This Is What ALDI Actually Stands For

There's a pretty straightforward reason behind the name!

Aldi stores are fairly new in the United States, but the low-cost grocery chain has already amassed a loyal following. Discount may not always mean quality, but it seems so in Aldi’s case. They can’t promise you’ll find ten choices at a time, but they do promise you’ll find the best one—in most cases at least; here are some Aldi products you should probably steer clear of. Of course, popularity usually comes with its own sense of mystery and questions. We went ahead and found the answer to one of those for you: What does “Aldi” stand for?

If you want to find the reasons behind Aldi’s name, you need to do a deep dive into the history of the popular grocery chain. Aldi’s been in the United States since 1976 (the first-ever U.S. Aldi store was in Iowa) and now has more than 1,900 stores across 36 states, with headquarters in Batavia, Illinois. But don’t let the prevalence fool you, as according to Business Insider, Aldi originated in Essen, Germany, from a small grocery store Anna Albrecht opened in 1913. When her two sons, Karl and Theo Albrecht, took the store over in 1948, they quickly expanded the business from one small grocery store to more than 100 stores in 1952, and more than 300 by 1962.

And what were the stores called back then? “Albrecht-Diskont,” meaning “Albrecht’s Discount.” The name was eventually shortened to Aldi (Albrecht-Diskont) in 1962. The reason is unknown, but it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think it was for convenience’s sake—”Albrecht-Diskont” really is a mouthful! According to the New York Times, in the early 1960s, an argument between the two brothers led to the company being divided into two operations within Germany—Aldi Sud and Aldi Nord, with both branches of the company operating internationally. Here are some Aldi rumors that you might have heard along the way, and the truth behind them.

So, the origins of the Aldi name doesn’t contain a big mystery. And yet, considering the fact that “Aldi” is more or less an abbreviation of “Albrecht’s Discount” it makes a lot of sense—a discount store named with an abbreviation for a discount store. Next, find out more about why Aldi’s groceries are so cheap.