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Eyeing the Aisles

Mike Zaccardi

ALDI IS A POPULAR grocery store chain with a cult-like following in some parts of the country. This family-owned business is based in Germany but currently expanding in the U.S. I always knew that frugal shoppers loved Aldi.

Still, I was surprised to learn just how inexpensive the company’s products are. According to a recent Bank of America Global Research study of the Nashville area, Walmart has the cheapest prices among conventional, mass and specialty grocers, and even compared to dollar stores. But it turns out Aldi is even cheaper—by 4%.

I prefer Walmart’s one-stop shopping experience. I can also get in and out quickly with self-checkout at “Wally World,” whereas Aldi customers typically wait in line at the register. What’s more, Aldi shoppers must make a small deposit just to use a cart, an annoying inconvenience in my eyes.

What’s also interesting about the Bank of America survey is how expensive Whole Foods and even Publix are compared to Walmart’s dirt-cheap prices. The results show that Whole Paycheck—err, Whole Foods—is a whopping 42% pricier. Publix, the beloved Florida-based grocery store chain, is almost as expensive as Whole Foods and some 37% pricier than Walmart.

Having worked at Publix for several years in high school and college, I like to keep tabs on grocery industry trends. To this day, I remain an owner of Publix shares through a pair of retirement plans. While I love my shares, I’m not as fond of those high grocery prices. I’ll stick with Walmart for its everyday low prices.

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Randy Dobkin
Randy Dobkin
11 months ago

We do most of our shopping at Trader Joe’s, with the remainder at Publix and lately Sprout’s.

R Quinn
R Quinn
11 months ago

Only been to Aldi once, but I recall limited selection and hardly any brand names.

IAD
IAD
11 months ago
Reply to  R Quinn

Yep! Have you seen the movie “Tommy Boy”? I look at brand names like Chris Farley looks at the “warranty on the box”!

parkslope
parkslope
11 months ago

A Consumer Reports customer satisfaction survey placed Walmart near the bottom with a score of 70 versus 84 for Aldi. The top two were Central Market (TX) 91 and Wegmans 90.
https://www.consumerreports.org/products/grocery-stores-supermarkets-34741/grocery-stores-supermarkets-33753/view2/

Last edited 11 months ago by parkslope
Andrew Forsythe
Andrew Forsythe
11 months ago

We’re lucky in my part of Texas to have HEB grocery stores. They are a family owned chain and are a boon to any community where they operate. During the pandemic they have been absolutely magnificent—from expanding curbside and delivery options, to offering vaccines in their pharmacies. They treat their employees well, inspiring loyalty, and the employees in turn go out of their way to help the customers. Their prices may be slightly higher than Walmart but way below Whole Foods. I wouldn’t shop anywhere else.

Last edited 11 months ago by Andrew Forsythe
Dave Melick
Dave Melick
11 months ago

But the HEB stores I have been to don’t sell liquor. You can get wine and beer, but not hard liquor. If they sold that, it would be in my opinion a much better 1-stop place.

John Goodell
John Goodell
11 months ago

Agreed Andrew. HEB is hands down the best (aside from Buc-ees obviously). I’ve lived all over the country and nothing beats HEB.

Mike Zaccardi
Mike Zaccardi
11 months ago

Sounds like a great combo and a fantastic store!

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