I’ve had the ultimate German grocery shopping experience today! The first time in more than eight years and I got to shop “ALDI” in California. OMG! I was in heaven.
Just so you know, ALDI is one of the biggest discounter supermarkets in Germany. Every village or bigger community has at least one Aldi. Aldi consists of two companies: Aldi-Nord and Aldi-Süd (North and South) are wholly owned by family foundations.
The two brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht each founded one of the two foundations and today Theo Albrecht Junior is the only member of the Albrecht family, who is still actively in the discounter group. Aldi-Nord and Aldi-Süd are run exclusively by family-oriented managers. If you want to read more about Aldi and you know German, check out the Wikipedia page here. And did you know that Trader Joe’s is owned by Aldi Nord?
We’re on vacation in SoCal right now and after two days i a hotel we’re moving on to a vacation rental. We had to get groceries anyway and it was the perfect excuse to go to ALDI!
So, what do I love about ALDI in Germany? They have high quality groceries, many of them organic for very small prices since ALDI hardly offers any customer service. There is no hidden tiger for the kids like at TJ’s.
I took lots of pictures and I found these things ALDI Germany and ALDI US have in common:
- The shopping carts require a deposit and you get it back if you return it to the right place (without the help of any employee). But it’s only 25 ¢, so I’m sure some people won’t do it.
- You don’t get any help taking your stuff out of the cart and onto the conveyor belt and nobody is going to bag your groceries. You’re expected to do so (and schnell) while the seated cashier is ringing you up. You might just push everything back in your cart and sort it into your bags in the designated bagging areas.
- Everything is in boxes.
- They offer plastic, paper and reusable bags.
- For many products ALDI offers their own house brand. For expample: You can either get the more expensive “Mission” tortillas or tacos or you can choose the house brand “Pueblo Lindo”.
- They sell some of our favorite Germany chocolate products.
- They offer decent, affordable wines.
- Weekly specials and seasonal products.
- They sell flowers.
- They offer “Christmas Stollen”, “Spekulatius” and “Lebkuchen”.
These things I found different:
- You won’t find any palm trees in front of a German ALDI.
- We couldn’t find most of our favorite German products like “Krabben in Dillsauce”, “Schupfnudeln” or “Milchreis”.
- Way more decorations and fancy signs that praise ALDI’s products and prices.
- They didn’t seem to understand German though, because my husband kept on yelling “Wo ist der Herings Dip”?, but no one answered.
There are 31 ALDI stores in Southern California. If you’re down here, go check one out – it’s a truly German experience.
This post is a part of a series called NaBloPoMo 2016 hosted by BlogHer. NaBloPoMo is short for National Blog Posting Month and it challenges writers and creatives to post on their blogs once a day (at least) for the month of November. You can find all my posts on my blogher page, too. Stay tuned!