Sorry to break the news to any fans out there – but Trader Joe’s is practically the same as ALDI – but with different packaging!

Love Trader Joe’s? ALDI might be quite better

For the longest time – “Trader Joe’s” was considered to us to be some kind of special supermarket for beatniks and other weirdos. They had that “earthy” kind of eco-feel to them. So “responsible,” right? Not surprising considering their California origins.

For a little background – it should be known that Trader Joe’s has been owned by ALDI Nord for the past four decades. It’s a bit complicated – but you should dig into the ALDI history. There are basically two “ALDI’s” in existence. ALDI Sud (which stands for south) is the ALDI brand you see in America. ALDI Nord (north) is located in other parts of the world. ALDI is essentially two completely distinct and separate companies, although they share most of their sources.

In other words – Trader Joe’s is essentially an ADLI under a different name. Albeit a different ALDI, much the same still.

That is why you see that over 80% of the products sold at Trader Joe’s are under the Trader Joe’s “house-brand” name. Another way of saying “private label.”

Trader Joe’s seems a bit off, though

While visiting the new Trader Joe’s in Bridgewater, NJ – we felt something wasn’t quite right.

The store was packed for one thing. Trader Joe’s seems to attract a different kind of customer. Perhaps they have different customer loyalty? Would those same people shop at ALDI if they truly knew the origins of the company? Or is it “beneath” them?

Also – we were not thrilled with both the prices and the quality. Maybe we need to shop there a few more times. But particularly the meat section left us feeling underwhelmed. It’s possible the ALDI Sud part of the company is run a bit better than the ALDI Nord.

Another thing is that the ALDI stores seem to be “no-nonsense” and Trader Joe’s is more hype, emotion, and image.

Do you notice both the differences and the similarities between the stores?

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.