- Aldi is a budget-friendly grocery store chain that was founded in Germany.
- Aldi has been competing with Australian supermarkets, such as Woolworths and Coles, since it arrived in Sydney, Australia, in 2001.
- Over the past few years, the chain has opened over 500 stores across Australia.
- Here’s what it’s like to shop at an Aldi location in Australia.
It has thousands of locations around continents like North America and Europe. And ever since the chain opened its first location in Sydney, Australia, in 2001, it has been competing with Australian supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles. In the past two decades, Aldi has opened over 500 locations in Australia alone.
As a budget shopper living in Australia, I definitely feel like Aldi is one of the cheapest options for buying groceries in this country. Considering food prices are among the highest in the world in Australia, I feel like Aldi is a great place to shop if you’re on a budget.
Here’s what it’s like to shop at Aldi in Australia.
The chain is currently in the process of converting all of its Australian stores to its “new store” format.
According to Australian Food News, the “new store” format includes expanded wooden produce bays, clearer signage, and energy-efficient LED lighting. The publication also reported that Aldi intends to convert all of its Australian stores to this new format by 2020.
I went to one of the chain’s newer stores in Melbourne, Australia.
I really liked how easy it was to find what I needed as I shopped. I appreciated how spacious the aisles were and how this Aldi store kept food in the outer aisles and miscellaneous household goods in the middle aisles.
Figuring out this simple organisation strategy helped me to easily make my way around the store since I had a pretty good idea of where everything was located.
The way the store was organised is similar to how many Aldi stores in the US are organised, too. US Aldi shoppers can also expect to find food on the outer edges of the store but more miscellaneous items in the middle section.
Clear, colour-coded signage made it easy for me to see how much I’d really be saving when I purchase something.
With their bright colours and arrow graphics, the signs found around the store clearly illustrate when an item has dropped in price.
I found that most of this Aldi location’s produce was priced at less than $US3 AUD (roughly $2.12 USD).
The shelves were stocked with celery, corn, asparagus, and produce you’d typically find at any other grocery store. I’m a big fan of buying produce at Aldi Australia because I’ve found that it is affordable and typically good quality.
I felt the prices of some of the produce were quite affordable.
I feel like it’s hard to come by avocados priced so low at $US2.29 AUD (roughly $1.62 USD) in Australia.
I noticed that this Aldi had exclusive brands you can’t find in the US.
Some of the brands found in Australia’s Aldi stores won’t be found in US locations. One of these brands is Brannan’s Butchery, an Aldi-owned line of meat-based products.
Aldi locations in Australian also sell food from Aldi-owned brands that can be found in the US, including items from Specially Selected – Aldi’s gourmet line of food.
This location had a really broad selection of pre-marinated meat, poultry, and fish
A lot of the meat in the refrigerated section of this store was labelled with Aldi’s brand Brannan’s Butchery. I thought the meat section was really well organised.
The store sold some Australian favourites you probably wouldn’t be able to purchase from Aldi locations in the US.
This Aldi location sold Vegemite, a yeast extract-based spread that’s super popular in Australia. This is something that’s most likely not offered in US locations.
The store had a mini gardening section with tools and small plants.
There was a variety of outdoor decor items available at this store. And although these items may be seasonal, these aren’t the only home-related items that Aldi locations in Australia typically sell.
Recently, Aldi locations in Australia made headlines for offering an affordable “special buys” collection of bedroom furniture. Although you can also buy a limited range of furniture from Aldi locations in the US, the deals being offered in Australian stores were quite impressive. The chain advertised a limited quantity of items like a king-sized bed frame for just $US299 AUD and a chest of drawers for $US100 AUD.
This Aldi location also sold clothing and shoes.
This store had a display that contained basic pants and shoes in simple colours like navy and grey. Shoppers in the US can also find clothing at most Aldi stores.
The store also had a huge selection of household items.
I typically go to Aldi to buy basic cleaning supplies as they are usually pretty cheap. I feel like a pack of sponges for $US1.79 roughly $1.26 USD) is a pretty great bargain.
The store’s middle aisles had a bunch of kitchen essentials and appliances.
The Aldi had displays of items like pots, pans, utensils, oven mitts, and tea towels.
I noticed that this store’s middle aisles seemed a bit more unorganized and unattended than the food aisles on the outer edges. Some boxes for utilities were opened and I noticed a lot of items weren’t in the right place, which was frustrating when I was trying to find certain products.
This location had a lot of affordable beer, wine, and liquor.
Alcohol can be quite expensive in Australia but this Aldi was selling bottles of wine for just $US2.85 AUD (roughly $2 USD).
And it had a lot of budget-friendly options for buying beer in bulk.
This Aldi had a variety of brands of beer including some brands you can also purchase in the US.
Aldi in Australia does not provide customers with plastic bags for their groceries.
At Aldi locations around the globe, plastic bags are not given out for free. But shoppers have the option to buy plastic, fabric, or cooler bags at the chain’s Australian locations. Aldi imparts the same policy at its US locations, too.
Although this location had plastic bags for produce, it was printed with a message encouraging shoppers to re-use it.
This chain typically makes it possible for me to buy groceries for the week while sticking to my budget.
I recently bought 34 items for about $US101 AUD and although that might expensive at first, it came out to about $70 USD for a week’s worth of produce, meat, canned food, and other miscellaneous items. That’s only $US10 a day.
As an American living in Australia, I like shopping at Aldi because its low prices help me stay on top of my budget.
At the end of the day, it seems like an Aldi is an Aldi regardless of what continent you’re on. I didn’t notice that this store was much different from the chain’s US locations.
One of the only differences seemed to be that some of this location’s offerings were different from those in the US. For example, this Aldi sold Vegemite (a salty spread that’s popular in Australia) and some Aldi-owned brands exclusive to Australia that shoppers likely won’t find in the US.
In general, I felt that shopping at this Aldi was not an overwhelming experience because it had limited options, a wide range of products, and low prices. I’ll definitely continue to shop at Aldi because it helped me get what I want without wading through a ton of options.
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