ALDI, low-price grocery store chain, opens several locations in Houston area

April 11, 2013 3:16:54 PM PDT
A new low-price grocery store chain is now opening in Houston. It's called ALDI. They held a grand opening for several stores on Thursday, so we checked out the prices to show you what you can expect.

There is no other store quite like it in Houston. It's a small, no-frills supermarket, so don't expect a mega store. About 98 percent of the items are the private label brands, and that's why ALDI workers say you will save 50 percent more shopping there than a traditional store.

Just five aisles and 1,700 square feet make up an ALDI supermarket. It's small, efficient and, shoppers say, so are the prices.

"I am thinking I love it already. I have only walked maybe two aisles and the prices versus HEB and Kroger -- some of the places I shop at -- are just completely different," shopper April Davis said.

The milk prices were so low it had customers stopping in their tracks.

"A gallon of milk for a $1.89 and I was surprised because I haven't seen a gallon of milk for $1.89 in years. Mostly milk is nearly $3," shopper Julie Barjenbruch said.

"I am just so overtaken by this store. It's awesome," shopper Laverne White said.

The price of eggs is 79 cents a dozen.

"Usually I pay about $1.75 for a dozen eggs, not 79 cents, unless it's some kind of special for eggs that are about to expire," Barjenbruch said.

In the produce section, we found avocados for 29 cents each and bananas for 29 cents a pound.

"Pineapples 99 cents, strawberries -- a pint of them -- for 99 cents. I paid $3 just last week," Davis said.

In the pantry aisle, you won't find any brands you are familiar with. Milleville, Benton's, and Clancy's are just some of the ALDI private label brands.

"The quality is the same, if not better, than the national brand. We really concentrate on quality on everything we do," said Scott Huska with ALDI.

But if you are worried the products don't measure up to the national brand versions, Huska says the store has a 'double your money back' guarantee.

"So if you are to try a product here and for whatever reason you were not satisfied, we are going to give you another product and your money back," Huska said.

But how do the prices really compare?

Joe V's Smart Shop, which is owned and operated by HEB, is also a no-frills supermarket. Their store motto is "seriously outrageous deals." We found the price of dozen eggs $1.65, and milk was $2.78 a gallon. But they had similar prices on a loaf of bread, strawberries and tortillas.

There are some things to keep in mind at ALDI. The store is open from 9am-9pm, seven days a week. You will have to sack your own groceries at a sacking station with your own grocery bags, and it accepts only cash, debit and government payment cards.

One more thing: You will need to bring a quarter to check out a cart, and you will get it back once you return it.

ALDI has plans to open another 20 stores in the Houston area.
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