What does the name Aldi stand for?

Where does the name Aldi come from? (Image: AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Aldi has captured the hearts and wallets of Australian shoppers since arriving in 2001, so much so that it's now genuinely challenging the Woolworths-Coles duopoly.

But where does the name Aldi come from?

The budget supermarket comes from Germany, where it has been operating for more than 70 years.

Brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht established the company when they took over their mother's general store. That store had been around since 1913, according to Australian Food HIstory Timeline.

The brothers took the first syllable from their surname and the word "diskont", which is discount in English. 

So Aldi can be pronounced "all-dee" or "al-dee" – depending on how you would say Albrecht – although the German enunciation is closer to the latter.

Aldi doesn't actually exist in Germany

These days there is no company named Aldi in Germany. The supermarkets over there are either operated by Aldi Nord (north) or Aldi Sud (south).

This is because back in 1960, the Albrecht brothers had an argument over whether the retailer should sell cigarettes.

According to The Guardian, Theo wanted to stock cigarettes while Karl thought they would attract thieves.

The issue caused a split in the company with Theo afterwards running the northern group of stores and Karl taking over the southern half of the network.

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