Aldi, a German grocery store, has been sweeping the nation over the last decade, doubling its numbers all around the US. If you're a frequent shopper in Aldi stores, you’ll know they have lower prices than most grocery stores.
That being said, does the meat at Aldi compare to the quality of other grocery stores?
In this article, we’re going to find out where the meat sold at Aldi comes from, if the low price sacrifices quality, and why the meat is so cheap to begin with.
- You can find USDA Choice and Black Angus Beef for $4.50 a pound at an Aldi store.
- Aldi spends less money by locally sourcing their meat.
- Compared to Whole Foods and other supermarkets, Aldi has inconsistency with stock.
What Kinds of Meat You Can Get at Aldi?
Think of Aldi like any other grocery store - just cheaper. So, what you can pick up at other places, Aldi offers the same. This includes:
- Pork (pork chops, sausages, ham, bacon)
- Chicken (chicken breast, whole chickens, chicken thighs, wings)
- Turkey (ground turkey, a whole turkey, sliced turkey)
- Beef (ground beef, steak, burgers)
What you won’t find in Aldi, however, is a butcher. Unlike your local grocery store, you won’t find a working butcher or fresh deli counter at Aldi.
The lack of a butcher means there are no custom cuts available. All the meat on offer will be shown in their fridge and freezers, but this is how you get some good deals on meat.
While you may not be able to pick up your preferable cut, Aldi’s meat does ensure low prices. If you happen to shop on Wednesday, you will be able to find some fresh meat specials.
They are a limited supply; however, they are usually the best meats available on Aldi’s shelves.
Where Aldi Meat Comes From?
Believe it or not, many people believe meat prices at Aldi are so low because they source their meat from China.
Of course, that is far from the truth. Most meat sold in the Aldi’s around the US is produced and packaged in America.
Their imported meats are sourced from Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand.
Inside the United States, they require all imported products to be labeled with the country of origin.
Is Aldi's Meat Quality Any Good?
The fact is, Aldi’s meat is mixed when it comes to quality.
While you may be lucky to get your hands on some grass-fed beef, most meats aren’t labeled with USDA grade.
A crowd favorite, however, is USDA Choice Black Angus Beef from Aldi . USDA Choice is given by the Department of Agriculture to meats that are of high-quality standards - one spot behind Prime meat.
Even though Aldi produces USDA Black Angus, they only charge around $4.50 per pound, compared to other local grocery stores that charge $7.99.
Their ground beef falls a little short since they tend to overground the meat.
It will work great for meatloaf but may be harder to cook burgers with. If you do get your hands on some grass-fed organic meat, you will notice the quality of meat is much higher.
I have noticed that Aldi’s great quality meats tend to go in and out of the shop rather quickly.
Compared to other stores, their stock is quite inconsistent; therefore, your favorite cuts could be off the shelves for months. That being said, it is rather common with a discount retailer.
Unfortunately, when it comes to meats you should avoid, there are quite a few. It’s important to remember when saving money on your grocery bill, not everything will be up to expectations, especially if you’re used to a butchers’ cut.
“At a previous own-label award ceremony by industry guru The Grocer, Aldi’s Specially Selected line won the best own-label brand.”
Aldi’s chicken breasts and thighs have quite the reputation when it comes to quality.
They often require a lot of trimming and preparation once you have got them home, and annoyingly, they can still contain bits of bone that you have to pick out of the meat.
As I mentioned before, ground meat is often a hassle for customers. They tend to find that the meat has been overly ground, producing a texture that is over crumbly and hard to cook with.
They do offer a range of ground meats in different ratios, and while it isn’t the best meat available, it definitely isn’t the worst.
All I can say is, don’t expect the same quality you would get from a butcher. When it comes to stocking shelves, Aldi wants to give their customers the best prices they can while still maintaining a certain level of quality in their food.
Why Is the Meat so Cheap at Aldi?
The primary way Aldi keeps its prices down is by selling its own brand.
It means you won’t find any name brands or national brands in-store, only meats sourced and produced by Aldi exclusive brands.
Of course, you can still see some of the same products sold in Aldi that are also available in Walmart and other supermarkets. However, most products offered in Aldi are not name-brands.
Aldi also manages to keep the prices low thanks to low staffing. If you’ve ever shopped at Aldi, you may have noticed there are only ever 6-8 employees working at the same time.
While this can cause problems at busy times, it is one of the reasons why customers can save some money by buying products at affordable prices. Less staff means fewer wages, and fewer wages mean more savings for customers.
As I mentioned before, Aldi also sources most of its meats locally. It means they can save money on transportation costs, labor costs, keeping the meat cool, and fuel admissions. This all helps keep their prices low.
Having no name-brand products or national brands does mean the stock tends to run out quickly.
They advertise their “Fresh Meat Special Buy” two weeks before they hit the shelves, and once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Having this limited supply, though, also means Aldi is spending less when it comes to overstock and waste. Compared to your local supermarket, they won’t throw away as much food. Selling everything they own allows them to keep low prices.
Local Aldi Store vs. Meat Deliveries
When it comes to situations like these, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for.
If you're looking to save big, there is nothing wrong with the meat Aldi produces. Understandably, the Aldi brand won't be the same as high-end markets.
That being said, meat delivery companies offer better deals, great value, and good quality cuts. For this reason, I source my meat from trusted companies such as ButcherBox.
Not only do they sell sustainably sourced meat but they also offer several subscription boxes to their customers. The best part is that they have free shipping on all deliveries.
Check them out and get your box delivered to your doorstep.
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