I sure do hate ALDI!

Today I was in ALDI for about the fifth time, but it was only the first time I’ve bought anything.

You’d think that people as logical and organized as the Germans could create a logical, organized store, but the only thing logical about it is that the stuff that needs to stay cold is refridgerated. It took me about 15 minutes to find a jar of peanut butter, because looking for something specific in ALDI is more or less like playing mahjong.

One thing I have to say, though, is that ALDI always seems to locate their stores in neighborhoods where people have really horrible eating habits – living on canned hotdogs, cheese puffs and pop – and if they want to get their food cheap at ALDI, they have to buy things that are better for them.

In general, the only people I know who like to shop at ALDI are people who like to spend time shopping. I personally think the store wastes my time.

I was buying at Aldi in Germany and it was not so bad in USA predominantly we were useing Wal-Mart and something like Kellymarkt??, and the shops vary so much between states and cities.The same products in general but for example here now not available or many poor quality stuff or damage stuff mixed with the good store.
At home I am buying since three years in cheap danish owned net “Netto”. Just groccery now coming slowly more universal with many extra poor quality things available.
My friends hate in majority shops like this, but I am really happy I know more or less by mind where is what lying, and what time is relatively not too much busy.
Any attempt to make shopping somewhere else was always abandoned due to too much change in schedule.
I am able to make weekly shopping within an hour, what is probably local record (driving time included).
Only meat is sometimes a problem because I need additonaly fresh chicken necks for my dog(the cheapest and the healthiest dog food).
Because of my dog I need to patrol shops in vicinity
few times a week, it is not often but still happens that cheap dog meat is out of stock everywhere.
If you don’t know a shop you easy get lost looking for something if it is Aldi or something else no matter of shop name.
An human being is quite lazy thinking creature, and shopping like driving is done many times just by mind.
Any change of place or location is causing frontal crush effect.


In the town I live (UK) there are: ALDI, Waitrose, ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores.
Mainly I use the last two (60% : 30%) and sometimes do small shopping in (rather expensive) Waitrose’s store - but not in ALDI, even though it is the cheapest one and quite close to my house, much closer than Tesco - and I had made at least three intentional attempts to get used doing shopping in it.
But no…

I can’t say that I ‘hate’ it… but definitely there is something in ALDY that makes it uncomfortable for me.

The same situation was with LIDL’s store that had been closed two yeas ago (I don’t know the reason). The only thing I used to buy in it was (were?) pickled cucumbers :slight_smile:

Hi Jamie, thank you for bringing up ALDI here. You see, for us Germans it’s a rare case that a German company manages to establish themselves overseas. Usually it’s the other way round – US companies grow into international corporations. ALDI is a particularly interesting example as the company is still privately hold. It was founded by the Albrecht brothers who are both in their 80ies now.

In Germany ALDI has been offering low-price computers as part of their new product strategy and those computers have always sold like hot cakes. In addition ALDI is now offering low price mobile phone services and I think they still hold quite a piece of the total food discount market in Germany which is worth a couple of billion Euros per year…[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Rescheduling a presentation because of a heavy workload[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Jamie

I saw my first American Aldi after having discovered Aldi in Germany. I was so surprised to see Aldi in New jersey that I was forced to go in just to compare. They are quite similar.

There are actually two different Aldis: “Aldi North” and “Aldi South”. (Sort of like having “yank” and “reb” versions of Aldi. :lol:) The American Aldis are part of “Aldi South”.

I do a fair amount of shopping at Aldi here in Germany. I can usually find all the basics and the food quality seems to be more than adequate. Aldi even has frozen “poppers” now (which I was thrilled to discover.) But, still, my main complaint is Aldi’s limited selection. I often end up having to go elsewhere for certain things. Take catfood, for example. The catfood at Aldi is nice and cheap. Unfortunately my cats either won’t eat it or barf after eating it. So, that ultimately makes Aldi catfood extremely expensive. :lol:


Well, in Detroit you’d never know that, since half the city now seems to belong to German companies. The German strategy seems to be to buy existing companies and change the name (or not). ALDI springs up just as it is rather than buying American stores and renaming them. You do get a feeling in there that the message is, “Ziss iss a Cherman store. You vill do sings our vay, ent you vill LIKE it!” It’s German right down to having to buy a heavy multi-use bag to carry your groceries in. Americans do all their shopping for the week at one time, and this system with the bags is for a culture where people shop multiple times per week.

They haven’t ventured into electronics here yet.

The manager of the local ALDI here told me they do their best to keep the product selection (which the ALDI website badly translates as “assortment”) and store layout consistent, “because we know how Americans shop”, but that sometimes it is just impossible.

So what’s the difference between these Kroger ALDIs and Piggly-Wiggly ALDIs?

Amy, you’re getting regional on me. What are “poppers” called in English? I thought “poppers” was street slang for amphetamine pills.

I don’t know, Jamie. I’ve never been in an Aldi North. We’ve got the Piggly-Wiggly version in the area where I live. :lol:

Regional? Really? I was first introduced to poppers on a visit back to the States after I’d moved to Germany. Maybe they’ve got a different name in metro Detroit? Or maybe you Michiganders are just missing out on something yummy. :lol:

Poppers are breaded jalapeno peppers filled with cheese. They’re not called “poppers” in Germany, but I recognized them all the same when I first spotted them in the frozen food area at Aldi here. :lol:

For pictures and recipes for poppers, just tell Ms Google to look for “jalapeno poppers”.


Lidl is one of my favourites. Mainly for products I can’t easily find anywhere else, like cottage cheese, for example. I used to buy this and other goodies in Marks and ‘Sparks’, but unfortunately they closed in Spain quite a few years ago (many of us felt almost betrayed and disconsolate when they left town!).

Lidl is also great for special seasonal products, such as Christmas Stollen, Lebkuchen, marzipan, etc. and Easter eggs, bunnies and the like. Together with the Spanish D?a supermarkets, they have unbeatable prices, too. Shopping there is also much quicker than in the huge (French) Carrefour or Alcampo (owned by the French Auchan group).

Yet there are still some products I can only find in Hipercor (owned by El Corte Ingl?s) or Macro, like the unique Maggi seasoning (or sauce) so popular in our home, as opposed to the rest of Spain. Something else that is not at all in demand here and that I miss dearly is rhubarb (can you believe it?) :roll: :slight_smile: .

I feel like a strange creature in this world when I read your letters about the different supermarkets you know and that I have never listened of…I have never been in ALDI or LDLI or any other different than METRO,PLAZA VEA ,SANTA ISABEL,or TOTUS where I buy whatever I want because you find all there…specially in METRO a peruvian company which has a particular system… per each 2 dollars,of consume, you earn a point with those points you receive, for free,different gifts,could be towels,jewelry,trips this depends on the points you have,people there are very kind,the products are fresh,with excellent quality,and they always have sales that are really attractive



Readily :slight_smile:

Some products (traditional for Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians) I can find only in the local Lithuanian store.
(It’s funny, but many of them especially have exactly the same pack design as they had in the former USSR :slight_smile: Being much in popular demand…)

About searching… My own finding power was not enough to find starch in a huuuge local Tesco superstore. Starch (!)
“Yes, ma’am, we certainly have it. You can easily find it at ‘Home Bakery’.
No? Ah! Of course! Please, look for it at ‘Laundry and cleaning products’.
No? Oh, terribly sorry, ma’am…We seem to have run out of it…”

After a second attempt (that brought exactly the same result), I had found starch in another store.
Perhaps, I’ll never know where it is in Tesco. :slight_smile:



Tamara, exactly what kind of “starch” were/are you looking for? :lol: I gave up trying to find “corn starch” in Germany a long time ago. The Germans also don’t seem to know what soft brown sugar is. (You can only find it granulated here.) And finding vanilla extract is also next to impossible. I have to import all of these things myself. :shock:


Amy :slight_smile:

I looked for cornstarch (to have cooked a special sauce), but in both my cases (case studies :slight_smile: ) I asked Tesco’s staff just ‘starch’.

Amy, have you looked/asked for Maizena? I’m pretty sure they had it when I was living in Germany. Also, my German cookbooks have quite a few recipes that contain cornflour (cornstarch), always called Maizena.

Tamara, they usually call it cornflour in the UK. You’re bound to find it now :slight_smile: !

Starch can be a different product altogether, which is normally used for ironing (to stiffen cloth). I’m not sure whether it’s edible, though!

Hi Conchita

I did find “Maismehl” (direct translation: corn flour :lol:) not long after I arrived in Germany. But it just wasn’t the same. It wasn’t quite as fine. I don’t remember having seen “Maizena”. But as I said, I just bring corn starch back with me now, so I haven’t really tried to find corn starch here in quite a while. I’ll have to make it a point to see whether Aldi has it next time I’m there. :lol:

Speaking of foods…
When I lived in the USA, my favorite mayonnaise was a brand called “Hellmann’s”. When I first came to Germany, I found a brand available which was also known to me in the USA: “Miracle Whip”. Unfortunately, I hate Miracle Whip because it’s too sweet. A few years later, “Hellmann’s” launched their product on the German market. I was happy as a clam (;)) to hear that I could finally get Hellmann’s in Germany and immediately went out and bought some. Unfortunately, Hellmann’s had changed their recipe and to me it tasted just like Miracle Whip. I ended up tossing it in the garbage. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to think I’d never have my favorite mayo again. But, it turned out, Hellmann’s had only changed their recipe for the German market and thankfully the American version has remained unchanged. :lol:


If they call corn starch cornflour, then what do they call corn flour?

They call it ‘cornmeal’.


Then what do they call corn meal?

I kind of expected this question :roll: !

First of all, what you call ‘corn’ is ‘maize’ in the UK. So, your ‘corn flour’ would be either ‘maize flour’ or ‘cornmeal’ (the rougher variety of flour). As far as I know, though, it’s not half as popular as in America.