An Aldi shopper has sparked an online gabfest after sharing an image of a surprising anti-theft measure the discount supermarket had adapted to secure a common grocery item.
In a Reddit post, a UK customer revealed that steaks were now being displayed inside large locked plastic boxes at his local Aldi store, the latest move in a series of attempts to curb theft as the cost of living continues to rise.
"Aldi steaks now come in a security box 8x their size because so many are being stolen," the Reddit user posted, sharing a photograph of a meat tray in a clear, large plastic box sitting on the conveyor belt at the branch's checkout counter.
The new security tact prompted a mixed bag of reactions on social media.
"What backwards wastebin part of the country is it necessary to lock steaks up?" one Reddit user responded to the post.
"I've witnessed a person just push the cart out the door without going to the register. They got caught, but I would imagine just walking out works a lot of the time," another person chimed in.
"Begs the question, how baggy are your pants you can walk out with a porterhouse steak?" a third person asked.
"At what point do grocers regress to the old General Store format? You know, like the Wild West days where you furnish a shopping list and an attendant gets it?" another commented.
A thread of puns also followed the post.
"Yeah I guess theft from my local store is higher steaks," one joked, while another replied, "Somebody obviously has a beef with this store in particular."
Ongoing security measures amid price hikes
Aldi's security move comes on the back of previous measures to clamp down on theft in its shops.
Three months ago, another Redditor posted a photograph of how an Aldi store in the US had kept steak off its shelves altogether to curb shoplifting.
The photograph of the empty supermarket shelf also showed a sign that read: "Due to high theft, we can no longer put steaks on the shelf. Please ask associates if needed. Thank you. Sorry for the inconvenience."
The photograph had also prompted a similar series of comments.
Last week, Aldi shoppers in the UK had also seen security tags put on basic grocery items like cheese blocks to tackle the theft amid soaring food prices.
Crimes of poverty
Police in the UK have acknowledged that there has been an increase in crime due to poverty and the impact of a lack of opportunity, The Guardian previously reported.
According to the report, new chief inspector of constabulary Andy Cooke advised officers to use their "discretion" when deciding to prosecute those who steal to eat, and make sure crimes of poverty are "dealt with in the best way possible".
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.