Aldi has opened at Redbank Plains
Aldi has opened at Redbank Plains Rob Williams

How Gladstone locals can get free stuff from ALDI

FINALLY, the wait is over.

The 2017 intake of Aldi's famous Testers Club is officially open, and the company is preparing its servers for a deluge of applications.

Members of the exclusive club, selected from across Australia as a representative sample of the discount supermarket chain's customer base, are sent 10 free products to test and sample every three months.

Applications for the club have opened as the grocery store giant prepares to open its new Gladstone store on March 8.

Everything from pantry staples, cleaning and laundry products and beauty essentials are included in the hampers, with Aldi seeking feedback on how its private label wares compare to market leading brands. Participants are asked to rate at least half of the products they are sent, within two months of receiving them.

When reported on the program in late 2015, we received hundreds of emails from readers keen to sign up.

But applications for the 2016 intake had already closed.

Now Aldi has opened applications for the next round of testers, with just 100 places available for an initiative that attracted 17,000 applications the first time.

A spokeswoman for the German discount chain said the Testers Club aimed to ensure its product range was "nimble and responsive to changing tastes and preferences" and to "ensure we meet the needs of tomorrow's consumer".

"We valued the input from last year's testers, using many of their reviews on our website, catalogue and in-store," the spokeswoman said.

The announcement comes as Aldi celebrates being named Supermarket of the Year 2016 at the Roy Morgan Research Customer Satisfaction Awards, based on survey results from more than 50,000 consumers.

An Aldi spokeswoman credited the retailer's "consistently low prices" for the award, which it won for the fourth time since 2011.

"We know that having the lowest prices in the market is what customers have come to expect from Aldi, and we will not betray this trust," the spokeswoman said, adding that the chain was also investing in new store formats and better fruit and vegetables.

To apply for a one-year Testers Club membership, visit the Aldi Testers Club website and outline why you would like to participate.

Applications will close on February 27, with testers to be chosen by March 6.

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