The worst and best part of Aldi is the fact that you might never find the same product there twice. There are few brands or products you can actually count on every single week at Aldi, so when you find a random product you like it’s best to snatch it up while you can. A community of people who truly appreciate the randomness of Aldi can be found online, and they even have their own way of communicating in the wild, reports Atlas Obscura.
The Aldi “Aisle of Shame,” a name coined by Stefanie Fleming, creator of the Facebook group and website of the same name, refers specifically to the middle aisle at Aldi that is stocked with a mix of food and non-food products available for a limited time and swapped out weekly. The members of this specific fan community, with more than 1 million Facebook members, not only love a bargain but also love the thrill of a good find and share those finds with each other online. For example, one product that seems to have Aldi enthusiasts running through the aisles is the advent calendars. Angela McGriff, a frequent Aisle of Shame shopper and community member, was ready in line at 8 a.m. to grab her calendar this year, though the seltzer calendar she had purchased the previous year wasn’t the best (this year she went for a coffee themed calendar instead).
The most interesting fact gleaned from this Aldi-loving community is that the middle aisle known for its randomness is not random at all. Atlas Obscura explains: “The aisle, which each week is split 50-50 between edible and non-edible items, often has a theme, whether seasonal (pumpkin foods in the fall; pool products in the summer) or regional (many AOS enthusiasts plan meals of schnitzel, spätzle, and strudel around the aisle’s German Week).”
In addition to a shared love of Aldi’s rotation of bargains, members of the Aisle of Shame community have developed their own lingo and greeting for when they come across each other in person. Let out a “caw-caw” the next time you find yourself in Aldi and if another “caw-caw” rings out in response, you’ve found an Aisle of Same shopper.