Each week, we round up the biggest stories in the international world of Aldi. Here’s what we’ve been reading:
United States: Aldi Suing Lidl and Two Former Employees for Alleged Trade Secret Violations
Aldi is suing Lidl and two former employees in federal court over alleged trade secret violations and unfair and deceptive trade practices, as stated in a lawsuit that was filed on March 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Aldi claims Lidl used confidential real estate plans it received from two former Aldi employees. One was Bruna Maraccini, the former director of real estate for North Carolina and Virginia at Aldi. The other was Colleen Savory, a real estate assistant at Aldi.
According to Supermarket News, Maraccini went to work for Lidl in violation of a non-compete agreement. In doing so, she allegedly brought information from Aldi that she had previously agreed to return to Aldi upon leaving. That information allegedly included maps of future Aldi locations, which she shared with Lidl, along with specifics about Aldi’s plans for expansion.
As if that weren’t enough, she allegedly enlisted Savory — her former assistant, who was still working for Aldi at the time — to steal additional Aldi information for use by Lidl.
Aldi apparently learned about the situation when a man who worked under Maraccini at Lidl saw maps with Aldi logos and questioned whether they should be using them. He said he was fired soon after that and called Aldi with the information.
Lidl has been criticized for its real estate strategy, both in the U.S. and in Germany. Lidl’s proposed locations in North Carolina were canceled in 2017 and 2018, and Lidl has abandoned about half of the 200 sites where it has considered opening stores in the U.S.
United Kingdom and Ireland: Aldi Using Propane in Freezers as Stores Aim to be Carbon Neutral
Aldi is replacing R404A with propane in its stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of its effort to make stores carbon neutral by the end of 2019. Aldi’s goal is to use only natural refrigerants.
Aldi’s plug-in chest freezers in its stores have typically used R404A, but now they’ll be using propane (R290), according to Refrigeration and Air Conditioning magazine.
Aldi estimates the move will save 2,489 tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions across its operations – an average of 3.3 tons per store.
Aldi also is adding an inner door that automatically closes to each of its cold rooms to provide extra insulation, saving an additional 1.65 tonnes of carbon emissions per store, or 1,238 tonnes across the estate.
Source: Hydrocarbons 21
United States: Aldi’s Fruit and Salads Win Best New Product Awards
Aldi’s pineapple spears, watermelon spears, and salad bowls received 2019 Best New Product Awards by BrandSpark International, a marketing and insights company. All three products are sold under Aldi’s Little Salad Bar line.
More than 10,000 shoppers voted in a survey about what they are seeking in new products and how they judge those new products.
Produce Retailer reports that forty-two percent of respondents said there are too many new products to keep up with, compared to 34% one year ago. Also, 63% said they are likely to try new items recommended by other shoppers, and 75% said they try new products from brands they already know and trust.
In addition, 50% of shoppers said there aren’t enough convenient and healthy packaged food products, and 72% said they “appreciate” when companies make products more sustainable, but only 38% of customers say they will pay extra for them.
Source: Produce Retailer