PSA: Aldi Brands Are Not Separate Companies

Last Updated on November 25, 2020

Actually, we do.

We get our share of emails, including more than a few thinking we’re Aldi. (We’re not.) More often than not, the senders are having issues with an Aldi product and they’re trying to do something about it. Maybe their bacon is too fatty, or they hate the milk container, or they’re having trouble with their teal accent cabinet or they need help finding new string for their weed trimmer.

Sometimes, the emails contain a line like this:

  • “I need to get a replacement part from Gardenline.”
  • “Can you tell me how to get a hold of SOHL Furniture?”
  • “I’m looking for the email address for Friendly Farms.”
  • “Thank you for all you do, Goldhen Eggs!”

In other words, some customers think that Friendly Farms is the name of a farm that Aldi sources from, or that Gardenline is a company that manufactures Aldi products. It’s an easy thing to assume, since Aldi doesn’t exactly go out of its way to tell customers otherwise.

To be fair, there are instances where Aldi does sell products made by other companies, such as when it sells name-brand Coca-Cola or an Aldi Find made by a name brand like Suncast. But most items on Aldi shelves are private label — in other words, they’re brands specific to Aldi.

But they’re not companies. Gardenline isn’t a separate company. Neither is Lily and Dan. Or Royal Class. Or Happy Farms. All of those are brands created and trademarked by Aldi to market its products.

Aldi has been doing this for a long time. The grocer has been using the Friendly Farms label since at least the 1980s, and Mama Cozzi at least since 1990. Others are more recent, such as FERREX (2018) and Bee Happy (2019). Gardenline appears to date back to around 2010, while Goldhen Eggs looks like it was trademarked by Aldi in 2000.

Friendly Farms Milk

There is no specific farm called Friendly Farms. Sorry.

If that’s true, where do the products come from? We don’t often know: Aldi is secretive about its suppliers, although we sometimes can learn a little through clues like warranties or labels. Sometimes Aldi products are obviously rebranded name brand products, while other times it’s not clear who the supplier is.

Either way, when suppliers contract with Aldi, they agree to use the format Aldi wants. That translates into a common look, with Aldi logos, Aldi packaging, Aldi product codes, and even those familiar blue manuals Aldi customers have seen many times before.

Easy Home Carpet Cleaner Manual

The familiar Aldi manual style. It’s one of the requirements Aldi has for the companies it sources from.

It’s a win for both Aldi and those companies who agree to sell their products under Aldi brands. We’ve been told by someone connected to Aldi that suppliers compete hard to get their products on Aldi shelves, knowing they’ll sell well and make their companies money. Aldi, meanwhile, wins with a lineup of products–Regular Buys, Seasonal Favorites, and Aldi Finds–that have a common look and feel.

Behind the scenes, Aldi sometimes changes suppliers. When Aldi tweaks a product, for instance, sometimes it means Aldi has changed who sources that product. We’ve seen this with food, but we’ve also seen it with non-food items, like appliances. However, the packaging may not even change, so the only way customers might suspect anything is different is either because the product seems different in some way. It’s anyone’s guess why Aldi might change suppliers in any specific instance, but it happens.

So when you go into Aldi and see Friendly Farms or Gardenline, just know that those aren’t companies. They’re Aldi labels that other companies agree to use when they act as suppliers.

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.

5 Comments

  1. I have two issues.
    1. I have a two person glider I bust wanted to purchase replacement slings for. Since I can not figure out how or who to contact for replacement parts, I will purchase another one.
    2. The were advertised the week od may 26th. My location is still waiting for ALL furniture advertised this season to come in. The corporate office states they are having shipping issues.

    • 1. You would need the manual and / or box to know who to contact. If you don’t, you can try the Aldi warranty site, but it’s limited. Even if you did know, in our experience, it’s hard to get replacement parts for many Aldi products. Many times the warranty companies just don’t stock them. We’ve had instances where we’ve gone to the warranty company to get a part and been told they didn’t have them. If the product happened to be under warranty, they would typically offer us a partial or full refund. If the product is out of warranty, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find a replacement part.
      2. We’ve written about the delay problem: https://www.aldireviewer.com/whats-up-with-aldi-find-product-shipping-delays/

  2. I purchased a Huntington Home 12 Drawer Rolling Storage Cart today. I assembled the whole thing and realized that one of the larger drawers was missing entirely. I looked in the instruction manual for any contact information and there was nothing. I really want to keep it but need the missing drawer. It was the last cart in the store. Should I contact the Aldi’s I bought it from?

    • This might not be what you want to hear, but your best option is probably to return the whole thing for a refund because I doubt Aldi has replacement drawers. If there are any other Aldi stores in your area, you might check to see if they have a whole new cart you could purchase — and if that’s the case, you should be able to return the defective cart at the same time, even if it isn’t the same store you bought it from.

  3. I purchased a Gardenline 1200 watt portable patio heater 6 weeks ago. It worked OK for about ten days. The revolving feature stopped working after one week. A week later, it stopped heating. I phoned the number for Aldi service problems. I didn’t want a refund. I wanted a working replacement. I was told they didn’t have any. They recommended I call back sometime next month, (in March).

    I doubt I’m going to receive a replacement, (EVER).

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