Trader Joe’s is one of the most popular grocery shops in the United States. Many Facebook groups have been created dedicated to this chain of 500 plus stores in 43 states. They offer unique goods at affordable rates that will make any grocery list complete.
But there’s been some speculation over the years about whether or not Trader Joe’s and Aldi are related, so:
Does Aldi Own Trader Joe’s In The US?
The truth is, Aldi owns Trader Joe’s, not Aldi owned by Trader Joe’s. But it is not commonplace for North American buyers. It turns out Aldi Nord is the one that owns TJ’s.
It is when the two brothers in Germany who started up the Albrecht Discount chain decades ago have since gone separate ways. And then, they created this company.
It is a little bit complicated, isn’t it? But don’t worry. You are not the only one who needs more information about this story. So please stick with us to learn more about their history.
Are There Two Aldi’s?
The two German brothers founded the company decades ago. There are two different companies that operate under this name. So to start off, we should know about the Albrecht family’s history. After that, we can understand the situation when one of the two took over Trader Joe’s.
The story starts with the Albrechts, who had been running a grocery shop in Essen since the early 1900s.
After the destruction of the two world wars, their two sons – Karl and Theo – returned from fighting overseas. They ran this small business together after being away for many years.
Since they opened up their first business, they had to face many challenges. But, it paid off when they found the right way to target in selling pantry basics at super low prices. The company grew rapidly, and today you can find these low-priced stores all over Germany.
In the 1960s, cigarettes were becoming popularized in Germany. They couldn’t agree on whether or not to sell these harmful products. In the end, it resulted in them separating their business interests.
When Did Aldi Nord Acquire Trader Joe’s?
In 1976, the Sud that Karl had taken over, enlarged their business in the US. This is very important to remember because Nord took over Trader Joe’s just three years later.
TJ’s founder, Joe Coulombe, sold his company to Nord in 1979. We guess that Theo Albrecht, CEO of Nord, had managed an entry point into the US that would not confuse shoppers by using the same name as another well-known chain of stores already here.
Although TJ’s is a subsidiary of Nord, they operate under their own jurisdiction. A writer of the AldiReviewer website has reached out to learn how closely the two entities are operated from each other.
The response from the TJ rep was that it does not matter because both companies offer independent brands with different values and missions.
What Is Trader Joe’s?
TJ’s is a company started by Joe Coulombe, who graduated from Stanford University. He got his start in drug stores and convenience shóp. Joe purchased six of the Pronto Markets that he had been managing when they were up for liquidation.
After that, he created Trader Joe’s – which now operates over 450 spots nationwide.
TJ’s was started in 1957. In between, Coulombe had learned and adjusted his business model to make it stand out among all those 7-Eleven stores.
Then again, when he renamed them Trader Joe’s after a popular tiki restaurant Los Angeles locals knew as “Merchant Vic’s.” After that, Nord came and made an offer for him.
It is no wonder that TJ’s has seen success. The company has a business model that is not just picking, collecting random goods, and gathering them simultaneously.
Instead, they curate classy items out of discontinued or overstock products. Their products are hand-picked for quality – not to mention they get it at an affordable price. These things can then be passed along to make savings possible for customers.
Whether this was intentional on their part remains uncertain, but one thing is certain. Today it’s one of the biggest draws among shoppers looking towards TJ’s shops as well – especially those who are middle class.
Do Trader Joe’s And Aldi Copy Each Other?
Trader Joe’s and Aldi brothers both have a reputation for sourcing their store-label products from wholesalers that do not work with other grocery stores. However, there are instances where one of these competitors copied the other.
While there is no evidence to suggest they’re getting their products from the same wholesalers as far as we can tell (so far), these two stores do carry some similarities in items.
For instance, TJ’s popular “Everything But the Bagel” (EBB) seasonings have been a huge success. Two years later, in 2019, Aldi Market debuted their version of the “Everything Bagel Seasoning” product under the Stonemill label.
TJ’s has a wider variety of similar products to A-brand, including wine, almond butter, fancy cheeses, and naan bread.
For example, it has Two-Buck Chuck cheap wine, while Aldi sells their Winking Owl wine brand. Trader Joe’s also carries many other items that may be hard or impossible at A-brand.
Trader Joe’s Aldi both offer many of the same products, but some key differences. For example, you have to pay $3 for a 5-lb bag of all-purpose flour at TJ’s. In comparison, the A-mart costs you just $1.15 for that same product.
They both compete with each other to complete their mission. Selling products at the best low price possible.
Trader Joe’s and Aldi are two very different grocery shops that make up this niche. TJ’s has a more general selection but at low prices.
Whereas the A-mart will have you covered with everything from coffee to cookie dough in just about any flavor imaginable for only $1 or less per item.
Is Aldi Better Than Trader Joe’s?
Aldi and Trader Joe’s have a lot of loyal customers that love their low prices, but not everyone is convinced about the quality. A-branded stores stock 90% store-label goods while 80% equals what you’ll find at TJ’s.
Trader Joe’s has a reputation for bad produce, so A-branded takes the crown in the area. Why? TJ’s is notorious among shoppers because their fruits and vegetables often don’t live up to expectations. They’re over-packaged with too much plastic, which could lead to waste at home.
There are a lot of arguments about Aldi production, but shoppers seem to be putting up with the chain for their other deals. For example, their daily shipments are sourced locally or quality products comparable in taste with TJ’s. But both stores offer their special and unique types of food.
Trader Joe’s is the chain of grocery markets that Aldi Nord owns.
It offers low prices on high-quality food. The confusion between these two has led to some fierce competition in grocery shopping, making this experience way more exciting for customers.
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