ALDI Makes a “Free-From” Move that Changes the Supermarket Game

October 19, 2015

One of 2016’s biggest trends will be “free-from” as brands remove these types of ingredients.

If you are fortunate enough to live near one of the more than 1,400 ALDI stores across the nation, the announcement made this month by CEO Jason Hart to remove certified synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated oils and added MSG from all of their exclusive brand food products by the end of this year gives you one more reason to shop at ALDI.

There is little doubt that the company’s combination of quality and low prices and growing popularity, especially among Millennials, is wreaking havoc for practically all other food stores who are struggling to tweak their offerings to attract this food and value-focused shopper. On their shelves, about 90 percent of the foods are all under ALDI exclusive brands; and according to a survey conducted in April 2015 by Market Force Information of 6,000+ consumers, the chain continues to be recognized as one of America’s top three favorite grocery stores and has been named the Best Value among US grocery stores. Which in combination with the numerous product awards they receive including Better Homes & Gardens’ Best New Product in the Baked Goods Category, Product of the Year, Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval, International Wine & Spirit, and Wine Enthusiast Magazine award, to name just a few, underscore why people are willing to buy or bring a shopping bag and give a 25 cent deposit to use a shopping cart. 

The retailer recently announced the opening of 45 stores in Southern California by the end of 2016 and expects to have 2,000 stores coast-to-coast by 2018. 

ALDI is making the right move by removing these ingredients to satisfy consumers. One of 2016’s biggest trends will be “free-from” as brands remove these types of ingredients. Research from Mintel reports that 43 percent of US consumers agree that “free-from” foods are healthier; and that Millennials and Generation X shoppers are much more likely than Baby Boomers to worry about harmful ingredients in the foods they purchase. ALDI recently conducted its own survey of 2,000 adults revealing that eighty-seven percent of Americans are concerned with added ingredients in their packaged food. In fact, in the 2015 Food and Health Survey conducted each year by the IFIC Foundation 36% of those surveyed said “chemicals in their food” is the most important food safety issue for them (which was up 13 percentage points from the 2014 survey).

It’s also good business. According to the ALDI website, in recent years they have increased the amount of fresh (both conventional and organic) produce items, introduced SimplyNature, the ALDI exclusive brand free from more than 125 artificial ingredients, and liveGfree the store’s line of gluten-free foods 

In Consumer Reports Magazine’s supermarket survey where over 62,000 shoppers rate stores on 12 attributes including perishables, price satisfaction and variety, ALDI ranked at number 7 (taking into consideration scores that tied) in a list of 68 chains. No doubt that by the time the next survey is conducted their ranking will be even higher.

By the end of this year, customers will be able to rest assured that the fully reformulated lines of products will be on ALDI shelves. Check out for more information and to find the store nearest you.