Not only has the German supermarket chain Aldi become the first major retailer to ban bee killing pesticides on their produce, they are also stepping up their game with regards to organic-food.
An announcement was made on January 1st by Aldi stating that beginning ASAP, eight pesticides known to be toxic to bees would no longer be allowed on their fruits or vegetables
The grocery chain is also expanding its range of organic-food, removing some artificial ingredients from its products and adding more gluten-free items to their range.
Business Insider reports:
The company’s foray into organic and gluten-free foods signals a new direction for Aldi, and an emerging threat to Whole Foods’ lower-cost chain, 365 By Whole Foods Market, which is launching this year.
Whole Foods is opening the chain to better compete with the increasingly crowded market for low-cost organic goods.
Aldi has removed certified synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated oils, and added MSG from all its private-label products, which make up 90% of what Aldi sells, the company told Business Insider.
Aldi is also expanding its selection of fresh and organic meat and produce, including its “Never Any!” brand of meats that contain no added antibiotics, hormones, animal by-products or other additives.
The chain is also expanding its SimplyNature line, which is free from 125 artificial ingredients, and its gluten-free liveGfree brand.
Aldi’s milk is already free from artificial growth hormones, but it’s now stripping yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and other dairy products of growth hormones as well.
In addition to broadening its organic offerings, Aldi has started to offer “fancier” foods, like artisanal cheeses, smoked salmon, quinoa, and coconut oil.
The steps will enable Aldi to better compete with not only Whole Foods, but also Kroger, which has been rapidly expanding its organic line, called Simple Truth, and Walmart’s Neighborhood Markets.
ldi has about 1,500 stores in the US and has plans to open roughly 500 more stores over the next two years as part of a $3 billion expansion.
Aldi and rival discounter Lidl have upended the grocery market in the UK, forcing the nation’s largest supermarkets to dramatically cut prices and lay off workers to stay competitive.
The CEO of Asda, the UK’s second-largest grocery chain, has called the new competitive environment created by Aldi and Lidl “the worst storm in retail history.”
“When we set the plan, I don’t think anyone anticipated the market being in meltdown,” Asda CEO Andy Clarke said in August after the Walmart-owned company reported its worst quarterly sales drop ever.
Aldi keeps prices low by limiting inventory to a lean selection of private-label items, versus traditional supermarkets that tend to carry several different brands of a single product.