Aldi and Trader Joe’s: Siblings?

Today in my International Marketing Management course, Professor Susan Douglas mentioned that the famous “Aldi brothers”, owned both Aldi and Trader Joe’s. Just to get things clear, I did a little research into the relationship.

Trader Joe’s is a chain of specialty grocery stores headquartered in Monrovia, California. They specialize in organic, vegetarian, gourmet, and frozen foods and attract young, urban, health-conscious shoppers. They also pride themselves on their eco-friendly message.

Aldi, on the other hand, is a discount supermarket chain, solely focused on delivering the lowest-priced products possible. The company is split into two divisions, Aldi Nord (Aldi North) and Aldi Süd (Aldi South). The northern division is headquartered in Essen, Germany while the Southern division is headquartered in Mulheim an der Rühr, Germany. My favorite fact about the store is that Aldi stands for “ALbrecht DIscount”.

So, let’s clear some things up…

Who are the “Aldi brothers”?

Theo and Karl Albrecht. Theo owned and managed Aldi Nord, while Karl was in charge at Aldi Süd. Now, of course, they’re both retired.

Do they own both Aldi and Trader Joe’s?

Sort of. The 1,000 Aldi stores in the U.S. are a part of Aldi Süd, owned by Karl Albrecht. However, Trader Joe’s is owned by a family trust of Theo Albrecht. While collectively as a family, they own both, the two entities in the U.S. are actually competitors, as they have no legal ownership ties.

So, there we have it! Another mystery solved!

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9 thoughts on “Aldi and Trader Joe’s: Siblings?

  1. Aldi Nord in Germany has some Trader Joe's products. For example peanuts, cashews, ice tea, mixed salad 'box' …

    I'm not sure if these products are from Trader Joe's USA, maybe they want to introduce the Trader Joe's brand in Germany/Europe.

  2. Aldi Nord in Germany has some Trader Joe's products. For example peanuts, cashews, ice tea, mixed salad 'box' …

    I'm not sure if these products are from Trader Joe's USA, maybe they want to introduce the Trader Joe's brand in Germany/Europe.

  3. Wow, I have been doing the Trader Joe’s for as long as I can remember (30+)…Original store is in Pasadena Calif. Fresh Orange Juice, my daily fix.

  4. Wow, I have been doing the Trader Joe’s for as long as I can remember (30+)…Original store is in Pasadena Calif. Fresh Orange Juice, my daily fix.

  5. Thanks Christoph! I grew up with avid-Aldi-shopping grandparents. SO, this was of particular interest to me!

  6. Thanks Christoph! I grew up with avid-Aldi-shopping grandparents. SO, this was of particular interest to me!

  7. Thanks Erica. Even though I am from Germany, I was only aware of about 30% of what you posted. I will have to watch out for Aldi in the US. Hope to buy some good o’ German products 🙂

    Btw, congratulations on the marketing award. That’s very cool!

  8. Thanks Erica. Even though I am from Germany, I was only aware of about 30% of what you posted. I will have to watch out for Aldi in the US. Hope to buy some good o’ German products 🙂

    Btw, congratulations on the marketing award. That’s very cool!

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