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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