Am I writing in German now?
Don’t worry, it’s just a little twist to the title.
Guess who is Walmart scared of?
What the hell is that?
Before you assume which side I’m on…
I do have a soft corner for Aldi.
That’s because I lived in Germany.
And Aldi was always my first choice there.
Agreed, Walmart and Kroger are America’s biggest supermarket chains.
Do you know which brand might soon take the third spot?
Yes, it’s a Lebensmittelgeschäft.
That’s Deutsch for the grocery store.
We are talking about the German supermarket chain, Aldi, aka, Albrecht-Diskont.
They took the Al and Di from these two words.
And created the brand name Aldi.
Not a typo there!
Price Wars and Competition
The grocery business has intense competition.
Throw in minimal profits, and the domain becomes a game of strategic planning and careful moves.
Walmart’s CEO Greg Foran is careful of this competitive landscape in the US.
And guess who does he feel is his biggest competitor?
If you are thinking of Amazon, Kroger or Albertsons, you are on the wrong track.
Foran believes that the German discount grocery chain Aldi is his biggest competitor.
In his own words,
“I never underestimate them… I’ve been competing against Aldi for 20-plus years. They are fierce and they are good.”
What makes Aldi so powerful despite the minor inconveniences Americans might face at the store?
What’s it like shopping at Aldi Grocery?
Let’s hear directly from a consumer, Rebecca Paone.
She is also the VP, Business Development at OmniDigit.
“I personally love Aldi. I’m not brand loyal except to companies I know are financially affordable on my pocket, offer me better quality (yes, quality), easy store navigation and the company operates off of European health and wellness standards so I can trust the product more.”
She also shares her views about the legislation pertaining to food regulations.
“American legislation on health standards are inferior and driven by corporate lobbyists. Europe is advanced in banning things that can compromise personal health within products.”
And finally, as we all know, it boils down to cost, quality, and convenience.
“When I need certain items that Aldi grocery doesn’t carry, I follow the same process of searching for who has it cheaper, best quality, and convenience.”
Unlike at Walmart or Publix (or most other grocery chains), you cannot just take a shopping cart at Aldi.
The German store requires you to use a quarter before you can take a shopping cart.
This is quite common in Germany.
If you have been to Frankfurt Airport in Germany, you will see a similar concept; and same at all Aldi stores in Germany.
Aldi grocery stores are by no means huge when compared to Walmart.
But in Europe, that’s not uncommon for most grocery stores to be of that size.
The German store does not also offer free plastic and paper bags.
In my opinion, that’s good.
Why not be ecologically conscious?
Moreover, the cashier wouldn’t bag your items for you at Aldi.
Does that actually count as a downside?
A little work on the consumer’s end doesn’t hurt, right?
When it comes to prices, Aldi definitely has an edge.
If you want to see their weekly specials, you can check your mailbox (yes traditional mail that is) or visit their webpage.
You will be prompted to enter your zip code:
And then you will see their “weekly ads”.
Pineapples are one of my favorite fruits.
And I wanted to see the price difference between Aldi and Walmart for this fruit.
At Walmart, a pineapple is over $2 as of today.
You will find decent price differences between Aldi and Walmart, or for that matter, Aldi and other grocery chains.
Aldi Grocery Diagnosis
Let’s analyze Aldi grocery from a digital marketing standpoint.
If you are used to a user-friendly ecommerce site like Amazon or Walmart, Aldi will disappoint you.
It is by no means along those lines.
The website looks more like a print version of a weekly ads coupon in your mail.
Aldi is present in over 18 countries- Germany, Italy, China, Denmark, France, Australia and more.
It looks like Aldi is following their German model here in the US as well.
Here is a screenshot of their German homepage:
Their video titled “A simple Story Aldi USA” is well done.
Take a look!
Their Facebook page has over 2.3 million followers.
Walmart has over 32 million by the way!
I enjoyed their recent Instagram post titled- Because your 25¢ has power!: @ms_murry #FanFriday
More than 3.8k likes.
Look at the first comment- “Please open Aldi in Sweden/Uppsala.”
They have nailed Pinterest with 7.9m monthly viewers, not too far behind Walmart’s 10+ million monthly viewers.
It looks like they are doing well on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
A little history?
Aldi came to life in 1946.
Yes, that’s four years before Walmart opened doors to its first store.
But Aldi’s roots go back further.
A lady named Anna, née Siepmann, opened a small grocery store in a suburb of Essen, a city in Western Germany.
Her husband, Karl Sr, was a miner and a baker (later).
The couple had two sons Karl Albrecht and Theo Albrecht.
Karl took over a food store advertised as the “cheapest food source”.
In 1946, the Albrecht brothers decided to handle their mother’s small grocery store.
Soon, they opened another retail store nearby.
In just four years, the duo owned 13 stores in the Ruhr Valley.
But what made the business grow was this amazing idea of the two to subtract the legal maximum rebate of 3% before sale.
Over the idea of selling cigarettes, the brothers had a dispute, and they split the business of 300 shops, in 1960.
The new business entities were called Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd.
International expansion for Aldi began in 1967 when Aldi Süd acquired the grocery chain Hofer in Austria.
Aldi grocery came to the US in 1976, with their first store in Iowa.
Did you know Aldi Nord acquired Trader Joe’s in 1979?
Aldi on Advertising
You might have noticed that Aldi does not run ads on TV.
This is because they have a policy in Germany of not advertising.
The only exception is of them sending a weekly newsletter of special prices.
The purpose is to save money and pass on the cost saving to the consumers.
In fact, Aldi has never used an external advertising agency in Germany!
In countries like UK, Australia, and Belgium, Aldi does run ads on TV.
I do enjoy their Aldi Game on Thrones Advert.
Are you health conscious?
Aldi removed certified synthetic colors, added MSG, partially hydrogenated oils, certified synthetic colors, from all their exclusive brand food products in 2015.
And you’d love this…
Their products do not contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)!
What do you think of Aldi grocery?
Do they pop up when you search for grocery stores near me?
What do you like and do not like there?
Leave your comments below.
Since it’s a weekend, it’s time for me to address my grocery shopping for the week.
Until then, Auf Wiedersehen.
That’s goodbye in German!