These days, with the rising grocery costs consumers are weighing the pros and cons of grocery stores with more deliberation than ever. Furthermore, Aldi and Publix represent two of the most popular and beloved chains in the U.S., with faithful followings and plenty of reasons to visit both.
However, are Aldi and Publix the same? Are the two chains more similar or different? If you’ve never been to either or you’ve only been to one, you’ll want to check out the answer below!
Are Aldi And Publix The Same In 2023?
Despite competing for the same market shares, Aldi and Publix are two vastly different grocery stores with widely divergent business models in 2023. While Publix follows a more traditional grocery store model, Aldi is a no-frills, deep-discount chain, and the pricing gulf between the two reflects that. However, both offer high-quality store brands.
To learn more about the price difference between the two, what kind of selection each store has, whose quality has been deemed better of the two and much, much more, keep reading!
Is Aldi Cheaper Than Publix?
On the whole, Aldi is cheaper than Publix almost any day of the week.
However, before we break down some pricing comparisons, let’s examine why.
Aldi would actually beat almost any grocery store out there in terms of prices, due to its highly effective no-frills business model.
You’ve heard of its shopping cart policy: you pay a quarter and get that quarter back when you return the cart.
Therefore, that means Aldi doesn’t have to employ extra people to mind the carts and the parking lot.
You might also have noticed that Aldi closes earlier than most grocery stores, usually 8 or 9 p.m.
That’s because fewer hours using full utilities means cheaper operations (smaller store sizes also help contribute).
Furthermore, all these little things add up, and they allow the company to pass on savings to the customer.
This is why you’ll find Aldi beating out even Walmart on most prices.
However, Publix operates as a traditional grocery store; while they offer savings and value to its customers, the focus isn’t on slashing prices as low as they can go.
Let’s look at how those prices tend to stack up.
A 2019 comparison by the Sun-Sentinel out of south Florida pitted the two grocery chains against one another for a variety of grocery items.
These included strawberries, chicken breasts, chicken wings, meal kits, Haas avocados, navel oranges, white seedless grapes, salad kits, potato chips, and tortilla chips.
Therefore, for every single item, Aldi had the lower price, and when it came to the total for all items Aldi was $16 less.
That’s quite a difference, but it makes sense considering CNBC reported that Publix’s extraordinary customer service means prices are higher.
“Higher than most other stores,” is what Shannon McCaig of the Passionate Penny Pincher said.
A commenter on this Quora thread echoed those sentiments, “To be blunt, Aldi is one of the cheapest grocery stores anywhere, while Publix is among the most expensive…”
Does Aldi Have Better Products Than Publix?
Both Aldi and Publix carry well thought-of generic brands; neither seems to be better than the other.
Furthermore, Aldi stores consist of a huge majority of its own store brands, including Mama Cozzi’s, Huntingdon Home, Happy Farms, and more.
Whereas, Publix has three store brands, the basic Publix, Publix Premium, and GreenWise.
However, Publix also has regular name brands as well.
For an overall comparison, Publix carries 30,000 different products, while Aldi is much lower at just 1,400 of the basics.
So if you like selection, or if you are partial to a specific name brand, Publix is going to have better products for you to choose from.
If you’re not as partial and you prefer the savings, Aldi has a perfectly reasonable selection of basic staples (with some surprise goodies).
Does Aldi Or Publix Have More Store Locations?
Aldi beats out Publix for the number of stores, with over 2,000 (and growing), while Publix maintains a little over 1,300 locations.
Additionally, Aldi is also more widespread in the U.S. (and certainly around the world), with stores in 39 states.
However, Illinois has the most Aldi locations, with 211 in the state (not surprising, since Aldi US headquarters is in Batavia, Ill.)
Furthermore, Publix currently has stores in just seven states, with them all being entirely in the south.
Therefore, florida alone has over 800 locations, with Georgia coming in second at just over 200 stores.
What Services Do Aldi And Publix Offer?
Publix, like many other grocery stores of its type, offers a number of services beyond your basic selling of food productsi.
Therefore, here are some things Publix stores may have, that all Aldi stores don’t:
- A deli counter
- Fresh meat (with in-house butchers) and seafood
- Valet parking
- Sushi bars
- Liquor stores
- Check cashing
- Money orders
- Western Union
- Carpet cleaner rentals
- Lottery tickets
Aldi offers none of these services, and indeed, no services beyond grocery sales. This is part of how they keep both operating costs and product prices low.
Is Publix Customer Service Better Than Aldi’s?
For a more personalized experience, Publix does seem to have the edge over Aldi’s customer service.
Many sources I found while researching mentioned Publix’s superior customer service.
In fact, Newsweek named Publix number one in customer service for 2021.
Aldi, meanwhile, doesn’t have bad customer service – its twice as nice guarantee is truly generous.
However, to help cut costs, the only phone number listed for stores directs you to a corporate hotline – you can’t call an individual store and speak to someone.
Instead, you would have to go back to the store, where your issue would be handled.
Furthermore, Aldi’s no-store-to-call barrier pales in comparison to Publix’s widely lauded customer service.
Aldi and Publix provide very different grocery store experiences, with Aldi focused on cutting costs and offering customers the very best prices.
Meanwhile, Publix is among the more expensive grocery stores out there, but the higher prices come with better customer service and indeed, more services for customers in general.