I popped into an Aldi store tonight on the way home from work to check out their stock of organic foods, and of course to scan the aisle of miscellaneous merchandise for treasures (DVD player for 10 Euro! – not tonight, sadly).
While approaching the checkout, I happened to see a bag of pistachios. Looking closer, I nearly froze in my tracks. The brand? Trader Joe’s! They also had peanuts, macadamias, fruit cocktail, etc., all with the TJ brand on them.
Being the librarian type and needing to know what was happening, I ran home and immediately googled the two company names. Evidently I must live under some rock, or this is a fairly quiet secret, or both. The Joe of Trader Joe’s sold the chain to a family trust set up by one of the Albrecht brothers (Albrecht Discount = Aldi = gazillions upon gazillions of moneys) in, get this, 1979! I think I’m cool with this, since I have a weird affinity for Aldi and the sheer brute force of their business model, but somehow my brain is having a hard time fitting these pieces together.
One source I read noted that Trader Joe’s policy is that anything with their name on it must be all natural and non-GMO. I wonder if that holds true for these Aldi/TJ-label products here. They are made or at least packaged by a German firm, so I wonder how far the TJ philosophy reaches abroad.
At any rate, the macadamias pretty much rock, and, being Aldi, they were cheaper than peanuts at most stores.