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25 fun facts as ALDI celebrates milestone in Ireland

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25 fun facts as ALDI celebrates milestone in Ireland

You know what they say, time flies when you’re enjoying fresh produce and delicious food!

We can hardly believe ALDI has been in Ireland for the past quarter of a century. 25 years, 161 stores, and of course the cutest carrot on the block, Kevin, later the retailer has a lot to celebrate.

Here are 25 fun facts about ALDI as they celebrate 25 years of business in Ireland:

Pic: Getty Images

1. ALDI opened its doors in Ireland for the first time in 1999 with stores on Dublin’s Parnell Street and Cork’s Westside Retail Park. All those years ago, the retailer first started working with key Irish suppliers including Iverk and Glenhaven.

2. We’re about to make you feel just as old as we do… on that same day that ALDI opened its first two Irish stores, Westlife’s Flying Without Wings was No 1 in the Irish singles chart. Nice to see both ALDI and the lads are still going strong.

Westlife
Pic: Westlife / Instagram

3. Did you know that there’s an ALDI store in every county in the Republic of Ireland. That’s right, all 26 of them!

4. Six years after opening its first Irish stores, ALDI launched its award-winning Specially Selected range and partnered with supplier ABP Cahir to bring premium 100 per cent Irish Bord Bia Quality Assured steak to Irish shoppers at affordable prices. Hungry yet?

Pic: Getty Images

5. Since ALDI first opened in Ireland some 25 years ago, we’ve seen six different Taoisigh: Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen, Enda Kenny, Leo Varadkar, Micheál Martin and Simon Harris. Do we laugh or do we cry?

6. The retailer is a key employer in Ireland, with over 4,650 staff working in the chain across the Republic.

Taoiseach Simon Harris. Pic: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images
Taoiseach Simon Harris. Pic: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

7. Calling all guacamole lovers! ALDI first sold avocados in April 2012. 12 years and counting… but don’t worry Kevin, you’re not going to be replaced as a mascot anytime soon.

8. Over the past 25 years, between sponsorships and charitable donations, ALDI has given back an incredible €25 million to more than 1,000 charities and local organisations.

Kevin the Carrot. Pic: YouTube

9. As it celebrated 14 years in business in Ireland, ALDI opened its 100th store in the Emerald Isle in Callan, Co Kilkenny back in 2013. Naturally, hurling legend Henry Shefflin was on hand to cut the ribbon.

10, Actually, speaking of Kilkenny, five of the top eight selling products in the retailer’s Kilkenny stores are milk or butter products, a testament to the storied tradition of dairy production in the Marble City and county.

Pic: Getty Images

11. Since it partnered with FoodCloud, a non-profit social enterprise working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of food waste, in 2014, ALDI has donated 2.5 million meals to people in need, helping save over 3.3 million kilos of CO2 emissions.

12. Did you know that it’s been eight years since our beloved Kevin the Carrot made his very first appearance in ALDI’s Christmas ad?

13. We love a cuppa, so why not make a difference with each one? ALDI is the largest retailer of Fairtrade tea in Ireland.

14. Since 2018, ALDI has operated Grow with ALDI, a supplier development programme that gives SMEs the chance to have their products listed on ALDI shelves. During this time, it has invested more than €10 million into the programme and helped nurture and support more than 330 Irish suppliers.

Pic: Getty Images

15. Up the Rebel County! Cork is home to the most ALDI stores in Ireland, with a whopping 27 under their belt. Dublin’s coming up behind them, however, with 26 stores. Galway have 12, Kildare have nine and Tipperary have eight.

16. The retailer has proudly partnered with Barnardos since 2020, working to raise €1 million for vulnerable children and their families across Ireland.

Pic: Getty Images

17. ALDI first dipped its toe into the world of podcasting in 2021 with Mamia & Me. Our very own Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan has appeared on the parenting podcast as well as rugby legend Paul O’Connell and actor Chris O’Dowd.

18. Apparently, Donegal natives are flipping mad for pancakes! Last year, it was the only Irish county where pancakes were one of the retailer’s top 20 selling products.

Pic: Getty Images

19. Are you a fan of alternative milk? ALDI sold its first carton of oat milk in 2021.

20. The following year, the retailer wised up to the Irish weather, pulled on its wellies and became the Official Supermarket Partner to Electric Picnic.

General atmosphere as The Script performs at Electric Picnic Festival 2023 at Stradbally Estate
General atmosphere as The Script performs at Electric Picnic Festival 2023 at Stradbally Estate. Pic: Getty Images

21. ALDI’s store in Caherciveen, Co Kerry – its 150th store in Ireland – holds the title of being the westernmost ALDI store in Europe. You learn something new every day!

22. Irish people are bananas. Last year, data showed that mini banana packs, bananas and fresh milk are the three biggest selling products in stores across the country.

Pic: Getty Images

23. ALDI Ireland was the first supermarket to partner with the food surplus app, which has been successful in addressing food waste and also allowed the retailer to offer even lower prices to customers. They’ve provided 175,000 surprise bags to customers to date.

24. Ever wondered what makes an ALDI checkout so speedy? Well, we’ll let you in on a little secret. Products sold in ALDI have multiple bar codes printed around the packaging, at least one is bound to get picked up by the swiping mechanism ensuring efficiency.

08/04/2022 ALDI store in Sandyford. A Ukrainian man who had worked in a ALDI shop inDublin as a supermarket manager and recently returned to fight in the war against Russia has been killed in action. Oleksandr Zavhorodniy had lived in Ireland for 20 years. Before leaving to fight in the war, he worked in Aldi in Sandyford in Dublin. He is believed to have been killed on March 30 in heavy fighting in Popasna, near Luhansk. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie
ALDI’s Sandyford store. Pic: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

25. Finally, this year ALDI is celebrating 25 years in Ireland with an overall spend of €10 billion with Irish supplies since 1999. What a feat!

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