Aldi — which has more than 1,500 stores in the U.S. — has a plan to expand its natural food selection, which could spell trouble for competitors. With a reputation for low prices, Aldi’s claim to deliver organic products at roughly 25% less then other stores offering the same could increase the consumer demographic to include more natural food shoppers than previously seen and hurt existing natural food providers.
One of Aldi’s first steps towards its organic plan will begin with replacing sugary snacks bought impulsively at the checkout with healthier items. Candy and chocolate will be replaced with nuts, dried fruits and granola bars instead.
“By introducing healthier checkout lanes and through a number of other initiatives, we are doing our part to remove temptation at checkout and stocking stores with even more nutritious options,” said Jason Hart, CEO, Aldi. “At Aldi, we truly care about our customers, and we’re responding with guilt-free checkout zones and increased food options they can feel good about.”
Along with this change, Aldi will focus its emphasis on the fresh foods and produce offered along the perimeter of the store rather than on the processed and packaged food healthy shoppers are taught to avoid in the middle. Dairy products offered at Aldi will be free from artificial growth hormones and all private labels (which make up 90% of the store) are now free from synthetic colors, added MSG and partially hydrogenated oils. Wine and beer will also be added to stores.
The Aldi stores will have wider aisles and will appear brighter and cleaner while still maintaining its low-price position in the market.