What’s Wrong With Shopping There?

1 Jun

I shop at Aldi and Netto. I don’t shop there exclusively, I shop in a larger variety of places than that but it seems that if I admitted to shopping at Aldi and Netto, I could well be looked down on.

That dog with the shopping basket isn’t fooling anyone – or so it thinks. People just have this stigma against shopping at Aldi and Netto. I’m not sure if it’s because one’s German and the other is Swedish, but what’s wrong with that? Both are very efficient countries so surely their approach to supermarket shopping should be better than elsewhere?

Oh and there’s the food which is the whole point of why we go there. You can get some great things: I’ve discovered delicious vanilla whirls at Netto recently which taste just as good as the homemade version (ahem, well, maybe not as good as mine… but still lovely) and there’s a whole variety of under-the-radar but scrumptious brands at Aldi: their sweet chili and red pepper crisps are amazing and what exactly is the difference between a Rocky and a Wacko? Er, none, other than the name. They’re both chocolate covered biscuits, so who really cares if one sounds a bit daft and comes from a “cheap” store?

I think I’ve nailed the problem, and as with everything this can be proved with a carefully assembled chart:

Okay, okay, the chart only actually took me about two minutes to make but the message is clear: we think some places are posher than others. Of course, if you go to a completely independent butcher or grocery store where the animal was butchered in the back room and the cows milked just next door then you’re at the top of the foodie pile. And then there’s a series of grades involving different supermarkets with the poshest of the posh, in my opinion, being Waitrose (it’s so posh that there isn’t one within a hundred miles of one. Seriously, I’ve never seen a Waitrose). I’ve seen the rest of them on the list and shopped there: but why should I pay for Sainsbury’s prices when I can get the same thing under a different name in Netto or Aldi?

If I’m honest, even I prefer Aldi to Netto: sometimes Netto is a little depressing whereas Aldi is full of jolly German brands. I’m not sure why that is. It might be something to do with the clinical lighting – it’s like walking into a very brightly lit hospital. Of course, both stores have an overall image problem that has been caused by naff adverts and a million playground taunts – Netto weren’t doing themselves any favours when they had an advert featuring a young Swedish girl in a Viking hat looking for bargains. That kind of stereotyping just doesn’t give out a good image. And of course, Netto and Aldi are only really positioned in places where there’s higher unemployment and a lower disposable income.

Not that it makes any difference from the misunderstood quality of their products. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there’s no shame in shopping there and more people should get over it and just go inside. I used to mock them too but then my eyes were opened – and it’s great!


One Response to “What’s Wrong With Shopping There?”

  1. Pie June 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    I’ve never shopped at Netto, but I had shopped at Aldi once and Lidl is my nearest store at walking distance. Our Lidl is currently closed for refurbishment until 10th June and I’m missing it desperately. I love Waitrose and I do shop there, but when I want some good stuff at budget prices, it’s Lidl every time. Besides, in my experience, you can’t get everything you need in one store/store brand, so I move around.

    Of course these kind of stores are placed in areas where low income earners live, but does that mean they don’t deserve quality at keen prices? In some instances the food is better at these places than the better known stores (the chocolate at Aldi certainly is!). The recession made some people reassess their shopping habits as their income shrank and they discovered for themselves what we’ve always known.

    It’s nice to be ahead of the curve, isn’t it?

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