Any shopper who loves a bargain will likely develop a deep devotion to their favorite stores, and Aldi is no exception. The discount grocer is beloved for offering everything from produce to packaged meals at affordable prices. But the effects of historically high inflation are beginning to take a toll on retailers big and small as skyrocket costs along the supply chain. And now, Aldi shoppers are furious at the supermarket chain for doubling the price of one of their most popular products. Read on to see which item is causing some sticker shock for loyal customers.
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Aldi has recently found himself in hot water for something else. On June 12, the supermarket chain’s location in the Auburn Graham neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago shuttered after 13 years without a word of warning to local residents, local affiliate CBS 2 reported. Unfortunately, the sudden closing was only the latest in the area, which was already suffering from a lack of access to grocery stores and pharmacies.
“I came over myself to see, and it was closed. The gates were locked. The signs are all gone,” resident and former customer juanita love told CBS 2. And while the store directed customers to its next nearest location three miles away, she added that it “was a great hurt to not only me, but some of the seniors that don’t drive and they have no transportation.”
When reached for comment, the company said it did not “take the closing of this location lightly,” telling CBS 2, “Our decision was based on several factors, including repeated burglaries and declining sales. Out of concern for our employees and customers, keeping this store open was no longer a sustainable option.”
But in addition to the sudden shuttering, shoppers are now upset with the grocery chain for what they see as another misstep.
Now, fans of Aldi’s low prices are venting their frustrations after a major hike in the freezer aisle caught them by surprise, The US Sun reports. In a post to the store’s dedicated subreddit on August 1, one user uploaded an image of the chain’s Kirkwood Cordon Bleu Stuffed Chicken marked for sale at $1.99, which they say is double its regular price.
“The most striking instance of inflation yet! [They] have been $0.99 forever,” the user reports.
Other fans of the frozen dish jumped in with their laments. “I loved these stupid things,” one user replied. “They were an easy quick meal.”
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What began as an initial complaint about one popular item soon snowballed into a torrent in the replies to the original post, with customers citing other examples of increased costs as they claim the quality of many products has dropped. Many said the changes had even affected their shopping habits.
“Oatmeal was [$]2.55 last week. [$]3.59 this week,” one user reported on the subreddit. “I cursed out loud. Oatmeal is an industrial [expletive] product. No way it undergoes 40 percent inflation in one week.”
“Carnitas, $4.49 to $8.49 in two years,” another user posted. “If it’s 9 percent inflation, where’s the other bazillion percent coming from?”
“Most everything in my Aldi is up 33 to 100 percent over the last two years. Tortilla chips were $0.88 a couple [of] years ago. I rarely go to Aldi anymore but it was about 1.90, last I looked a year ago,” one user pointed out. “The quality of their food has always tended to be low, but I was always a sucker for a good deal. These days the ‘expensive’ grocery store I go to now is competitive in price.”
Reports of the price increase come just months after Jason Hart, Aldi US CEO, published a public letter entitled “Our Price Promise” on Apr. 12.
“Saving you money is what we do best. And in times like these, I’m incredibly proud to underscore this commitment to you: No matter what happens in the world around us, Aldi will always be the low-price leader in every community we serve,” Hart guaranteed in the letter. “Whether you’re feeling the pinch at the gas pump or on your home energy bills, you can count on Aldi as a bright spot in your weekly budget.”
Despite Aldi’s pledge to maintain its discount status, figures show that the supermarket industry as a whole is currently faced with rising costs. According to the Consumer Price Index Report from the US Labor Department, food costs are up an average of 10.4 percent compared to June 2021 as of July 12, per Bloomberg. Prices in the “Food at Home” category were even higher over the same period, showing a 12.2 percent increase.