If you're looking for inexpensive groceries and home goods that don't skimp on quality, Aldi is the place. While the chain is well-known for its variety of tasty private-label baked goods, in-store bakeries offering fresh items are conspicuously absent. However, some Aldi locations have featured on-site bakeries, which first popped up in 2018. That year, Aldi experimented with fresh baked goods in Maryland, Illinois, and Wisconsin, much to the delight of customers.
Unfortunately, it's not clear whether these bakeries remain in operation. A Reddit thread from five years ago lists the stores with bakeries and added Virginia locations to the selection. However, a comment from one month ago disputes the claim of an Aldi bakery at their nearest location, stating, "Went to the one in Downers Grove, IL today, and there was no bakery." Based on the lack of information, many Aldi locations may still be without bakeries, which means shoppers must rely on the chain's pre-baked items when in search of bread and sweets.
Why Did Aldi Introduce Bakeries In The First Place?
When Aldi began testing bakeries at select stores, some speculated that it was a bid to compete with Lidl, another German-based grocery chain. The first U.S. Lidl location appeared in 2017, and the chain seems to have a similar philosophy when it comes to affordable, high-quality groceries and goods. Like Aldi, Lidl offers weekly ads, which feature a rotating list of food, seasonal items, cookware, toys, and other products. Lidl also offers a generous return policy similar to Aldi's Twice as Nice Guarantee.
The layout and design of Aldi bakeries were major factors in speculation that the chain was attempting to match what Lidl offered American customers. For example, Aldi's test bakeries utilized cases where staff members would place freshly baked items as they became available. Customers could then choose these items at their leisure, which provided a convenient way to access wholesome baked goods prepared in the store. In the event Aldi has stepped back from the in-store bakery concept, the reason probably has much to do with the store's reputation for being highly affordable.
Why Aldi Doesn't Offer The Same Services As Other Grocery Stores
While Aldi shoppers are downright devoted to the chain, many wonder why it lacks the amenities so common at other stores. It all comes down to Aldi's desire to keep prices as reasonable as possible, a goal it couldn't achieve if it were to offer the same services found at other grocery chains. This is why Aldi requires a 25-cent deposit to use its shopping carts. By depositing a quarter, shoppers are more likely to return the cart to the corral, sparing Aldi from hiring more staff to round up carts and bring them back to the store.
Aldi also asks customers to use reusable bags when shopping to reduce costs. In the event you're without a reusable bag, the store offers its own for sale to ensure you can conveniently carry groceries. In addition to keeping costs manageable, reusable bags are also an environmentally friendly choice. While fresh bakery items are always welcome, it's nice to know that Aldi prioritizes its customers when it comes to costs.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.