aldi supermarket
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
May 8, 2024 ·  4 min read

Aldi Shoppers Spot Secret Symbol on Food Packaging, and They’re Feeling ‘Cheated’

Aldi, the grocery store has become a worldwide phenomenon. Initially, the grocery store started in Germany but has made its way around the U.K., and in more than 30 of the 50 United States. Although the company is known for its affordable prices, one angry customer shared to social media an observation she noted is costing customers more, while they’re getting less.

Recently, a mom from Canberra, Australia has gone viral after sharing her controversial observation regarding Aldi. Apparently, most products have an ‘e’ symbol and the frustrated mom deduced the meaning behind the marking has something to do with the weight compared to the cost of the item. After learning this, she decided to experiment for confirmation.

Explaining the Aldi Experiment

Close up of pre-packaged food label that says 230 g e.
Photo Credit: Mirror

The Australian mom purchased a bag of potato chips from Aldi and weighed the contents noting that a bag claiming to weigh over 8oz only contained about 4 oz of chips. However, she also weighed the bag and chips together, finding both together weighed less than the bag claimed. She posted a picture of her scale and wrote: “How is this okay at all? [We] try to save money by buying from Aldi, but we don’t even get the amount on the packet!”

“More than two-thirds of the packet was air – hence why I decided to check it… I put the whole bag with chips in it on the scales first and it was 157g,” she added.

Responding to the Aldi Controversy

Potato chips in a scale next to a blue bag.
Photo Credit: Mirror

Unsurprisingly, following the post, customers in Australia weren’t happy with Aldi. “That isn’t an estimation, though. Even Woolies mince has the ‘e’ and usually it’s minimal difference – but nearly 100g is massive!” One person exclaimed.

Not getting what you pay for is a joke and being so far off the ‘e’ weight is just ridiculous.” Wrote another.

A Reasonable Explanation

Boxes of frozen strudel and cakes.
Photo Credit: Wrn-El | Reddit

While many Facebook users were understandably upset at Aldi, one pointed out a logical explanation further explained by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources. “The AQS is an internationally agreed method of determining the size or quantity of pre-packed articles with a ‘constant nominal content’. This means it provides confirmation of the measurement or quantity of goods in the package, being sold by measure (weight, volume, length, area or number).” Explains the government webpage, adding “no pre-packaged article can have a shortfall greater than 5% of the stated quantity.”

The European Union has strict regulations including the requirement that any label on pre-packed food must specify the volume or weight of the product for every country part of the EU and they specify the ‘e’ confirms that the “relevant European laws” have been “complied with”.

Not Aldi’s First Controversy

Aldi advertisement for barn yard themed planters.
Photo Credit:

With a chain as large and widespread as Aldi, it’s unsurprising that the company has had its share of controversial moments. Among several others, 1 complaint stands out, shedding light on Aldi’s “animal welfare policy“, or lack thereof. In 2016, Aldi faced backlash after posting an advertisement for a deal they offered on barn animal-themed planters. The company prompted customers to post their “best animal jokes”. Many people felt the joke was in poor taste, considering the timing. The company had already been under fire for having an animal welfare policy, deemed a joke by one unamused customer.

What did the chicken say to Aldi? Please let me out of the cage, forever and for always.” Another commented sarcastically. A third responded: “Why didn’t the chicken cross the road? It couldn’t, it was stuck in a cage supplying eggs for Aldi.

More Recent Complaints

Two diapers side by side with birds, clouds, and branches. White checkered background.
Photo Credit: Honey9

In 2023, Aldi faced another wave of dissatisfied customers when the company began changing the quality of certain products, namely diapers. “They are so cheaply made now – very flimsy and way less absorbent,” complained one mom.

I’ve found them to now not be as absorbent and my little boy is waking up wet the next morning,” added another. Meanwhile, a third disclosed: “This is the second time they have changed and the quality just keeps getting worse.”

Reasons to Love Aldi

Aldi grocery cart full of raspberries, celery, bananas, and other fruits and vegetables.
Photo Credit: u/Sir-Kyle-Of-Reddit

Despite the company’s ups and downs, it has a wholesome history, founded on the reputation of affordability. Aldi was established in 1961 by the Albrecht Family. Its first location was in Germany and Aldi made history as the “world’s first discount grocery store.” The company grew in popularity and now has more than 2,000 stores in the U.S., not to mention countless European and Australian locations. Within the last few years, the cost of rent and groceries has skyrocketed to rates that most people in the U.S. struggle to afford. However, Aldi has offered some financial relief providing customers with generally low prices, along with ample deals and coupons.


  1. Aldi History.” Corporate Aldi
  2. Angry Aldi customers are hitting back at the chain’s latest social media mishap.News. April 9, 2016.
  3. Aldi shoppers feel cheated after spotting secret symbol on food packaging.” Mirror. Niamh Kirk. May 3, 2024.
  4. ‘Disappointing move’: Angry mums call out Aldi over ‘cheap’ changes to popular baby item.” 9 Honey. Nikolina Koevska Kharoufeh. 2023.