German supermarket chain Aldi revealed that the company is going to stop using pesticides harmful to bees in their production.
The company’s foray into organic and gluten-free foods signals a new direction for Aldi, and an emerging threat to Whole Foods’ lower-cost chain, 365 By Whole Foods Market, which is launching this year.
Aldi has removed certified synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated oils, and added MSG from all its private-label products, which make up 90% of what Aldi sells.
Aldi is also expanding its selection of fresh and organic meat and produce, including its “Never Any!” brand of meats that contain no added antibiotics, hormones, animal by-products or other additives.
The chain is also expanding its SimplyNature line, which is free from 125 artificial ingredients, and its gluten-free liveGfree brand.
Aldi’s milk is already free from artificial growth hormones, but it’s now stripping yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and other dairy products of growth hormones as well.
In addition to broadening its organic offerings, Aldi has started to offer “fancier” foods, like artisanal cheeses, smoked salmon, quinoa, and coconut oil.
The steps will enable Aldi to better compete with not only Whole Foods, but also Kroger, which has been rapidly expanding its organic line, called Simple Truth, and Walmart’s Neighborhood Markets.