Aldi, the plucky German challenger to supermarket duopoly giants Coles-Woolworths, seems to have a great sense of humour. They have created a whole range of ‘home brands’ : some with cute names redolent of bucolic English countryside, like Sunny Vale margarine, Goldenvale breakfast cereal, Ashwood cakes, Sweet Valley canned fruit, Brookvale desserts, Hydale canned meats, Ashfield smallgoods, Cowbelle cheese, Belmont biscuits; others with cross-cultural concoctions like Damora crackers, Mamia nappies; plus classic French copies like Ouverture jams; also deep connotations, so to speak, like Ocean Rise canned tuna; and soulful Bakers Life breads.
The Aldi marketing department must have a ball in its brainstorming sessions to come up with these non-brand names, and design imitation (rip-off?) packaging of rival ‘real’ brands. Presumably intellectual property lawyers run their litigation litmus tests on these close resemblances, but it’s an existential challenge to the so-called ‘brand equity’ of the originals. It makes you chuckle while cruising in Aldi, discovering all these unheard-of products.
Champion of Aldi chutzpah is ‘Bramwells Brekkie Mite’, which looks like a twin of our iconic Aussie yeast extract classic, but at half the price. Taste-wise the jury is out, but it seems downright unpatriotic spreading it on my morning toast. The kicker is that it’s made in Brazil! Looks like the Germans have outplayed us again, in our own world cup of breakfast spread, using Brazilian players.