look at Aldi, the German-owned discount chain that’s anything but a superstore — it features a small selection of private label products aimed at the consumer who doesn’t really care what supposedly “choosy Moms choose.”

The article made an interesting point: Aldi is basically Trader Joe’s without the marketing. According to the NYT, Trader Joe’s is even owned by an Albrecht family trust — the “Al” in “Aldi.”

From the NYT:

About 95 percent of its goods bear an obscure private label. For example, rather than Skippy, Jiffy, natural, and jam-swirled peanut butter, Aldi sells one kind, which it commissions itself. (It’s similar to the higher-end Trader Joe’s, which is owned by an Albrecht family trust.)

“We carry 1,500 of the most popular grocery items out there,” [The US Aldi representative] said. “You won’t find some exotic spice or exotic produce items in our stores; you won’t find every flavor of every items. When you look at the large supermarkets that may have 20- to 30,000 items, or superstores, with over 100,000 items, it’s surprising to the customers how much of the shopping list we’re able to fit into our smaller store.”

Anyone who has shopped at Aldi knows it can save you some serious money — if you’re cool with the weird off-brand products. And if you think of it as Trader Joe’s for the rest of us… why wouldn’t you be?


Where Wal-Mart Failed, Aldi Succeeds [NY Times]