Aldi going upscale with more fresh, organic, vegetarian products

Aldi, the no-frills grocery chain, is expanding again, this time adding products that may seem more in place at its sister store, Trader Joe's.

The grocery chain said Thursday that it will soon offer more premium products marketed as fresh, natural and organic.

Marinated cilantro lime chicken breasts and kale and quinoa crunch burgers are examples of new products coming to the German company with U.S. headquarters in Batavia.

In addition, more grab-and-go options will be added to the store's shelves, such as quinoa bowls and single-serve guacamole and organic hummus, the company said.

"The continued success of our store expansion and remodel initiatives have given us the opportunity to carefully select and introduce new products that satisfy our customers' increasing preferences for fresh items, including organic meats, salad bowls, sliced fruits and gourmet cheeses," said Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi U.S., in a statement.

The emphasis of the changes is providing fresh, organic and easy-to-prepare options. "We know people lead busy lives, so we're making it even easier for them to purchase everything on their shopping list at Aldi, while still saving money," Hart said.

As part of the expansion, Aldi is increasing its fresh food selection by 40 percent with new items, including:

Fresh and healthy

• More ready-to-cook and organic fresh meats to make meal preparation easier, including organic chicken breasts and marinated cilantro lime chicken breasts.

• Expanded produce selection, including veggie noodles and ready-to-eat sliced fruits, such as mango, pineapple and watermelon spears, and more organics.

• The expanding Earth Grown line has new vegan and vegetarian options, such as kale and quinoa crunch burgers, and chickenless patties and tenders.


• Expanded refrigeration offerings for grab-and-go convenience, including single-serve guacamole and organic hummus, plus fresh fruit and vegetable snack packs.

• Newly added fresh organic salsa, antipasti salad, gourmet olives and calzones.

• More drinks and refrigerated beverages, such as strawberry kefir and kombucha.

• More easy-to-prepare meal starters, including quinoa bowls, premium pasta sauces and vegetarian options, like meatless hot dogs and sausages.

Must-have items

• More baked goods, like white and whole wheat pita breads, sourdough loaves and gluten-free bagels.

• With the addition of organic almond milk, coconut milk and a full range of lactose-free and soy milk, Aldi offers one of the country's largest selections of private-label milk alternatives.

Continued growth

As the war of the grocery stores continues, Aldi has already launched a massive renovation blitz of its stores. The company is spending about $180 million remodeling 130 of its 150 Chicago-area stores by 2020.

The stores are brighter and sport a more contemporary design. With more than 1,800 stores across the country, Aldi is in the midst of an accelerated growth plan, investing more than $5 billion to remodel and expand its store count to 2,500 by the end of 2022.

To support the growth, Aldi has said it plans to expand its corporate offices in Naperville. The discount retailer will continue to operate its headquarters in Batavia and will lease additional space at 1000-1100 East Warrenville Road in Naperville, also known as the Naperville Woods Office Center.

Aldi also offers grocery ordering via Instacart in the Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles metropolitan areas.

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As part of an expansion, Aldi is increasing its fresh food selection by 40 percent with new, upscale items. Daily Herald File Photo, May 2018
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