Sustainability plays an increasingly important role in the buying habits of modern customers. As international active retailers, we reach millions of people of all ages, social classes, and educational backgrounds. ALDI aims to leverage this potential to make a positive contribution to sustainability and enable all customers to consume responsibly and with a clear conscience at affordable prices. We are constantly expanding our sustainable product range, to prevent food waste, reduce our packaging, and use fewer resources, with a focus on the circular economy.
Food products have immense potential to positively impact health and the environment, as addressed in the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy, which recognizes the inextricable link between healthy people, healthy societies, and a healthy planet. With the development of a responsible product range, we contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 ‘Responsible consumption and production: ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’. Enabling our customers to consume responsibly, with a growing selection of vegan, vegetarian, and organic foods, alongside products for special dietary needs, is part of our Corporate Responsibility & Quality Assurance strategy.
Meeting customer demands for sustainable products
ALDI offers to its customers a high diversity of certified products, whose raw materials (cacao, coffee, tea, palm oil, etc.) are identified through internationally recognized seals such as, for example, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance. Those certifications aim to promote the sustainability of crops in the producing countries and minimize the impact on deforestation, climate change, systemic poverty and social inequity, among others. In relation to fish products, MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) is the recognized certification of international scope, which is in charge of protecting the health of all the oceans and guarantees the fish and seafood sustainable provision also for future generations.
Further, we recognise a shift in dietary needs and habits, and a trend towards a plant-based diet. Therefore, ALDI Nord aims to expand the vegetarian and vegan product range, identified with the V-Label certification. At the same time, we are constantly working on optimising the sustainability of our products. One goal is that the soy in our soy-based vegan and vegetarian products should be 100 per cent certified and/or of European origin.
Moreover, at ALDI we are committed to preserving the environment, as many people are. For this reason, we also have a wide assortment of organic products in all our food categories (more than 200) in order to contribute to the achievement of this goal. GutBio® is the ALDI brand that represents these added value products. It exclusively includes products that are produced under the regulations of the organic agriculture. In general terms, these organic methods avoid the use of synthetic additives such as artificial pesticides.
Continuous optimisation of our product’s nutritional values
We are continually adapting the recipes of our own-brand products to meet not only new regulatory requirements but also changing customer demands while maintaining the same product quality and excellent taste. In 2017 we started reducing the amount of sugar in soft drinks. Several recipes have already been improved, reducing the sugar content. Moreover, the formulas in other product groups (dairy products, biscuits, etc.) have been adapted, reducing the amount of sugar, salt and fats according to the ‘Estrategia NAOS’ (Strategy for nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention), defined by the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN, an autonomous agency attached to the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare).
Moreover, the introduction of the Nutri-Score is an additional opportunity for us to review and optimise the recipes of our products to make them healthier. The ‘Nutri-Score’ food label is one of the most commonly used expanded nutritional labels in the EU. This five-level colour and letter scale informs consumers at a glance about the nutritional composition of a product, helping them to compare items within a given product category. We support the adoption of the Nutri-Score to make decisions as easy as possible for our customers. ALDI in Spain registered the first brands for the Nutri-Score in early 2021 and launched the first items in mid-2021.
Promoting healthy and sustainable nutrition
ALDI is a company committed to nutrition and healthy and sustainable eating, which is part of its corporate culture. As part of this commitment, the company reached in 2020 a sponsorship agreement with the Spanish Paralympic Committee through the ADOP Plan (Apoyo al Deporte Objetivo Paralímpico – Support to Paralympic Sport), linked to nutrition. ALDI’s goal is to support the values of self-improvement, teamwork and effort that Paralympic athletes represent and which ALDI shares. Under the slogan ‘Devour your goals’, ALDI supports Spanish paralympic athletes by providing them with a personalized nutrition service, focused on improving their sporting performance.
At the same time, since 2020 the company also collaborates with the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AEND for its abbreviation in Spanish) to develop and disseminate content that promotes healthy eating habits through nutrition and exercise.
ALDI focuses on the key consumer needs in food, nutrition, and health. In light of the worrying increase in overweight people in the EU population and the growing customer awareness of conscious eating in the face of climate change, we are convinced that healthy and sustainable eating should be possible and accessible for everyone. To make this possible, as we have previously explained, we continuously optimise our products’ nutritional values, and expand our labelled range of plant-based, regional and organic products, among others. Using the latest technology and ingredients, we work within the framework of responsible food handling and the best possible product quality in close cooperation with our suppliers.
In the framework of the PREVENTOMICS project, ALDI food products were available on the PREVENTOMICS platform and offered to the pilot participants a wide variety of ALDI brand products, guaranteeing a varied range of options for different food choices according to each consumer dietary needs and lifestyle habits. Concretely, for a period of four months of intervention during 2021, Spanish pilot participants were informed about the most beneficial products to include in their shopping and received personalised advice to promote a sustained improvement in health. Changes in adherence to the Mediterranean diet have been measured and a significant increase of MEDAS (Mediterranean Diet Adherence Score) has been observed, showing a positive impact in prompting volunteers’ habits towards healthier ones.
ALDI Spain belongs to the ALDI North Group, a German leading supermarket chain with presence in 9 European countries. ALDI has been present in Spain since 2002, where it already has 360 supermarkets, nearly 6000 employees and where it offers an assortment of high quality products at a good price to around 6 million families who visit its stores every year.