Aldi Stores has opened a $35 million state-of-the art product development and quality assurance centre at its Australian head office in Minchinbury, in western Sydney.
Michael Kloeters, group managing director Aldi Stores, said the opening was a milestone in Aldi’s eight years of operation in Australia.
“This new centre is the home of our world’s best practice product development and quality assurance process, which has been refined over many decades and tested around the world to ensure our exclusive brands meet the highest standards.”
The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Human Services, Financial Services, Corporate Law and Superannuation, who officially opened the centre on Wednesday 10 June, said the new centre demonstrated the positive impact Aldi had had on the Australian retail landscape.
“Aldi has contributed greatly to the competitive dynamic in the grocery sector, which has delivered better value to the Australian consumer,” he said.
“Aldi’s investment in Minchinbury and its plan for expansion across the nation is good news for Australian job seekers who have been hit hard by the global economic recession.”
The new 4700sqm centre features large sampling areas, test kitchens, a mock-up Aldi store, testing facilities for textiles and audio visual equipment, sample rooms and a chocolate cool room.
Kloeters said the size of the new sampling rooms and test kitchen enables continuous taste testing sessions.
“Aldi’s range is extremely dynamic, regularly adapting to match the changing tastes and preferences of customers. Up to 60 per cent of our product range changes each year as we consider quality, tastes, size, packaging and price,” he said.
“Our team of buyers and chefs regularly sample new products to determine which one best meets the stringent specifications for quality and taste and should be added to our range of exclusive brands.
“We also blind taste test all our products regularly, comparing them against leading household brands to ensure they are still equal to or better than them,” said Kloeters.
The new centre took 14 months to construct. It also houses Aldi’s rapidly expanding buying team, whose numbers will have increased by over 25 per cent by the end of the year to cater to demand.