Southern Californians are busy people, so it's no surprise that waiting in long lines at crowded and costly specialty stores or attempting to navigate enormous warehouses for weekly groceries seems like just another hassle.
Luckily, a new grocery option is on its way, and will save residents both time and money. ALDI, a small-format food market with nearly 1,500 stores across 32 U.S. states, is set to launch its first Southern California stores in March and expects to open approximately 45 by the end of the year.
Here are five reasons you'll want to check out ALDI.
Finally, a place to save
You're already paying a premium for housing, gas, even movies and entertainment. ALDI does away with premium prices and provides a rare opportunity to save. By offering the most commonly purchased grocery items, ALDI is able to bring its shoppers significant discounts. Combine that with their low-overhead business model and smart shoppers can save up to 50% on their groceries, based on a price comparison of comparable products at leading national grocery chains.
"It's really a revelation when people discover ALDI because they can get so much of what they want -- at the premium quality they demand -- for a lot less money," said Sally Kuzemchak, a registered dietitian and blogger at RealMomNutrition.com and loyal ALDI shopper.
ALDI promises no hidden costs, focusing on saving shoppers money rather than providing non-essential services like pharmacies, banking and check cashing.
Quality over quantity
From fresh produce, meats and dairy, grains, award-winning wines and more, ALDI never skimps on quality. Rather than carrying several versions of each item, ALDI commits to thorough product testing and then offers one option - the best one.
With more and more people paying attention to reducing processed foods in their diets, ALDI has also focused on cutting additives in its products. "As a dietitian ... I'm extremely pleased that all ALDI exclusive brands (which make up more than 90% of the products at ALDI) are now free from certified synthetic colors (such as Red #40), added MSG and hydrogenated oils," said Kuzemchak. "You can go into ALDI and feel confident that most products are free of those, without having to scour the labels."
Special foods for special diets
Southern California is America's one-stop region for specialty diets. From veganism to gluten-free or even the juice cleanse, Angelinos have innovated ways to eat healthy for years. Luckily, fresh and healthy choices for eaters of all kinds are easy to find at ALDI with their exclusive brands. "People who are eating gluten-free will discover a whole line of gluten-free foods called liveGfree," Kuzemchak explained.
Southern Californians can also find plenty of feel-good foods like grass-fed USDA organic beef or nutritious snacks at ALDI.
"People think they have to go to expensive natural foods stores to get things like organic produce, quinoa, gluten-free pasta, and goat cheese," said Kuzemchak. "But these items are available at ALDI. They're high-quality and they cost much less than you'd find elsewhere."
All are welcome (to save)
You don't have to join a club or clip coupons to save money at ALDI, where low prices are the everyday norm.
ALDI stores feature four to five wide aisles, compared to the sometimes-overwhelming 30-plus aisles at other grocers.
"I used to spend up to two hours grocery shopping," said Kuzemchak. "At ALDI, I'm in and out with everything I need in less than 30 minutes."
ALDI Finds throughout
Everyone loves a good deal, and at ALDI, there's always a new find. ALDI stocks its stores with new "ALDI Finds" each week. These items range from premium food products to small kitchen appliances and seasonal items to outdoor furniture and workout gear -- and they're only in stores for a limited time. Since many items are seasonal, you'll find things right when you need them. If you see something you like, grab it right away because it could be gone tomorrow.
"ALDI has specialty rose bouquets for Valentine's Day, seasonal fruit in the summer, fresh turkeys at Thanksgiving and specialty holiday wines," said Kuzemchak. "It's fun to go every week and see what's new."