The products Aldi refuses to sell
IT'S no secret Aldi stores are smaller than rivals Coles and Woolworths. And so no surprise that the number of products the German discounter stocks also pales in comparison - around 1400 rather than 20,000 per store at its competitors.
But while the retailer has been shoehorning in a few more products, such as an expanded organic range, it has now said it has drawn the line on a slew of foodstuffs that will never make it on to the shelves.
And, no, it's not branded products. While Aldi is famous for almost totally stocking private labels, some big name foods - from Vegemite to Cadbury and Nescafe - do make an appearance. Rather, this is whole categories of food that have been banished.
It also has revealed why its stores have no piped music making them either a silent shopping paradise for some customers, or for others, creepily quiet.
As Coles and Woolworths have revamped stores, they've added everything from self-serve nut bars to walk in cheese rooms and pizza ovens - and they say customers love them.
But Aldi say they won't be following suit. So what are the items on Aldi's avoid list? Adrian Christie, the company's customer service head, revealed to news.com.au the things you won't find on the shelves.
FRESHLY BAKED BREAD
That warm waft from the bakery, as loaves crisp up, is a sensation you will never smell in an Aldi.
Installing a bakery would take up too much space and make life too complex for a store whose ideal product can be slid on to a shelf still in its cardboard box.
"The focus of our business is the things that we don't do that allow our customers to save money," said Mr Christie.
"There is no way we could pass on that price of adding complexity to our business and hit the hip pocket of our customers, so we focus on keeping things simple."
Again, it's all just too much hassle. While Woolies has rolled out sushi bars to many of its stores, Aldi says they are too big and would eat into the area that could be given to other products.
Having a space that grand for a foodstuff that small would make it an insurmountable challenge to get sushi down to a reasonable price that also bolstered the bottom line.
This one was revealed by Aldi Australia boss Tom Daunt last month.
Despite being a staple of Coles and Woolworths, Mr Daunt said storing, prepping and cooking chooks wasn't worth the effort for the meagre margin.
"Our philosophy is, let's focus on what matters and do the right thing about the cost," he told The Australian.
It's not just food you won't find at Aldi. Listen carefully, and you won't hear any music either.
No doubt, for a firm that famously watches every penny, they wouldn't have been keen to pay the royalties on tunes over the tannoy.
But Mr Christie said there was another reason.
"You won't hear music in our stores because music is often a tactic to make you relax and linger. But that's a cost, so we strip that out and make our store's simplistic.
"We select a range of food at the right prices and then people don't linger which makes our stores more efficient - you come in and you leave."
Despite some commentators saying it's high time Aldi got on board the loyalty bus, to repeat the success of Coles' Flybuys and Woolworths' Rewards programs, the company has said that is not about to happen.
The company has said it can take years and thousands of dollars' worth of grocery shopping to save up enough points to get a toaster through its rivals. Coles and Woolworths both said promotional offers regularly boost the number of points customers have in their balances.
But Mr Christie is undeterred: "Loyalty schemes entice you to spend more, so customers need to realise what they are giving up for the rewards.
"Our approach to loyalty is to provide good prices."
MORE IS MORE, SAY BIG TWO
Nonetheless, the big retailers have invested heavily in their loyalty programs, as well as more products, gadgets, gizmos - even the odd gimmick - to entice more people through the door.
It doesn't seemed to have harmed them. On Monday, Coles reported comparable sales growth of 5.1 per cent in the first quarter of the financial year off the back of the highly successful Little Shop promotional toy campaign.
Over at Woolies, its new Metro stores sport cafes, indoor seating areas with phone chargers, microwaves and sandwich presses so customers can even cook their own food.
At the Pitt Street store in Sydney's CBD, not only can customers find roast chooks and a sushi bar, an instore kitchen serves up everything from hot roast dinners and red curries, to poke bowls and bespoke salads. It's enough to make Aldi's senior management wince.
Already Aldi is Australia's third largest supermarket hoovering up 9.2 per cent of the $102 billion.
Whoever's vision of retailing is right - Aldi doing less or its rivals doing more - could have the most to gain in the supermarket wars.