Thank You, Aldi

Rebecca Tao, Publicity Manager

Cheap prices. Big buys. Splurge chick. I’m usually your run of the mill Trader Joe’s shopper. It’s a mecca of metrosexuals, plant based humans, kombucha hippies, and frozen-packaged-food-fiends. I loved the hand drawn signs and colorful calligraphy, but at last, Aldi has replaced it as my object of affinity. 

I prefer a stream-lined shopping experience, and Aldi delivers just that—not as many options as Trader Joe’s, except if you’re in the cheese section. Prices are much cheaper, shockingly so, when the GT Kombucha there costs 40% less than the same bottle from Albertsons. After shopping—filling up two entire reusable burlap grocery bags—I’m filled with less buyer’s remorse than if I shopped to the same volume in a Sprout’s or Whole Foods escapade. Yet, Aldi is able to deliver the same fresh, organic produce that is available at those stores. I usually get my fill of zucchini, broccolini, blueberries, and bananas during my weekly visits, and my selection has consistently been fresh and tasty. 

Wednesday’s are the days where the best deals and selection arrives. It’s a weekly pilgrimage of making it to my nearest Aldi location and stocking up on some necessities, some not-so-necessities, and discoveries of new food (pumpkin spice wensleydale cheese!).

It’s natural for Americans to appreciate the European ideal, and Aldi is a metonymy of sorts of German zeal and innovation. The cashiers sit down. They’re also furiously fast, so much so that their pace has sparked jokes on the internet about how they should have been the poll workers for the 2020 U.S. election. Aldi encourages shoppers to return their carts to the corral, which also saves them the need to hire staff to collect them. I’ve never seen a stray cart in an Aldi parking lot before. The store is run so much differently from any other grocery store, and only Costco and their bulk warehouse system is on the same par of innovation and efficiency. 

Additionally, Aldi taught me to branch out of my comfort zone, that while I had historically shopped at Trader Joe’s, I can go to a different grocery store. As someone who favors familiarity and routine, it’s a small step in being more comfortable with change. I’m at a pivotal point in my life where one decision can change the course of my future for many years. Everything I apply to, ignore, procrastinate on, become more real and contribute to my success or mediocrity. Aldi is just one piece of the large puzzle, it’s just a grocery store, but it’s also my venture into something different, new, intriguing. Figuring out the quarter and cart system, for example, was learning something new. I’m slowly becoming more and more okay with change, as someone who avoids it frequently. I can thank Aldi for assisting me in that growth.

While a new store may very well replace my affection (I’m looking at you Erewhon…), for now, I’m enjoying my off brand samosas, European chocolate, and mango herring. Brioche, chocolates, hummus, tzatziki, oat milk, nut spread are unrivaled, in both quality and price.

This is not a sponsored article by any means, but I am very much open to the idea.