A growing selection of Hungarian products and low prices are waiting for shoppers in ALDI stores – An interview with managing director Bernhard Haider

By: Trademagazin Date: 2022. 06. 16. 08:15

– What were the most important events for ALDI in 2021?

– Expanding the product selection and supporting Hungary’s agri-food sector were the most important for ALDI. In the first half of the year we opened a new 8,800m² cold storage facility in our logistics centre in Biatorbágy, and thanks to this we could increase the chilled product offering in ALDI stores by 40%. By December our store network consisted of 153 discount supermarkets and we created 280 jobs last year. More than 3,000 ALDI products can now be ordered online, with home delivery in 60 towns.

Bernhard Haider, country manager for Hungary, ALDI

– What new things could shoppers notice?

– Our in-store bakeries were revamped, they now look better and can display 30% more bakery items. Self-closing plexiglass doors protect all baked good types. Thanks to the 12 new compartments, ALDI stores can offer more types of healthy and special-diet baked goods; – these now represent 20% of the total bakery item selection.

– How did ALDI’s Hungarian product selection develop?

– Customers want Hungarian products and suppliers need a stable market. We satisfy these needs by purchasing from Hungarian farmers and food companies. Since the summer of 2020 only Hungarian poultry has been available in our shops, and in the autumn of 2021 we switched to Hungarian pork and beef exclusively. Shoppers can now choose from more than 50 fresh meat products.

– In which other categories did ALDI switch to Hungarian suppliers?

– Besides fresh meat, we also use Hungarian suppliers for buying essential dairy products. When ALDI entered the Hungarian market in 2008, 29 dairy essentials were sourced locally. By the end of 2021 this number grew to 65. From early 2022 we only sell Hungarian eggs, – even the organic ones are local.

– What are the advantages of sourcing in Hungary for shoppers?

– We can keep prices lower this way, without having to make compromises in quality. The other big advantage is freshness: many of our fresh meat products appear in ALDI stores just 24 hours after slaughtering. This period is 18-24 hours for certain dairy products after milking the cows. By selling approximately 6,000 tonnes of fresh Hungarian meat and 40 million litres of Hungarian milk, we contribute to preserving and creating jobs in the food industry.

– What steps did ALDI take in 2021 to protect the environment?

– We installed solar panels at 16 ALDI stores, so now our system consists of 18 units and these produced 500,000kWh of energy last year – 1.9% percent of our annual energy use, without local CO2 emission. Shoppers can now bring back used cooking oil to more than 100 stores. ALDI is the first retailer in Hungary to use an electric truck on a daily basis, for delivering goods to its stores in the Budapest region (x)



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