If you still haven't heard of the supermarket Aldi, chances are you've been living under a rock. The budget supermarket chain with locations throughout the U.S. is wildly popular with everyone from millennials to baby boomers for its low prices, fresh finds, and foreign chocolates. Shoppers can't get enough of the supermarket chain's Halo Top ice cream dupes or their award-winning rosé. Plus, with specialty European products such as wine and cheese advent calendars coming to the U.S., it's no wonder that everyone in America suddenly can't seem to get enough.
Recently, our editor-in-chief dispatched me to an Aldi location in California to discover exactly why people are so in love with this supermarket chain. While walking through the aisles, checking out the products, and speaking with other Aldi shoppers, I discovered 21 different reasons why people are so obsessed with the German-owned supermarket chain. In fact, I became a little obsessed myself.
If you've been curious about Aldi and the reason everyone and their mother keeps talking about why they love to shop there, you can find out along with me. These are the 21 reasons I'm obsessed with shopping at Aldi now.
Aldi Has a Whole Wall of Crackers
What I first noticed about Aldi is that there are so many cracker and chip options. There is a whole wall of crackers in a bunch of different and cool flavors perfect for parties, cheese trays, or just snacking. Plus, if you're looking for chips, Aldi has an unrivaled variety of flavors.
Stores Have an Open Layout
What I loved about the layout of Aldi is that nothing is hidden away on some dusty aisle; it's all out in the open so that I can see exactly where everything is and what everything is. Many items are in large labeled boxes, kind of like at Costco - which is such a vibe.
Aldi Is Trader Joe's Cousin
Fascinatingly, Aldi and Trader Joe's are related. The parent companies for European Aldi stores, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd, own American Aldi and Trader Joe's. What I found interesting (and loved) is that Aldi sells what are essentially dupes for Trader Joe's fun snacks - and at lower prices!
There's Chocolate You've Never Heard Of
Naturally, Aldi carries a lot of German chocolate; they have brands I'd never heard of like Schogetten, Choceur, and Knoppers. Obviously, I tasted them (for science) and they are pretty delicious. But Aldi also carries Japanese chocolate and cracker stick brand Pocky, and well as candy from the Mexican candy brand Dulces Beny.
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The Instacart Option Is Front and Center
What I love about Aldi stores is that they make it clear that Aldi does Instacart delivery as soon as you walk through the door. Seriously, a sign is plastered on the door. Inside the store, there are more helpful little signs that let you know - you can order all of their products online and have them delivered. Amazing.
You May Find Foods That Will Surprise You
Somehow, I found something called "apple butter" - which is apparently a normal food I somehow missed. (Where I grew up, there are plenty of vegan "butter" substitutes, but I've never seen apple butter.) What is it? I want it. Oh Aldi, you cave of wonders.
The Bakery Section Is Amazing
Aldi has a massive bakery section with a ton of sweet rolls and breads. I mean a ton of sweet rolls and breads. They have Danish, cookies, muffins, doughnuts, naan, brioche, chocolate chip brioche, sourdough, French bread, baguettes, a bunch of sandwich breads, and more.
Aldi Produce Is Surprisingly On-Trend
What's great about all the fresh new produce and healthy options at Aldi is that they've begun stocking their stores with trendy health foods like zucchini and butternut squash veggie noodles. I'm a millennial and all about eating my colors! These are a must.
The Drink Selection Is Amazing
I was floored by the refrigerated drinks selection here, and I have to imagine others were too, seeing as how it was a particularly packed aisle. Aldi offers vitamin-infused waters from brands I've never heard of like Wanu, as well as aloe drinks from more familiar brands such as Nature's Nectar, chia seed drinks from Mama Chia, and even a few different brands of kombucha.
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Aldi Brings the Pickles
Pickles are huge in 2018. There are pickle chips, pickle slushies, and even pickle sandwiches. Aldi offers a wide selection of fresh-packed pickles in various flavors.
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Their Cheese Actually Beats Trader Joe's
If you love cheese, you should be obsessed with Aldi. Their cheese section is cheaper than Trader Joe's, but offers just as much of a selection. There are quality cheeses from around the world, and even crazy flavors like ghost pepper! An absolute must-stop if you're making a cheese plate or just really craving a tasty or adventurous cheese.
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Their Prepared Foods Are Great
Aldi also offers fresh ready-made dishes that you just pop into the oven (or even the microwave), and they sound delicious. They have broccoli and cheddar gratin chicken breast, almond chicken, Caribbean jerk chicken, and even pulled pork options that will make mealtimes a snap.
They Sell Cartoonishly Giant Pizzas
I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that Aldi was selling these absolutely huge pizzas. These fresh pizzas are comically large, and would easily feed 10-15 people. If I were throwing a birthday party anytime soon or any sort of dinner party where I needed to figure out what to feed a bunch of guests, I would snag one of these.
They Have Poke to Go
Again, I'm a millennial, and when I saw that Aldi was selling ready-made poke bowls, my eyes popped out of my head. That's not only an amazing find for a budget store, that's an amazing find for any supermarket chain!
Aldi Finds Treats for You
Aldi has these little signs in some of their sections that read "Aldi Finds" and I love them. They're little sections of full of Aldi's coolest items. On the day of our visit, this particular Aldi store was showcasing their most exotic cheeses, trendiest salad dressings, and little bowls of quinoa and vegan options.
The Eggs Are Basically Free
As I walked around the store a fellow customer saw me checking out the eggs. "Those are 79 cents for a carton!" he told me. That's an amazing price for eggs!
Aldi Has More Than Just Food
What really clinched my obsession was Aldi's home goods. They sell scented candles, cute tumblers, decorative bowls, body pillows, sleeping bags, camping gear, flashlights, and ironing boards and ironing board covers at prices lower than Walmart and Target. I can see any family raiding this section for all their fashion and function needs. Also, they have this insane wearable sleeping bag snow suit contraption for $40.
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You Can Stock Up for School
Aldi has an extensive back-to-school shopping section that I can only describe as "LIT." Aldi sells locker accessories, pencil cases, backpacks, lunch boxes, notebooks, pens, and pencils.
There's No Shortage of Canned Goods
If you're in the market for canned goods, you seriously need to go to Aldi. Their canned foods selection is huge. There are vegetables, fruits, legumes, and even canned bread? Wow.
They Take Gluten-Free Seriously
If you're avoiding gluten, here's a pro-tip: Aldi has an amazing gluten-free section with pasta, crackers, cookies, chips, and more.
Aldi Changes With the Seasons
It's still summer, but I could tell that the store was gearing up for fall. I kept seeing pumpkin, maple, cinnamon, and other harvest flavors starting to creep their way on to shelves. If you're like me and waiting eagerly for those leaves to change color and drop, then that may just be one of the signs you're obsessed with fall.
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