Discount grocer Aldi has announced that it’s adding new products to its aisles, with an emphasis on natural foods.
Existing Aldi stores -- which are typically about 12,000 square feet -- will also be expanded to allow for bigger aisles, less-cluttered shelves, and more refrigeration space. The changes are part of a $1.9 billion effort to give the stores “a modern market feel and a little more space.”
“The continued success of our store expansion and remodel initiatives has given us the opportunity to carefully select and introduce new products that satisfy our customers’ increasing preferences for fresh items, including organic meats, salad bowls, sliced fruits and gourmet cheeses,” said Jason Hart, CEO of ALDI U.S.
“We know people lead busy lives, so we’re making it even easier for them to purchase everything on their shopping list at ALDI, while still saving money,” Hart said.
Aldi said it plans to increase its selection of natural, fresh, and organic foods by 40 percent. The items being added generally fall under one of three categories: fresh and healthy, convenient, and must-have items.
New products will include more fresh meats, an expanded produce selection, and a new line of vegan and vegetarian options, as well as more baked goods and alternative milks. Consumers will also find more easy-to-prepare meal starters, including quinoa bowls and premium pasta sauces.
Once Aldi’s expansion is complete, 20 percent of products in every Aldi will be new compared to last year. The German-owned chain said it plans to have 2,500 locations nationwide by the end of 2022 -- up from 1,800 currently.
Aldi’s push toward fresh and organic items may help it compete with high-end retailers. Diane Sheehan, an analyst with Kantar Consulting, says focusing on premium shoppers could backfire on pricier grocery stores like Whole Foods.
In today's competitive grocery landscape, everyone "expects good deals on quality products,” Sheehan told CNN Money. "Those retailers continue to be underestimating Aldi and are doing it to their own detriment.”