How ALDI is Changing the Game

The Lempert Report
February 05, 2016

Enter the era of food retailers that take responsibility

Last Fall ALDI announced that by the end of 2015 it would remove certified synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated oils and added MSG from all of its exclusive brands. A huge undertaking and commitment from the company who’s 1,500 US stores stock about 90% of its own brands. Reinforcing that a food retailer should do more than just pile products on its shelves regardless of its ingredients; further attracting the Millennial shopper who wants to shop at stores that they feel truly cares about them.

Now ALDI is making another bold move with its US CEO  Jason Hart saying they are “removing temptation at the checkout” and introducing Healthier Checklanes  where chocolates and candies are being replaced with nuts, trail mixes, dried fruits and granola bars by the end of this year. Not a new idea, as Hy-vee, ShopRite and others have touted “candy free” lanes for years.

Eliminating these tempting treats is only one part of the solution, we hope that ALDI will also use the space at the checkout to promote the benefits of these “healthier” replacements and be diligent to insure that these products are indeed better for you alternatives. After all, a granola bar might have a healthier halo than say a bar of dark chocolate, but its ingredients and nutritionals might have more sugars, fats and sodium.

I’d like to see comparisons at the checklane and it will be interesting to see the data in a year from now to not only measure the sales increase, hopefully, but can you imagine if we could also track the health gains?

As we begin to see retailers take a stand, it will be critical that they are transparent and consistent if they want to gain the shoppers trust and their business.