Editor’s note: This segment originally aired in Dec. 2010. Germany’s hard discounter grocery chain Aldi is now using miniature ovens that are roughly the size of a vending machine to make bake fresh bread instantly at the push of a button. The machines have been such a success that German bakers are now suing Aldi for unfair competition, according to The Wall Street Journal!
My dad loved freshly baked bread with real butter. In fact, he would go to certain bakeries for particular types of bread. In Europe, it’s very common for people to go to bakeries where bread is freshly baked. Germany alone has 15,000 bakeries. In the United States, however, if you want fresh bread, you have to pay big bucks for it, or else get cheaper packaged bread in the supermarket.
Aldi’s mini-ovens reportedly charged 15 cents per loaf and deliver the bread in under 2 seconds after customers press the button for it. Bakers allege that there’s no way the bread could be truly baked fresh on the spot. “We are not against Aldi selling bread,” the leader of a baker’s trade organization told The Wall Street Journal. “But it’s unfair for them to say that it’s somehow better or different than the packaged stuff they sell on their shelves.”
One baker interviewed by The Wall Street Journal even conceded that the Aldi bread is extremely tasty. I hope the hard discounter brings these machines to the United States as they expand stateside!