The 2 Major Grocery Departments You Won't Find At Aldi

If you're a cost-conscious grocery shopper, then you're probably an avid lover of Aldi. The store contains many items: on-brand, off-brand, organic, or anything else, for relatively cheap prices. This is because Aldi prides itself in operating on extremely simple business practices. Unlike other retailers, like Walmart or Meijer for example, Aldi doesn't take the time to unpackage all of their items, and most of their products can be found in the boxes they arrived in.

On top of this, Aldi saves costs by making customers bring their bags or buying reusable ones when they're in line to pay for their groceries. They also don't have to expend workers to retrieve carts, because people have to put a quarter in their cart to use it, and they will only receive the quarter again if they put the cart back where it's supposed to be. Although Aldi can undoubtedly be a lifesaver at times, these simplistic business practices prevent the retailer from having a deli section or a seafood counter, something that may be an annoyance if you're looking to get all your groceries from the retailer.

Why there isn't a deli counter

One of the main reasons Aldi doesn't have a deli counter is that they try to use as few staff as possible. It's not uncommon for Aldi employees to have many tasks in stores, which helps the retailer lower labor costs, which can add up quickly for other competitors. However, because of this minimalist business attitude, Aldi lacks in-store butchers to slice your meats appropriately, one of the biggest reasons they don't have a deli counter.

This doesn't mean that Aldi doesn't serve meat. Although there may be a smaller variety compared to larger retailers, meat usually tends to be cheaper at Aldi. Aldi achieves lower meat prices by trying to source locally, buying their meats from local farms that can bring down transportation costs. The downside to this is that you won't see name brands at your local Aldi, and if you're particular about your meat, you might be taking a gamble buying it at Aldi.

Why there isn't a seafood counter

It's a similar story regarding seafood at Aldi, as you won't be able to find a department with workers selling just-caught fish or crab. Instead, you can expect to find packaged meats of various aquatic species, such as salmon and tilapia, usually at discounted prices as well. Although many enjoy Aldi's seafood selection, one editor in All Recipes encouraged readers to stay away from their fish sticks, stating, "They were acceptable, but not great. I usually get 365 fish sticks from Whole Foods, which are also pollock, but the Aldi ones were puny and less 'meaty' in comparison."

Aldi has also come under controversy for how they source their salmon, which the company claims to be entirely sustainable. However, according to a lawsuit filed by, Aldi primarily sources its salmon from Chile, where a lot of salmon are produced in farms that are unsanitary and unsafe for the fish. Aldi filed a motion to dismiss the claims, but the court denied them, and the verdict of the trial is still pending. All in all, although Aldi may not have everything that other retailers do, it doesn't mean it's not worth your time and money, but just be aware that what's cheaper may not always be of the best quality.