The Kroger Company runs an empire that ranks first in supermarket chain size and currently occupies seventh place in largest private employers. While German-based grocery chain Aldi isn’t quite as prolific, the company is no slouch, either.
Together, these two retailers give consumers ample variety when grocery shopping. If you have each store in your area, you might be wondering: Are Aldi and Kroger the same? How different can grocery stores be? Well, the answer might surprise you, see below to find out!
Is Aldi And Kroger The Same In 2023?
The Aldi and Kroger grocery stores are not the same, though they do share some core similarities as of 2023. Furthermore, Kroger operates like a typical grocery store, mixing plenty of name brands with store brands. However, Aldi has a distinctive business model that emphasizes low operational costs and the lowest prices on goods possible.
I’m going to break down exactly what this means, as well as the many other similarities and differences between the two, examine some price comparisons, discuss the quality and variety of products, and more. Stick with me and keep reading!
Are Kroger and Aldi Similar?
Kroger and Aldi might be two very distinct supermarket experiences, but they do share some things alike.
- Numerous store brands for different departments (e.g., Bakery Fresh Goodness at Kroger and L’Oven at Aldi; both brands cover baked goods)
- Grocery delivery and pickup, powered by Instacart
- Home bases in the Midwest (Aldi: Batavia, Ill.; Kroger: Cincinnati, OH)
- Competition that includes chains like Walmart, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale
Aside from those major key points, however, the two chains diverge. See below for how.
How Are Aldi And Kroger Different?
The question of which store better suits you and your household become more apparent when you look at the differences between the two chains.
- Kroger Marketplace vs. Aldi stores; Aldi stores do carry limited merchandise (mostly in the Aldi Finds aisles).
But Kroger Marketplace stores are akin to Target or Walmart stores, in that they are multi-departmental, selling home goods, electronics and apparel, in addition to groceries.
- Business model; Aldi has its own very distinctive business model, designed to keep operational costs low.
In turn, Aldi can then pass those savings to the customer (and still turn a profit).
However, Kroger runs along the lines of a traditional retailer, and while they do provide good value, aggressive cost-cutting isn’t the name of its game.
- Since the difference in business model, Kroger does generally have higher prices than Aldi
- Kroger and Aldi aren’t too far apart in terms of the number of stores, but Kroger does have more – about 700 more.
Aldi has just over 2,000 in 39 states, but they are slated to hit 2,500 by the end of 2022.
Kroger is present in only 28 states, occupying a corridor from Texas up mainly through Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.
- Store size; Aldi stores average 10,000-12,000 square feet, while the typical Kroger grocery store can be seven or eight times as large, at 80,000 square feet.
Meanwhile, Kroger Marketplaces (big box-style stores) can be as much as 165,000 square feet.
- Product variety; Aldi carries about 1,400 different products, mostly “the basics” for kitchens and pantries.
Kroger numbers about 15,000 SKUs, with about 10,000 of those being store brand items.
Additionally, Kroger Marketplace stores can carry as many as 225,000 SKUs!
Is Kroger Cheaper Than Aldi?
In every comparison made, when it comes to lower prices, Aldi takes the cake.
Look at this chart from Cheapism – even when competing against Kroger and Walmart, Aldi still comes out on top almost every single time.
In some cases, the price differences are stark; a bag of russet potatoes at Aldi for just $3.99, versus a bag at Kroger for $6.20!
Kroger’s meat prices tend to cost a dollar more per pound, compared to Aldi.
If budget is your biggest concern, Aldi is the clear winner and should be your grocery destination from now on.
Does Kroger Have More Quality Products Than Aldi?
So Aldi is cheaper – but does that mean you’re sacrificing quality for cost? Fortunately, not at all!
In fact, Aldi’s store brand items are some of the best-regarded out there.
This writer at Gimme Some Oven says, “…I have found the quality of Aldi’s products to be as good as the larger grocery stores I frequently go to.”
However, Kroger’s products are also well-regarded, and in some cases, Kroger is superior to Aldi in a few different categories.
Those include meat, where Kroger is more expensive but the meat is considered better, and produce.
Whereas Aldi’s produce is reported to go bad or wilt faster, and it doesn’t help that most of it is prepackaged or bagged, so you can’t just buy two apples – you have to buy two pounds.
Does Kroger Carry More Items Than Aldi?
Kroger supermarkets and Kroger Marketplaces both carry many more items than any Aldi store.
Aldi maxes out around 1,400 products, adhering to the company’s history of providing “just the basics” (though customers will tell you, there are often many items beyond “the basics”).
Additionally, Kroger supermarkets carry more than 15,000 different items, while the Marketplaces can have as many as 225,000 products.
Are There More Organic Items at Kroger Or Aldi?
Currently, Kroger has a greater selection of organic items, but Aldi has been adding steadily to its Simply Nature (organic) line.
Additionally, Kroger carries its own organic line, Simple Truth, in addition to many name brands, like Annie’s, Simply Doritos, and Pacific Foods.
Is Meat Better At Aldi Or Kroger?
Many people find the meat objectionable at Aldi, and at the same time, Kroger is known for having excellent cuts of good-quality meat for a little more.
For this reason, if having the best meat (and the best selection) is important to you, it’s worth spending a little more at Kroger.
Aldi is a fantastic store for budget-wary shoppers who don’t stray far from kitchen/pantry staples and who don’t have any favorite name brands that they’re loyal to.
Kroger, on the other hand, is better for shoppers who want lots of variety when shopping. It also best serves those who are looking for the best, freshest cuts of meat and who might need to pick up some office supplies, a pair of shoes, or even a TV while they’re out.