For more than a year Aldi has said they plan to expand their organic offerings to include fresh chicken. In this week's ad, the no-frills supermarket delivered. Fresh, organic, boneless skinless chicken breasts are $5.99/lb. The chicken is one of the weekly meat specials that start on Wednesday and is offered while supplies last. (And if you're a regular buyer of the Wednesday meat specials, you know that some of those items sell out within a day or two.)
The organic chicken special could be a sign that Aldi will carry fresh organic chicken on a regular basis. "We frequently use weekly special buy items to test the viability of new products," said Faribault division vice-president Matt Lilla. "The organic chicken could definitely become a core range item in the future."
The chicken comes from SVOrganic, a company in Harrisonburg, PA. It's certified USDA organic and certified humane. Although $5.99/lb is a good price, Cub sells its Wild Harvest organic chicken breasts for $5.99/lb. too, when it's in stock. Costco recently offered its organic, boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $4.99/lb. but only in packages of three, usually totaling about 4 pounds. Aldi's price may be slightly higher, but Aldi's packages are smaller at about 1.5 lbs. each.
Costco's brand varies but is usually Coleman's in the Twin Cities.
Aldi seems to be expanding its organic line slowly. Occasionally, tri-colored pre-cut carrots show up, along with the usual organic bananas, apples, salad greens, and berries. Earlier this summer organic, grass fed ground beef started showing up for $4.99/lb. Taking a cue from Costco, it also sold a 3-pack of the organic ground beef for $4.49 on a weekly special.
For more than a year Aldi has been changing its mix of products from nutritionally-deficient snacks to an assortment of trendier and often healthier foods. Aldi removed the synthetic colors and partially hydrogenated oils and MSG from its private label products. Its meat selection now has a brand called "Never Any" that contains no added antibiotics, hormones, animal by-products or other additives. And it's added a gluten-free brand called liveGfree along with its older SimplyNature line which is free from 125 artificial ingredients.
The company is spending $34 million in Minnesota to remodel 28 of its 35 stores in the Twin Cities. The newly remodeled stores, such as the one in Richfield, and a brand new store in Roseville store show off the new, more open floor plan.