Women's HealthGet To Know Aldi With These Lesser-Known SecretsApril 1, 2023 at 12:00 a.m.1/26Get To Know Aldi With These Lesser-Known SecretsIf, like many other shoppers around the world, a trip to the grocery store means packing up and heading for Aldi, you've probably had some questions about the popular chain. What's up with having to leave a quarter to use a cart, and why don't you ever see coupons? We've dug deep for some particularly juicy info about the discount grocer, including details on the other name Aldi goes by in the United States. Think you're an Aldi expert? Think again — here are 25 things you never knew about Aldi. (Getty Images)2/26Aldi is a German companyIt was started in the country back in 1946 by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht. In fact, the name Aldi is a syllabic abbreviation for Albrecht Diskont (Albrecht Discount).More: Grocery List Shopping Apps for an Easier Store Experience (Getty Images)3/26It began life as a corner storeAldi can trace its history even further back, to 1913. Though the company didn't officially incorporate until 1946, the first Aldi was a corner store that was initially opened by Anna Albrecht, Karl and Theo's mother. (Getty Images)4/26U.S. customers are more familiar with Aldi SouthThe Aldi brand split in 1960 when the Albrecht brothers decided to go their separate ways. The Aldi most U.S. customers are familiar with is Aldi Sud (Aldi South) while the other one is Aldi Nord (Aldi North), which goes by a different name in the U.S. — keep reading. (Getty Images)5/26Aldi split into two because of a disagreementWhen the brand split, the brothers owned 300 shops. The disagreement that caused the formation of Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud was whether to sell cigarettes in their stores or not. Karl was adamant that cigarette sales would attract shoplifters, and Theo didn't believe that was the case. Unable to reach an agreement, they parted ways financially. (Getty Images)6/26The split lead to two different HQ locationsAldi Nord is headquartered in Essen, Germany, and Aldi Sud's H.Q. is in Mulheim. Though Karl and Theo have passed away, the companies continue to be family-owned. (Getty Images)7/26Aldi Nord goes by a very familiar nameAldi Nord is known as Trader Joe’s in the U.S. While Aldi focuses on a more traditional, no-frills shopping experience, Trader Joe's concentrates on offering a hipper, unique experience. These differences show how the philosophies of the two brothers affected the companies after their split. (Getty Images)8/26Shopping bags don't come freeYou have to pay for shopping bags at Aldi or bring your own. In most places in the U.S., you get grocery bags for free, but when shopping at Aldi, you're encouraged to be more environmentally conscious. Quite a few shops have this policy now, especially in California, but Aldi has been doing it for decades. (Getty Images)9/26Bagging groceries is the customer's jobYou'll also have to bag your own groceries at Aldi. Most stores have an area that you can take your items to after checking out that gives you plenty of room to finish bagging before you leave. (Getty Images)10/26Carts cost a quarterIf you want to use a cart at Aldi, you have to pay a deposit. Each cart has a coin slot mounted on it, and by inserting a quarter, you unlock it from the cart ahead of it. This helps to prevent theft and encourages people to return carts to their corrals so they can get their quarter back. (Getty Images)11/26Aldi's brands are just as good as the national brandsAround 90% of the products at Aldi are packaged under Aldi brands. But these items are still produced on the same lines as name-brand items, and they meet the same quality standards. (Getty Images)12/26Aldi emphasizes healthier foodAldi-brand products tend to be more natural than the competition's. The store has mandated that all Aldi brands should be free of MSG, artificial coloring, and hydrogenated oils. (Getty Images)13/26You can snag plenty of organic foods at AldiAldi has recently expanded its organic food offerings. The store also stocks a wide array of gluten-free foods. For the health-conscious, this gives you a lot more choice than you'd typically get in a similar-sized market. (Getty Images)14/26Locations aren't open 24 hoursAldi isn't a 24-hour establishment. Stores tend to be open only during peak shopping hours, which may be inconvenient to some. (Getty Images)15/26Aldi has a fantastic customer guaranteeThe Aldi Twice as Nice Guarantee is almost unparalleled in the industry. If you find an Aldi brand product that doesn't meet the quality of a rival brand, you get the double guarantee of getting your money back and the item replaced. (Getty Images)16/26Checkout at Aldi is a much quicker affairYou may notice when shopping at Aldi that the cashiers seem more efficient than at other outlets. This is because every Aldi product has multiple barcodes, which makes it a lot easier to scan a product without having to hunt for the UPC label. (Getty Images)17/26Don't expect to use coupons thereIf you're a coupon clipper, Aldi might not be for you. The company doesn't accept coupons. The reason stated is so cashiers can keep lines moving instead of having to stop to scan a fistful of coupons. (Getty Images)18/26Creating product displays is a cinchThe boxes that products are shipped in are part of their displays at Aldi. Instead of sitting individual items on a shelf, Aldi employees can just open the box and place the whole thing on the shelf, which makes restocking much more efficient. (Getty Images)19/26Aldi does its part to donate to food banksUnlike many grocery stores, Aldi has a policy that outlets can donate lightly damaged or newly expired food to charities. The store also works with Feeding America to donate to food banks. (Getty Images)20/26There are more stores to comeAldi is expanding rapidly. The company is spending almost $2 billion to renovate existing stores and nearly $3.5 billion to open new ones. (Getty Images)21/26Aldi is dedicated to remaining competitiveAldi goes through an intensive testing process when creating its brands. It conducts blind taste tests, comparing its products to competitors, and reviews each product yearly to ensure its formula is still competitive. (Getty Images)22/26You can't call individual Aldi storesUnlike almost every other company, Aldi doesn't publish the numbers for its stores. You can call the central corporate helpline, but you won't ever get hold of anyone locally. (Getty Images)23/26Only essential staff get brought onOne of the reasons you won't be able to call your local Aldi is because there's no permanently staffed office. Aldi cuts overhead by only hiring for essential roles. Which means most stores only have six to eight total employees. (Getty Images)24/26You can shop Aldi without a membershipYou don't have to be a member to shop at Aldi. There's no Aldi club or dues, and anyone can walk-in and shop at no extra cost. (Getty Images)25/26Aldi spends very little on marketingSince the company's inception, one of the places where it’s saved money is by letting word-of-mouth bring people in. Even now, you'll see hardly any Aldi TV, radio, or newspaper ads compared to its peers. (Getty Images)26/26You can view Aldi specials for two weeks in advanceMost grocery stores run their ads week to week, but Aldi gives you a little extra time to prepare to stock up. (Getty Images)Think you're an Aldi expert? Think again. We've got the scoop on secrets that your favorite budget grocery store is hiding.