With their super low prices on everything from wine to, yes, even steak, it’s no wonder you have questions about where Aldi’s beef comes from.
So if you want all the answers on where Aldi beef comes from, and also cover other rumors such as if Aldi beef includes horse meat and if it comes from China, keep on reading!
Where Does Aldi Beef Come From?
The majority of Aldi’s beef is locally sourced from regional farms. In a lot of cases, the beef is sourced from a farm that is quite close to the store in which it is being sold. For American shoppers, that means their Aldi beef is being raised, processed, and packaged right in their surrounding area.
Curious about why Aldi does it this way if the meat is sourced ethically, and whether the quality is any good? Read on because I’ve broken it down for you.
Why Does Aldi Locally Source Their Beef?
Aldi oversees its own distribution and is incredibly strategic about its supply chains.
This is for one simple reason – the driving factor behind almost every Aldi decision: it helps the grocery chain keep costs way down and, in turn, pass those savings onto the customers.
Instead of having to coordinate the shipment of beef from fewer locations to their over 2,000 stores (remember, Aldi has a presence in the US in 38 states and counting), Aldi keeps both costs, and fuel emissions, down by not having to transport it thousands of miles.
This also means they don’t have to spend as much keeping massive amounts of beef cold while en route.
Where Does Non-USA Aldi Beef Come From?
Additionally, any meat, including beef, that doesn’t come from a regional cattle farmer comes from four other possible countries of origin: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or Mexico.
Also, there is speculation that Aldi beef comes from China, but from our research, there is no evidence whatsoever to back this up.
The Aldi Reviewer also comments that Australia and New Zealand appear to account for a good deal of grass-fed beef imports, so it might not be surprising to see either of those countries of origin on the packaging.
Additionally, Aldi’s website states:
“In accordance with US labeling requirements, products made outside of the US have their country of origin clearly stated on the packaging. Products with no listed country of origin are from the US. However, they may contain one or more components made, manufactured, or produced outside of the US.”
A recent inspection of some of the packaged 100 percent grass-fed ground beef also reveals Uruguay as another possible country of origin.
So if you are concerned about your beef coming from a foreign country of origin, be sure to read your labels.
What Kind Of Beef Does Aldi Sell?
Before discussing Aldi beef’s quality, it’s worthwhile to know what kind they actually sell.
Aldi carries a variety of ground beef options, like your typical 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, etc., as well as ground beef patties (already formed, so you can just throw them on the grill).
They carry some desirable Black Angus cuts, like chuck roast, the eye of round, rib eye, and strip steak, just to name a few.
They also offer customers some USDA Choice options as well.
Around the holidays, they often get special cuts, like the standing rib roast, and sell them for an extraordinarily low price.
Is Aldi Beef Good?
There are definitely mixed reviews for Aldi’s beef selection. However, the grocery chain does get positive marks for only selling USDA-inspected meat, as well as for carrying Black Angus, which contains “superior marbling” to most beef on the market.
Also, on the plus side, online commenters have shared anecdotal evidence about buying very fresh-looking, good-tasting beef and even comparing it to beef you might find at the more upscale grocer Wegmans (where they hire butchers).
On the debit side, the beef can be “hit or miss” or “mixed” in terms of quality, according to some commenters.
However, it’s not surprising that the overall consensus is that Aldi’s beef is quite good, considering, in most cases, it is coming from farms not far from the actual stores.
How Is Aldi Beef Cheaper Than Other Stores’?
The lower prices Aldi can charge on their beef, particularly the pricier cuts, are directly related to the nearby sourcing. By spending less to source their beef, Aldi can then charge less. However, prices will fluctuate as the market does.
It is worth noting, though, that even their regional sourcing method doesn’t always mean that Aldi has the cheapest beef prices.
If you have a locally owned grocer or butcher, and they run sales on beef about to hit their expiration dates, you can sometimes find discounted deals that are better than Aldi’s Everyday pricing. Shop smart and do your research.
To learn more about how Aldi keeps its prices down, you can see our full guide on why Aldi is so cheap.
Does Aldi Butcher Its Own Beef?
Another way Aldi keeps its beef prices lower than, say, the aforementioned Wegmans is because they do not employ butchers. (Visit Aldi’s meat section, and you will see no actual meat counter, no glass displays with unpackaged, freshly cut steaks on view.)
Butchers are actually specially trained in the art of cutting, dressing, storing, and displaying meat, and while they are desirable in many grocery stores, Aldi stores are known for their smaller staff size.
The concept of employing a butcher, therefore, is outside of Aldi’s business model.
So while you will likely pay less for that stew meat or those cube steaks, you won’t be able to ask for specialty cuts or make special requests like you would at Wegmans or a local butcher.
Is Aldi Beef Ethically Sourced?
Aldi is publicly adamant about its commitment to the ethical sourcing of its animal products.
Per their website, “As a retailer, it is our responsibility to work with our suppliers to support animal care and handling practices that are responsible, sustainable, and ethically justified.”
Aldi also follows the Beef Quality Assurance Program and the North American Meat Institute 2017 Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide to ensure that the beef on its shelves has been raised and processed in an ethical manner.
Further, Aldi maintains an Alertline so that suppliers can report any misconduct, suspected or actually witnessed, throughout the beef processing journey.
Is There Horse Meat In Aldi’s Beef?
You might have heard a rumor that there is horse meat in Aldi’s beef.
This is based on a scandal from 2013, where it was found that Aldi – as well as several other grocery stores – sold a frozen meal product where the beef supplier had included horse meat – as much as 100 percent in some instances, and as low as 30 percent in others.
This did not affect US customers, however, but it’s the kind of story that sticks. Everyone pointed fingers, the product was immediately pulled, and Aldi released an angry statement condemning their suppliers.
So yes, while there was a horse meat incident in 2013, the situation was immediately rectified, and there have been no similar occasions since. Shoppers can rest assured that there is no horse meat in Aldi’s beef.
Aldi beef, like most beef sold in the US, is 90 percent domestic, and as an added bonus, Aldi sources their beef from regional suppliers to reduce the costs of transport, so that shoppers of all incomes can enjoy a nice Black Angus steak or two.