The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

MEL BUTTLE

- Mel Buttle is a Brisbane comedian

“Aldi diehards have a burning, almost religious desire to spread the good word.”

There are two kinds of Aldi shoppers, there are the diehards who live and breathe it, and then there are the people who “just go there for basics”. Key signs you might be chatting to a diehard include the Aldi trolley token on their keyring. Your last birthday present from them came from the middle aisle of Aldi. They’ve got the app, the catalogue and a burning, almost religious desire to spread the good word about discount shopping.

If you’re lucky enough to get invited into an Aldi diehard’s home, and show any interest at all in a candle or chopping board, you will be swiftly returned serve with one word, “Aldi”.

I love these guys, their bubbling enthusiasm for a supermarke­t chain is admirable. It’s a treat to find one of these people at work, in a world full of negativity, it’s always uplifting to hear someone preach from the pulpit (or their desk) about frozen salmon portions.

Casual Aldi shoppers seem to have a bit more shame about getting their milk, self raising flour and hamburger rolls from the chain. These guys will speak to you about Aldi, but it’s always in hushed tones, they’re not loud and proud about their Aldi habit, acting like it’s something to be ashamed of. It’s not. A pitted date is a pitted date, no matter where it’s from.

These guys are often former farmers’ market shoppers who’ve bought a house and need to trim the budget fat.

If you find yourself talking to one of these people, coax them out of their shame, let them know it’s ok and that a lot of people use Aldi tinned tomatoes and get away with it. With

Coles fans vs Woolworths lovers, each group often has long-held loyalties to their chosen store. Upon discussion with Woolworths shoppers, they believe that their meat is better quality, whereas Coles fans will spout their belief that there’s a bigger variety of products available. Both parties, however, “can’t be bothered with Aldi” and don’t have enough kids to buy a Costco membership.

For me, it’s kind of like choosing between a chicken bread roll or a chicken sandwich for lunch. I realise this comment will be like a red flag to a bull, but I’m willing to be swayed so let the persuasion begin.

Market shoppers, those who have home-delivered produce and people who grow their own vegies fall into a category all of their own. These guys wouldn’t be seen dead in any of the above places, they would rather whiz all over town on a Saturday morning to gather their goods for the week with their baskets, trolleys and often wagon-style cars. These people’s eyes glaze over when they meet an Aldi diehard, and similarly Aldi diehards have no interest in hearing about the amazing in-season dill that’s grown out the back of Gatton.

I do like to press these purists on where they get things like tampons from; surely there’s no small independen­t market stall that rolls their own organic hemp tampons. Although nothing would surprise me these days.

Yes, I am leaving this column on that idea. You’re welcome.

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