Those of you who live in the States all know Trader Joe’s (or at least have probably heard of it).
There is a store here in Germany called Aldi.
SIDENOTE: Actually, it’s a worldwide store, and I’ve even seen a few in the States on various road trips. Upon further research, I found out that there are Aldi locations right by my hometown! I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before until I came to Europe. If you’re interested in learning more about the Aldi philosophy, click here. It’s pretty interesting.
Aldi is basically a supermarket that has no name-brand stuff that you’d see in other stores, so it’s much cheaper. And they have weekly specials on other household items, clothing and electronics.
One thing I saw on a recent shopping trip that was “name brand” made me curious to find out more. Trader Joe’s. There it was on a package of sunflower seeds. And on some tuna cans. And on plenty of other products! Strange, right? To me, Trader Joe’s is a specialty retail store that has a lot of organic things and is kind of on the pricey side. So it was interesting to see the Trader Joe’s brand all over the place here, and the logo sure looks similar enough to the real Trader Joe’s that I thought there must be something bigger behind this, or they’re gonna get a serious lawsuit sometime soon.
After some “research” (I say “research” because all I did was look it up on Wikipedia), I found the answer. As it turns out, Aldi and Trader Joe’s are owned by the same German company, says Wiki:
Trader Joe’s was founded by Joe Coulombe and is currently owned by a family trust set up by the late German businessman Theo Albrecht, one of the two brothers behind the German supermarket chain Aldi.
Theo Albrecht bought Trader Joe’s in 1977. There’s an interesting article over at Deutsche Welle (in English) here entitled “The American Way of Aldi” about Trader Joe’s and Aldi and their connection.
Dear readers in the States: have any of you ever seen an Aldi near you? Where do you live?