The Aldi Label Clue To Easily Tell When An Item Will Be Soon Discontinued

Few things cause greater grief and distress than discovering that one of your go-to supermarket items has disappeared. We're not simply talking about the inconvenience of supply chain disruptions here. We mean when you've been searching high and low for weeks to no avail — the price label has gone, the item's usual place on the shelves has been replaced with a terrible imposter, and no staff member can find what you need.

These, sadly, are a recipe for bad news. It probably means that your favorite product has been discontinued. Fortunately, at Aldi, there is a way to see this coming. The key is to look out for a hand-drawn "D" scrawled in a corner of the item's price tag. If this single letter is present, in black or red ink, it means Aldi will be discontinuing the product

So, how can you prepare yourself for the axing of an Aldi product, and what other label warning signs should you be watching out for?

What else to know about discontinued Aldi products

Although a handwritten "D" indicates that a product is about to be dropped by Aldi, what isn't clear is exactly when that product will disappear. Because of this, it's worth asking a member of staff and keeping an eye on stock levels: If there aren't many products left, they could be about to run out.

Aldi products can also disappear for other reasons. Aldi Finds items are only available for a limited time and could sell out very quickly due to a restricted amount of stock. This is the same for goods promoted as "red hot." Blue labels and those marked as seasonal indicate that a product will only be available for a certain part of the year (such as during the holiday season), so it's important not to become too attached to these items because they won't be around forever.

Even though the discontinuation "D" could spell doom for the product afflicted with it, there may still be hope. Sometimes, Aldi chooses to reinstate banished items, so never lose hope that one day your favorite bargain could return.

Discontinued items are unavoidable for Aldi shoppers

While some may question whether the "D" appears only on items that don't sell as often at Aldi, unwanted items aren't the only products to get the boot from the grocery chain's shelves. Plenty of items have a solid fanbase, and some of the discontinued Aldi items missed most by shoppers include Fit & Active Whole Grain Waffles, Clancy's Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Kettle Chips, and Fusia Sriracha Sauce. Even some of the store's alcohol offerings, like the Hop Lift IPA, have faced the chopping block. 

Those who shop at other grocery chains (or newer Aldi shoppers) may be surprised to hear about items completely disappearing from store shelves, which is something that happens less often at other chains. However, one element that makes Aldi such a unique store and enables it to offer its trademark low prices is that it typically stocks far fewer specialty items than many other modern supermarkets. This allows the company to operate in smaller buildings, which require fewer costs for cleaning, maintenance, heating and cooling, and staffing. So, while discontinued items can be disappointing, there's always a trade-off. 

The secrets of grocery store price tags

Aldi isn't the only chain that allows shoppers to learn a lot about an item's future through a quick glance at a price tag. But, like at Aldi, those who don't know what to look for may miss the clues altogether. 

For example, Costco's infamous "Death Star," represented by an asterisk on the item label, means a particular warehouse location won't order more of an item after the current stock runs out. Some claim that Home Depot items with prices ending in three are a clue that the item will be thrown out or donated three weeks from the date of the price cut. Meanwhile, Gap items marked with a seven at the end of the price are also poised to be discontinued. Perhaps no one makes it easier than Ikea, as it uses bright yellow tags to explicitly warn shoppers it's their "last chance" to purchase an item.  

While the appearance of the dreaded "D" on your favorite Aldi product's label may kick off a trip through the stages of grief, you shouldn't let that stop you from shopping there. But first, take some time to review the best and worst things to buy at Aldi to prepare for your next trip.