I have a weird obsession… I love grocery shopping. I can’t explain why, I’ve loved it since I was a kid. I used to volunteer to do our family’s grocery shopping as soon as I got my driver’s license. Maybe it’s because I also love cooking, so I like all the possibilities in front of me when I shop? I really don’t know.

Not everyone can relate.

I know plenty of people who think that it’s completely crazy to like food shopping. Then I met my husband who, bizarrely, loves it as much as I do. We have even argued over who “gets” to do the shopping, now half the time we just go together. Yeah, we’re weird.

Ranking the stores.

My favorite store of all time is Wegmans. That little train that goes around their ceiling – it’s gold. Plus, their store brand items are usually great and cheap, sort of like Trader Joe’s which is close to being tied for my favorite. I would say anyone who is a fan of Wegmans or Trader Joe’s would agree, it’s almost like we are in a cult… but wait.

Enter Aldi.

Then I discovered Aldi. I have to admit, I wasn’t that big of a fan the first time I walked into one. There is that confusing thing where you have to put a quarter in a slot to get a grocery cart. That’s common in Europe, but super weird for America. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some people who gave up in the parking lot because of it.

But their prices were amazing and so are their unique brands. Still, I didn’t think that much about them after visiting.

The social media phenomenon.

Then, quite accidentally, I was researching a story on weird Facebook groups. That’s when I came across an Aldi fan group with nearly a million fans, the Aldi aisle of shame community. Aisle of shame? YES! That weird aisle of random things that pop up in the middle of the store and change all the time, there was a fan group. I’m in!

Then I started finding other groups with half a million in it… all for Aldi.

The cult.

These weren’t just normal grocery store fans, guys. They have a special language. Apparently, if you “Ca Cawwwww!!!” in the store, others who are also fans will “Ca CAWWWWWwww!” back. It’s weird, and I tried it, it WORKS, see the video here.

But once I realized the fervor of the fan base and the fact they had their own language, I had to ask… grocery store or cult? I’ll let you decide.

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About Laura Keyes Ellsworth

Laura has been writing and editing for more than 25 years, a fact which more than a source of pride, sends her running to the wrinkle cream aisle of CVS. She has worked for CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, The Economist Intelligence Unit, and CBS radio. She has three children, and you will either find her thoroughly enjoying their company or yelling at them to clean up after themselves and turn off the lights.

View all posts by Laura Keyes Ellsworth