Aldi has carved out a space in the grocery industry thanks to its weekly deals as well as its store-brand products and copycats. However, Aldi's low costs come with a particular downside for some shoppers -- the lack of nutritional information available. For most products, it's easy to do your homework before you go to the store. Thanks to the invention of the internet, it's easier than ever to look up nutritional information for popular brands. However, since most of Aldi's products are unique to the chain, it's harder to find said information.
It's a roadblock that at least one disgruntled patron has encountered. Speaking with Yahoo News, one shopper explained that they struggled to buy groceries at Aldi due to the lack of info available. The shopper in question had a son who was diabetic and allergic to peanuts, which means they had to be very careful about what products they bought. As a result, they couldn't take any chances. They said, "Because Aldi sells some off brands, there are instances where that info just isn't available. In my situation, I just can't buy those products."
FDA Requirements On Food Labels
Aldi does, however, adhere to FDA requirements that should help shoppers make an educated decision. Like most grocery chains, Aldi follows a very strict set of guidelines when it comes to FDA rules and regulations. The government agency requires all manufacturers to list a label of ingredients on their products. These labels must be both secure and easily readable by customers. In addition to ingredients, the FDA also requires manufacturers to list any and all potential allergens on their products. This disclaimer must be listed on the food label. Manufacturers are also required to list if their products potentially came in contact with allergens during the manufacturing process. The laws here are strict and may lead to recalls if something isn't properly labeled. Such was the case in 2022 when Aldi issued a recall on its Italian Dressing for potentially undeclared allergens.
However, many customers with food allergies may prefer a more detailed history of where their products come from and any ingredients they may have come across. Food allergies can have potentially fatal complications due to anaphylaxis, which can affect one's breathing. Likewise, diabetes patients often have to follow a specialized diet to mitigate their symptoms.
Aldi Makes Key Improvements
While it may be easy to give Aldi flack to do better, the chain has made key improvements regarding information about its products and the ingredients it uses. It's also important to point out that the grocery chain is following the requirements set by the U.S. government for its products. In 2018, Aldi made some significant changes to its labels. For its exclusive brands, it made all of the nutritional information for each product more prominent.
When it comes to the actual ingredients of the products, Aldi also made the decision to remove MSG, partially hydrogenated oils, and certified synthetic colors from its products in 2015. This was done in response to customer feedback. However, the issue of transparency when it comes to its products is an ongoing one. With 90% of its products coming from exclusive brands, it can be frustrating to customers that more nutritional information on each isn't available online. But it may be the tradeoff for having cheaper products, and it's one that Aldi could choose to rectify over time. Until then, if you have a food allergy or require a special diet, you should do as much research as you can.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.