When a mega grocery chain like Aldi decides to change what’s on their shelves it’s a HUGE deal.
We are not talking about a few pantries here. Aldi has 1600 stores in the US alone—to put it in perspective, Whole Foods only has 431 stores worldwide, making this a monumental shift.
So what exactly did they do?
For starters they decided to remove artificial colors, added MSG and hydrogenated oils from all of their ‘Aldi-Label’ products. Furthermore they will be carrying more organic produce as well as exclusively carrying dairy that is free from artificial growth hormones.
“Hydrogenated oils are added to foods to increase their shelf life and maintain the foods flavors,” says nutritionist and registered dietician Sharon George. “I explain to my patients that they should eat fresh and always check labels.”
It is refreshing to see big brands like this making a shift to keep their consumer’s healthy. Perhaps this means the era of grocery stores luring consumers into buying products that aren’t good for them is coming to a close. “I try and teach my patients not to ‘eat with their eyes,’” says George. “The most appealing looking food doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest. That’s why It is so important to read food labels and ingredients before making an informed decision.”
Grocery stores are a vital part of our society. They somewhat shape who we are by what we eat. It’s important for such stores to have healthy intentions in mind for their clients, who will make up current and future generations. To this end, Aldi, who has over 10,000 stores worldwide, also made the decision to remove candy bars from their checkout lines, a tactic that has historically been known to insight impulse purchases. Instead they have replaced the candy with healthy snacks like trail mix, dried fruits and granola bars.
“If the products are close in price I will always choose organic over conventional,” says George. who also expressed concern over the fact that organic foods are often priced higher than their non organic counterparts. This has not gone unnoticed by Aldi. That’s why along with this shift, they have promised not to disturb their low prices. They claim further that customers will save as much as 25% on organic produce over the competition. This may have been spurred on by Whole Foods decision to launch a smaller more competitive chain called 365 in the US this year.
We couldn’t be more excited about Aldi’s changes and we look forward to healthier shopping habits for all.