Aldi Is Testing Instacart Delivery, but Will its Frugal Customers Care?

Exterior photo of the newly rebuilt Aldi's in Joplin, Mo., before a grand reopening ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011.
Beth Hall/AP Photo for Aldi

A new pilot program could bring Aldi groceries to your door — for a price.

Aldi announced this morning that it’s partnering with Instacart to deliver groceries to customers in Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles. If the pilot is successful in these areas, delivery via Instacart could expand to additional markets.

Shoppers in the test areas can shop Aldi products online or using the Instacart mobile app. While Instacart is known for delivering orders in about one hour, deliveries of Aldi groceries can be scheduled up to one week in advance.

“We know customers are looking for new ways to save time and money,” Aldi CEO Jason Hart said in a release. “Instacart provides easy access to our low prices at the click of a button.”

Aldi has about 1,700 stores in 35 states across the U.S., but plans to expand to 2,500 stores by the end of 2022.

Want to try it for yourself? Aldi’s statement says new Instacart users can take $20 off their first order with code ALDIDELIVERY. The offer expires Sept. 30.

Does a Fancy Delivery Service Mesh with Aldi’s Low Prices?

Aldi’s atmosphere is unabashedly no-frills. To keep prices low, you bag your own groceries, and you must deposit a quarter to access a shopping cart.

So why partner with a delivery service like Instacart? It’s really more like, “Why not?”

Grocery competition is fierce right now, and Aldi’s expansion plan has it poised to become the third largest grocer in the country. Now’s the time for Aldi to introduce its house brands — 90% of its stock is exclusive to Aldi stores — to as much of the general public as possible.

But will Instacart’s convenience cancel out any savings you might glean from a well-planned trip to Aldi?

Some chains available for delivery via Instacart charge higher prices if you shop through the service, and as you probably expected, delivery isn’t exactly free.

If the Aldi pilot is successful, we’ll be keeping an eye on how those purported savings stack up when there’s a price put on the convenience factor.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.