On the same day that the federal government reported surging food price inflation, hard discount grocer Aldi U.S. vowed to keep a tight rein on pricing.
In a letter to customers on Tuesday, Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart reaffirmed the Batavia, Ill.-based chain’s focus on delivering low grocery prices, pledging that the retailer would remain a price leader across its market area.
“Saving you money is what we do best. And in times like these, I’m incredibly proud to underscore this commitment to you: No matter what happens in the world around us, Aldi will always be the low-price leader in every community we serve,” Hart said in the letter, titled “Our Price Promise.”
Aldi offers a curated selection of high-quality private-label products in a compact store format, attracting customers with hard-to-match, everyday-low prices and a simplified shopping experience that eschews promotional frills. The formula, with about 90% of the store selection being own brands, has propelled rapid growth and lifted the chain into the top rungs of the U.S. retail grocery market by number of stores.
“We have always made shopping at Aldi simple with the lowest possible prices, every day, in every aisle. No tricks. No gimmicks. Just real savings that help stretch your dollar further for the things that matter most,” Hart said in the letter. “Whether you’re feeling the pinch at the gas pump or on your home energy bills, you can count on Aldi as a bright spot in your weekly budget. Thank you for shopping at Aldi. We appreciate your loyalty.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Tuesday that the Consumer Price Index for food-at-home swelled 10% year over year (unadjusted) for March, the largest 12-month increase since March 1981. That followed an 8.6% gain in February, which BLS said last month marked the biggest 12-month uptick since April 1981.
Monthly increases in the food-at-home index have been sharp so far in 2022, rising 1.5% in March, 1.4% in February and 1% in January, after just a 0.4% uptick in December. BLS noted that all six major grocery-store food group indexes — cereals and bakery products; meat, poultry, fish and eggs; dairy and related products; fruit and vegetables; beverages (including non-alcoholic); and other food-at-home products — saw price hikes in March.
Aldi U.S. also had made a low-pricing pledge in May 2020, just a couple of months into the COVID-19 and amid historical food price jumps stemming from supply chain disruptions.
“It seems as though, in the blink of an eye, everything has changed,” Hart said at the time in a letter to customers. “While just about every aspect of our lives might look a little different now, including grocery shopping, I want to assure you that one thing will never change at Aldi: our commitment to offering you the lowest prices, every day.”
Meanwhile, Aldi is moving ahead with its U.S. expansion. In 2022, the retailer plans to add about 150 new stores, including continued growth in the Gulf Coast region that has brought the grocer into its 38th state, Louisiana.
Aldi opened about 100 stores in 2021 as well as in 2020. The chain entered its 37th state, Arizona, in 2020 after making its debut in its 36th state, North Dakota, the year before. The new stores and market areas are part of a $5 billion, five-year expansion strategy that Aldi unveiled in 2017. Currently, Germany-based Aldi operates more than 2,150 U.S. stores.