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  • Post #31 - December 29th, 2006, 12:07 pm
    Post #31 - December 29th, 2006, 12:07 pm Post #31 - December 29th, 2006, 12:07 pm
    They also have probably the best store-bought salsa I've ever had. Not the Casa Mamita brand in jars on the shelves, but I believe the Grandessa brand, in plastic tubs in the cooler. The mild with artichokes is not my favorite but the other two varieties are both very good.
  • Post #32 - December 29th, 2006, 5:56 pm
    Post #32 - December 29th, 2006, 5:56 pm Post #32 - December 29th, 2006, 5:56 pm
    Tnx Suzy, that's good to know! I enjoy a bit o' crispy hash from time to time.

    I've been using their German coffee, which is pretty much the real thing, and, of course, their European chocolates are great. I also can usually find in the 'fridge compartment German Schwarzwalder ham, in slices.

    Funny place, but useful.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #33 - December 30th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Post #33 - December 30th, 2006, 8:59 am Post #33 - December 30th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Cathy2 wrote:There are earlier threads on Aldi and quite a lengthy one on Trader Joes with asides on Aldi's.

    And they repeat the same untruths as this topic.

    Fact: Aldi's and Trader Joe's are independent businesses with no ownership or operating relationship, other than in TJ's origin. (Trader Joe's is privately owned by a trust started by the co-founder of the Aldi's chain, Theo Albrecht.) (Ref)
  • Post #34 - December 30th, 2006, 9:08 am
    Post #34 - December 30th, 2006, 9:08 am Post #34 - December 30th, 2006, 9:08 am
    nsxtasy wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:There are earlier threads on Aldi and quite a lengthy one on Trader Joes with asides on Aldi's.

    And they repeat the same untruths as this topic.

    Fact: Trader Joe's is privately owned by a trust started by the co-founder of the Aldi's chain, Theo Albrecht. The two chains have no ownership in common. (Ref)


    According to Forbes, Theo's personal holdings include Trader Joe's. He is also not only a co-founder, but a current co-chairman and CEO of Aldi Nord (a branch of their global operations).

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #35 - December 30th, 2006, 10:08 am
    Post #35 - December 30th, 2006, 10:08 am Post #35 - December 30th, 2006, 10:08 am
    nsxtasy wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:There are earlier threads on Aldi and quite a lengthy one on Trader Joes with asides on Aldi's.

    And they repeat the same untruths as this topic.

    Fact: Aldi's and Trader Joe's are independent businesses with no ownership or operating relationship, other than in TJ's origin. (Trader Joe's is privately owned by a trust started by the co-founder of the Aldi's chain, Theo Albrecht.) (Ref)



    The fact that there are more similarities between the two chains in their operating philosophies indicated to me that there was probably some relationship between the two companies. Others on this board finally were able to document common owners.

    The two stores are so similar in how they operate (and how DIFFERENT they are from other US grocers) .
  • Post #36 - December 30th, 2006, 10:46 am
    Post #36 - December 30th, 2006, 10:46 am Post #36 - December 30th, 2006, 10:46 am
    eatchicago wrote:According to Forbes, Theo's personal holdings include Trader Joe's.

    Forbes is wrong (although you could call it an oversimplification that is no longer accurate, since he started the trust that owns it).

    Did you try the link in my previous post to the Business Week article about Trader Joe's? It says, "About all this 210-store U.S. chain shares with Germany's Aldi Group -- besides being owned by a trust created by Aldi co-founder Theo Albrecht -- is its rigorous control over costs."

    jlawrence01 wrote:The fact that there are more similarities between the two chains in their operating philosophies indicated to me that there was probably some relationship between the two companies.
    .
    .
    .
    The two stores are so similar in how they operate

    McDonald's and Burger King are similar in how they operate. They're independent companies, too. Similar operating philosophies - as also noted in the Business Week article - does not imply either shared ownership or coordinated operations, as some posts falsely claim.
    Last edited by nsxtasy on December 30th, 2006, 10:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #37 - December 30th, 2006, 10:56 am
    Post #37 - December 30th, 2006, 10:56 am Post #37 - December 30th, 2006, 10:56 am
    nsxtasy wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:According to Forbes, Theo's personal holdings include Trader Joe's.

    Forbes is wrong (although you could call it an oversimplification that is no longer accurate, since he started the trust that owns it).

    Did you try the link in my previous post to the Business Week article about Trader Joe's?


    I did. But I'm not sure why one publication is wrong and the other is right. It seems to me that they're both right, but the BW article is overstepping it's bounds by saying that they have nothing in common.

    According to Wikipedia, TJ's is owned by a family trust set up by the Albrechts.

    It seems like we're splitting hairs, debating the vagaries of corporate ownership and trusts. If you ask me, if you bought a company and transferred ownership to your family trust, you're not that far off from owning said company.
  • Post #38 - December 30th, 2006, 10:59 am
    Post #38 - December 30th, 2006, 10:59 am Post #38 - December 30th, 2006, 10:59 am
    By law and by practice, the ownership and operations of two companies with separate ownership are not shared and are not coordinated. A company owned by a trust is controlled by trustees according to the trust agreement which created the trust.
  • Post #39 - December 30th, 2006, 1:17 pm
    Post #39 - December 30th, 2006, 1:17 pm Post #39 - December 30th, 2006, 1:17 pm
    eatchicago wrote:
    nsxtasy wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:According to Forbes, Theo's personal holdings include Trader Joe's.

    Forbes is wrong (although you could call it an oversimplification that is no longer accurate, since he started the trust that owns it).

    Did you try the link in my previous post to the Business Week article about Trader Joe's?


    I did. But I'm not sure why one publication is wrong and the other is right.


    Everyone! Can we please stop arguing and just check with what Wikipedia says???? :shock:

    Over the holidays one of my family members had bought their ham at Aldi... it was really good. it was the best of the 3 or 4 hams I was forced to try!
  • Post #40 - December 30th, 2006, 5:19 pm
    Post #40 - December 30th, 2006, 5:19 pm Post #40 - December 30th, 2006, 5:19 pm
    dddane wrote:Everyone! Can we please stop arguing and just check with what Wikipedia says???? :shock:

    Fine with me. The whole ownership issue is really besides the point of this topic (and those others) anyway.

    The point is really whether the Aldi stores are worth going to. They carry different items from Trader Joe's anyway. Aldi's carries staples (flour, etc) and major brands, most of which you can also find at your local Jewel or Dominick's, as well as at Costco and Sam's Club. Trader Joe's carries house brands and specialty items. About 90 percent of what you find in Trader Joe's, you won't find elsewhere (not under the same brand name, and often not at all).

    I'm not saying either one is better or worse than anywhere else; you really need to check them out and see how their prices and selection compares for the items YOU tend to buy.
  • Post #41 - December 30th, 2006, 8:56 pm
    Post #41 - December 30th, 2006, 8:56 pm Post #41 - December 30th, 2006, 8:56 pm
    dddane wrote: Over the holidays one of my family members had bought their ham at Aldi...

    As did we, for the post-Christmas dinner - I found it a bit salty for my taste, but just a bit. I regularly do the Aldi/Oakton Market combo trip; one place for frozen, canned, and non-food staples; the other for fresh.

    As for the weird impulse buys, I don't know that Aldi is better than Sam's, just that your purchases are spread out over the course of a year - examples we should perhaps not admit to: a TV, a child's raincoat, fishing lures and gear, kid's toys, a stick blender (stay away from the Crofton brand widgets) shoes, an electric jigsaw, a belt sander, pajamas...we almost bought our chest freezer there but they didn't offer delivery. :wink:
  • Post #42 - December 30th, 2006, 9:39 pm
    Post #42 - December 30th, 2006, 9:39 pm Post #42 - December 30th, 2006, 9:39 pm
    Similarities between Aldi's and Trader Joes:

    1) Over 90% of the SKUs are private labels. Both occasionally carry "name brands" when tghey get a good deal on them.

    2) Limited SKUs. They generally carry ONE SKU of each item.

    3) There is ONE size offered on all items.

    4) 20-25k Square foot stores, generally in lower rent areas.

    5) Use private logistics to maintain low costs. I was ALWAYS amazed that some of the trucks Trader Joe's used in SoCal were even roadworthy.

    6) Ship all items from central warehousing on their own trucks (as opposed to using various vendors delivering to the stores).

    7) Common items. Over the past year, I have noticed that Aldi's is starting to carry a number of items (mostly frozen) that are identical (other than private brand to TJs). The new fruit bars and some of the packages fish products are very similar.

    Personally, I shop at BOTH for staples and because I appreciate well-run, LEAN operations that pass on savings to the customer. There are dozens of items at BOTH stores that are 30% less than the major supermarket chains. They achieve this by superior logistics and eliminating low-volume SKUs that do not turn. They also eliminate all the various departments - floral, bakery, etc, that add overhead to the department stores.
  • Post #43 - December 31st, 2006, 2:56 am
    Post #43 - December 31st, 2006, 2:56 am Post #43 - December 31st, 2006, 2:56 am
    Semi OT, but does anyone know if the 'house' brands of condensed soups are of lesser quality than say Campbell's? When I see huge differences in price in basic items like tomato or mushroom soup I wonder if the products are significantly different, or if the extra cost is just for the brand name recognition factor?
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #44 - December 31st, 2006, 4:06 am
    Post #44 - December 31st, 2006, 4:06 am Post #44 - December 31st, 2006, 4:06 am
    Cogito wrote:Semi OT, but does anyone know if the 'house' brands of condensed soups are of lesser quality than say Campbell's? When I see huge differences in price in basic items like tomato or mushroom soup I wonder if the products are significantly different, or if the extra cost is just for the brand name recognition factor?


    Several points:

    1) In some cases, the product is produced by the "name brand" and marketed around the country. In that case, there may be no difference in the quality of the product.

    2) When you are buying a name brand, you ARE paying for the advertising campaign and other marketing costs. For example, when I was purchasing food for a large hospital, if we spec'd a certain brand of bacon, we paid an additional 0.15/# than if we specified the generic brand even though the specs were identical.

    3) With generics and store brands, it is really hard to generalize whether the product will be better or worse. Try the brands out and find the ones that you like. Personally, I have consistently liked the Meijer, Staff, and President's Choice (Loblaws, Ltd.) brand over a wide variety of products.

    4) If you have the time, shop some of the dollar stores/salvage groceries (think Deals, Big Lots, Marc's, etc.). Quite often, these places buy overruns or "intended for export" products that a food manufacturer wants to get rid of. For example, Woodman's was offering Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup intended for export to Canada (English/French printing and distributed by Campbell's Canada) at a fraction of the price.

    AC Nielsen conducted research on branding and here are the results:
    http://us.acnielsen.com/news/20050811.shtml
  • Post #45 - December 31st, 2006, 8:52 am
    Post #45 - December 31st, 2006, 8:52 am Post #45 - December 31st, 2006, 8:52 am
    I've tended to experiment a lot with generics, and I find this to be true as well. I've had both good and bad luck with the Aldi generics - though I find that generally, their "premium" brand generics are pretty good. For instance, I use their canned broth, both the regular and low-salt all the time, and I think it's fine.
  • Post #46 - December 31st, 2006, 10:39 am
    Post #46 - December 31st, 2006, 10:39 am Post #46 - December 31st, 2006, 10:39 am
    My experience has been mixed. So has that of Consumer Reports, which tests products side by side, including taste tests when evaluating food. If you look up their reports, you'll see that usually, some of the house brands score as high as the national brands, while others don't. The same thing is usually true with non-food products (cleaning products, for example). The advantage of house brands, of course, is that they cost less.

    The current (January) issue of Consumer Reports rates chicken soups. They evaluated 26 different soups and eliminated 18 of them (unnamed) "with obvious flaws such as a tinny taste or bitter herbs". Here are the eight that remained, with their ratings:

    Excellent - The Original Soupman
    Very Good - Bear Creek Country Kitchens, Lipton (a CR "best buy")
    Good - Cugino's, Campbell's Select, Trader Joe's, Rienzi, Healthy Choice

    IMHO, the national brands are usually pretty good, whereas the house brands have more variation, i.e. some are just as good as the national brands, while others are nowhere near as good. So it may depend on how much you care about differences in quality and taste. If it's something you buy frequently, try the house brand at your local store; if you don't like it, you can always go back to the national brand next time.
  • Post #47 - December 31st, 2006, 5:03 pm
    Post #47 - December 31st, 2006, 5:03 pm Post #47 - December 31st, 2006, 5:03 pm
    Cogito, I purchased a couple of cans of soup for the house a couple of weeks ago. My daughter opened the grilled chicken noodle while I was at work. She wasn't feeling well and told me it was vile. I have no way of knowing if that is true. I also had a can of the bean soup, which I opened last night for myself. We were supposed to go out, but the rest of my family was under the weather and I needed to shop, so it was an "every man for himself from the freezer or cupboard" dinner, because nobody wanted to cook. While it was different from Campbell's, I enjoyed it very much and will buy more of that flavor the next time I am in Aldi's.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #48 - December 31st, 2006, 5:29 pm
    Post #48 - December 31st, 2006, 5:29 pm Post #48 - December 31st, 2006, 5:29 pm
    Cashier at TJ gave me the Aldi/TJ story -- two brothers ... but different companies. Different suppliers. Similar dna in organization.
  • Post #49 - December 31st, 2006, 6:25 pm
    Post #49 - December 31st, 2006, 6:25 pm Post #49 - December 31st, 2006, 6:25 pm
    SGFoxe wrote:Cashier at TJ gave me the Aldi/TJ story -- two brothers ... but different companies. Different suppliers. Similar dna in organization.

    ....Shades of Bobak
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #50 - December 31st, 2006, 9:03 pm
    Post #50 - December 31st, 2006, 9:03 pm Post #50 - December 31st, 2006, 9:03 pm
    I buy their jumbo frozen shrimp.Cooked, tails on. $3.99. Makes a few nice shrimp cocktails. Check the price at Jewel.LOL!
  • Post #51 - January 1st, 2007, 9:50 am
    Post #51 - January 1st, 2007, 9:50 am Post #51 - January 1st, 2007, 9:50 am
    Those are great! I keep a few bags in the freezer for emergencies ; a quick rinse to thaw and a little frozen homemade pesto sauce and pasta: presto! quick dinner.
  • Post #52 - January 2nd, 2007, 10:54 am
    Post #52 - January 2nd, 2007, 10:54 am Post #52 - January 2nd, 2007, 10:54 am
    grant wrote:I buy their jumbo frozen shrimp.Cooked, tails on. $3.99. Makes a few nice shrimp cocktails. Check the price at Jewel.LOL!


    Yep, that's exactly what we brought to a NYE's party. Hey, big spender!! (We also brought bacon wrapped weenies, purchased separately at Aldi, the ingredients, I mean, and brandy-filled chocolates from Trader Joe's. We brought other things, too, and actually I believe that everything was 100% bought either at Aldi or TJ's.)

    I would be interested to hear whether anyone has tried Aldi's frozen whole lobsters yet.

    BTW Aldi's boxed sirloin steaks are pretty darn good. They are a bit thick though, so you'll need to oven-roast them in a cast iron pan to get the middles cooked, but they are very good, and I buy half a dozen at a time, at least!!!
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #53 - January 4th, 2007, 3:34 pm
    Post #53 - January 4th, 2007, 3:34 pm Post #53 - January 4th, 2007, 3:34 pm
    foodie1 wrote:What are your thoughts on ALDI?


    General staples from Aldi are probably fine but I buy only one thing there: cat litter. They've got 14 lb jugs of the clumpable kind for $3 which is half the price of comparable stuff in Jewel/Domminick's.

    I've been using it for a few months now and the cats seem to like it just as well.
  • Post #54 - March 23rd, 2007, 1:48 pm
    Post #54 - March 23rd, 2007, 1:48 pm Post #54 - March 23rd, 2007, 1:48 pm
    Why do I feel slightly embarrased to admit that I shop at Aldi's?
    I suppose it's because this is a forum filled with people I respect and high-class food tastes. Aldi does not have a reputation for being high class. This explains why my search for Aldi returned only a handful of results. I was hoping to see if anyone else has found some great steals that I could pick up on.

    I would defend Aldis and say that they're great for basic bulk groceries that are significantly cheaper then the much-despised Jewel and Dominicks, and their European roots are evidenced in some great products.

    I love their dried cereal options, and I love their frozen shrimp. Their olive oil is top-notch, and I'm addicted to their Italian dressing. They have the occasional great cheese or roast, and I've been buying their snickerdoodle dough packs to bake when I need treats in a hurry. Their big bags of frozen chicken breasts are very cheap. In general I have scored some great finds in their freezer. On the other hand, I totally avoid their fresh produce as it is completely useless. Toiletries are very limited so never check that section either.

    This is not a store to rave about, nor does it have a complete stock of what you need. However, it's deserves a mention.
  • Post #55 - March 23rd, 2007, 2:00 pm
    Post #55 - March 23rd, 2007, 2:00 pm Post #55 - March 23rd, 2007, 2:00 pm
    I agree with your assessment. IMO, they are well worth the occasional trip to stock up on basics or for something interesting that is on sale. I scored some great Euro chocolate and large cans of crushed tomatoes dirt cheap about a month back.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #56 - March 23rd, 2007, 2:03 pm
    Post #56 - March 23rd, 2007, 2:03 pm Post #56 - March 23rd, 2007, 2:03 pm
    My apologies, I meant for this to be under this:
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t= ... light=aldi

    but mistakenly posted a new topic.

    [MODERATOR EDIT: This has been merged]

    Also - Basmati and Jasmine rice have appeared at Trader joes recently, and I have ejoyed them. Grandessa fruit desserts are fantastic.
  • Post #57 - March 23rd, 2007, 2:48 pm
    Post #57 - March 23rd, 2007, 2:48 pm Post #57 - March 23rd, 2007, 2:48 pm
    With the Aldi for cheap stuff next door to Marketplace on Oakton (which also has very good prices), it's a great destination for anyone who eats food.
  • Post #58 - March 23rd, 2007, 5:06 pm
    Post #58 - March 23rd, 2007, 5:06 pm Post #58 - March 23rd, 2007, 5:06 pm
    For years I never explored Aldi (Montrose/Broadway) that I always drove by because I always associated it with homeless people since they seem to be big fans of their shopping bags.
    I've long since found out that they sell many products that are like half the cost of Jewel/Dominicks and just as good. The only things I won't buy there is produce except for their bagged salad .89,or meat unless it's something like a packaged Ham or Corned Beef.
  • Post #59 - March 23rd, 2007, 11:03 pm
    Post #59 - March 23rd, 2007, 11:03 pm Post #59 - March 23rd, 2007, 11:03 pm
    Artie wrote:For years I never explored Aldi (Montrose/Broadway) that I always drove by because I always associated it with homeless people since they seem to be big fans of their shopping bags.


    Their plastic bags are pretty much like the ones that you get at better hotels - they are a thicker gauge than the normal variety. That is because Aldi's shoppers tend to reuse the bags multiple times (which is NOT a bad thing).

    If you have not been to Aldi's recently. they have made a number of changes. First, in most stores, they have added a lot more frozen foods and are carrying a quite a few and better quality frozen vegetables and meats (including some that I have seen at TJs). They have added "fresh", prepackaged meats. They carry hot-smoked salmon chubs, Belgian chocolates, a small variety of wines, etc.

    Personally, I use Aldi's when I need a couple of items and want to avoid the Jewel/Dominick's and their prices.
  • Post #60 - March 23rd, 2007, 11:31 pm
    Post #60 - March 23rd, 2007, 11:31 pm Post #60 - March 23rd, 2007, 11:31 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:They carry hot-smoked salmon chubs

    Is this different than regular chubs?
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?

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