Aldi, a German grocery store, has been sweeping the nation over the last decade, doubling its numbers throughout the US.
I’ve been a loyal customer of Aldi Meat for the past three years and can say that they offer one of the most affordable and quality meat compared to other grocery stores. So, I researched further to find out where they source their meat and other hidden factors.
In this article, we will find out where the meat sold at Aldi comes from, if the low price sacrifices quality, and why the meat is so cheap.
- The quality of Aldi's meat is mixed, with some products like USDA Choice Black Angus Beef being of high quality, while others like ground beef and chicken may require additional preparation.
- Aldi's meat is generally affordable and locally sourced, with most of it produced and packaged in the U.S.
- Aldi keeps its meat prices low by selling its brand, maintaining low staffing levels, and sourcing locally to save on transportation and labor costs.
The Kind 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.
- 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 be unable to pick up your preferred cut, Aldi’s meat ensures low prices. If you happen to shop on Wednesday, you will be able to find some fresh meat specials.
They are a limited supply, but the best meats are usually available on Aldi’s shelves.
Where Aldi Meat Comes From?
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 quality of Aldi meat varies, but this doesn't mean the quality isn't' good.
While you may be lucky to get 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 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, producing a texture that is over crumbly and hard to cook with.
It will work great for meatloaf but may be harder to cook burgers with. If you get your hands on some grass-fed organic meat, you will notice the meat quality is much higher.
I have noticed that Aldi's great quality meats tend to go quickly in and out of the shop.
Compared to other stores, their stock is inconsistent; your favorite cuts could be off the shelves for months. That being said, it is relatively common with a discount retailer.
Unfortunately, when it comes to meats you should avoid, there are quite a few. When saving money on your grocery bill, it's important to remember that not everything will be up to expectations, especially if you're used to a butcher's cut.
In addition, Aldi’s chicken breasts and thighs have a low 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.
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.
Also Read: What Meats Should You Avoid?
Why Is the Meat so Cheap at Aldi?
Meat is cheap at Aldi because the brand sells its products. It means you won’t find 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, also available in Walmart and other supermarkets. However, most products offered in Aldi are not name-brands.
“At a previous own-label award ceremony by industry guru The Grocer, Aldi’s Specially Selected line won the best own-label brand.” - Lovemoney.com
Aldi also manages to keep the prices low thanks to low staffing. If you've ever shopped at Aldi, you may have noticed only 6-10 employees are working simultaneously.
While this can cause problems at busy times, it is one reason customers can save money by buying products at affordable prices. Less staff means fewer wages, and fewer wages mean more customer savings.
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, the restock doesn't happen any time soon.
Having this limited supply, though, also means Aldi is spending less on overstock and waste. Different from your local supermarket, they will throw away less food. Selling almost everything they own allows them to keep low prices.
Local Aldi Store vs. Meat Deliveries
If you want to save big, Aldi's meat is fine. However, the Aldi brand won't meet the bar in high-end markets.
Meat delivery companies offer better deals, great value, and good-quality cuts. For this reason, I supplement Aldi's meat with quality cuts 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.