5 Reasons Why Aldi is Better Than Trader Joe’s

Aldi Better Trader Joe's

EDITOR’S NOTE: Like all posts on Aldi Reviewer, this piece is the opinion of its respective authors. Also like all posts, comments are welcome, although we ask users to be mindful of our Community Guidelines.

Aldi and Trader Joe’s are distant cousins. Aldi is technically two companies, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd, who cooperate in their business dealings. Aldi Nord can be found in places like northern Germany, France, and Spain, while Aldi Süd has stores in southern Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Both Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have a presence in the United States. Aldi Süd operates Aldi US, while Aldi Nord owns Trader Joe’s. While TJ’s representatives have told us that Trader Joe’s operates independently of Aldi Nord, it’s also true that TJ’s branded foods occasionally show up at Aldi Nord stores over in Europe. They’re part of the same family tree.

In that spirit, we think a little family debate is in order. Which of the two is the superior store? Is it Aldi, or Trader Joe’s?

In this space, I want to make the case that Aldi is the better store. Readers might think that’s a biased take: we’re called Aldi Reviewer, after all. Seriously, though, I think you can make a legitimate case that Aldi is the better place to shop.

Here are five reasons why.

1. Location, location, location

Aldi has over 2,000 stores in the United States. Trader Joe’s has fewer than 600. There is a much better chance that you have an Aldi store near you than a TJ’s. Aldi operates in major cities and small rural towns; Trader Joe’s is primarily located in affluent suburban areas near major cities. There’s a reason why I rarely bother to look for my nearest Trader Joe’s when I travel but am always on the lookout for a local Aldi.

2. Speed

Trader Joe’s isn’t a slow store, exactly, but it doesn’t compare to Aldi speed. Aldi has dominated the speedy checkout experience for a long time now, which means I spend less time waiting to leave and more time doing other things. The addition of self-checkout at Aldi, something Trader Joe’s does not have, adds another fast way to get out of the store.

3. Price

TJ’s has an upscale vibe, which might make you think it’s an expensive store. The truth is, we think most of the prices there are reasonable. Aldi, however, is on its own planet with prices, besting other stores across the board in most cases. It’s rare that TJ’s outperforms Aldi on the price of any single product, and Aldi quality is pretty good to boot.

4. More familiar offerings

Let’s face it — some of Trader Joe’s stuff is weird. Really weird. If you’re a straightforward staples eater, you’re liable to take a hard pass on some of the TJ’s lineup. Aldi, meanwhile, maintains a much bigger focus on run-of-the-mill foods. Less exotic, maybe, but also a larger selection for the average American shopper.

5. Non-food items

Aldi Stock Photo - Aldi Finds

Trader Joe’s does stock some non-food items, including a decent personal hygiene section and some home goods such as candles. None of it, though, compares to what you can get in the famed Aldi middle aisle. You can’t get a toaster at Trader Joe’s, or an air fryer, or shoes, or patio chairs, or a tent. TJ’s does rotate its food offerings, but Aldi non-food items manage to be surprisingly fun without compromising the integrity of the food lineup.

Closing Thoughts:

Aldi and Trader Joe’s are both good stores in their own rights. However, there are a few areas where we think Aldi exceeds TJ’s, especially when it comes to the number of stores, the speedy checkout experience, the low prices, a plentiful selection of staple products, and that fabulous middle aisle. If our own shopping habits are any indication, Aldi is our weekly go-to store for all of these reasons.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at joshuaajohnston.com.


  1. As a lifelong Aldi fan, I’m slightly peeved that my new place has a Trader Joe’s in less than a 10 minute walking distance, but the Aldi is easily twice the distance. (Still within a bikeable distance, but it’s a bit more effort to bike saddled with groceries.)

  2. I lived on Cape Cod and we had a Trader Joe’s but no Aldi. There may have been some off Cape. But it wasn’t until I moved to Minnesota that I discovered Aldi. And I love it. There is a Trader Joe’s down the street but my main shopping is now done at Aldi.

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