The Reason Why Aldi Scrapes By With Its Blatant Brand Imitation

Walking down the aisle of an Aldi or Lidl, you might notice that the packaging looks oddly familiar. For example, the bold blues of Oreos and Chips Ahoy! seem to pop from the shelves, encouraging you to indulge your cravings with a tall, cold glass of milk.

However, upon closer inspection, it soon becomes apparent that these aren't name-brand products. Instead, they're known as Original Chocolate Sandwich Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies. While imitation may be a form of flattery, it's also thought to be a major legal no-no in the industry. Companies work hard to come up with packaging that will catch the eye of consumers and mimicking their design jeopardizes its effectiveness.

The trick here, though, is that Aldi and Lidl are tweaking the colors and the fonts just enough to create an entirely new graphic. It lowers the costs of starting the design process from scratch and ensures a quality-looking finish. The Original Chocolate Sandwich, for instance, features a blue that's extremely similar to that of the brand-name Oreos, but the letters are slightly thinner in appearance. The positioning of the milk and cookies on the front of the package is also just different enough to stand out.

Customers recognize that it's not the name-brand

It's nearly impossible to obtain a lawsuit against either of these stores because of the burden of proof. The name-brand companies would have to show without a shadow of a doubt that similar packaging is causing confusion among customers. The fact of the matter is that shoppers who frequent these locations recognize that both Aldi and Lidl manufacture their own products with labels that look suspiciously like their competitors.

A Reddit user commented, "One that made me laugh was the Lidl sanitary towels. They're called Siempre, which is Spanish for always." It's almost blatant mimicry, but the designs are changed just enough to protect against lawsuits.

The recipes aren't even the same, with some customers saying that they prefer certain Aldi and Lidl products over the brand names and vice versa. Another Reddit user explains it like this: "The trick I find [in] Aldi is [to] try a couple of things at a time and look at it like gambling or taking a chance. Normally buy Ritz crackers? When you're out, get a box of the Aldi brand... If you like it, congratulations! You now have ongoing savings. If you don't like it.... you're at most 'out' the price you paid for it."

So, the next time you're in an Aldi or a Lidl, consider trying a few of their products and see how they compare to the brands we all know so well. It might surprise you how good they taste!