Plus the chain plans to open 650 new US stores by 2018.
Credit: Matt Cardy/Stringer/Getty Images

It's not your imagination: Aldi is the cheapest grocery store in the biz.

According to Reuters, an internal study of the German chain's 1,600 US stores found that its prices are a whopping 21% lower than its lowest-priced rivals, including Walmart.

CEO Jason Hart revealed he plans to continue his brand's takeover of the grocery industry by focusing on offering more in-house brands and fresh produce. Additionally they'll be investing $1.6 billion to expand and remodel 1,300 U.S. stores, and open 650 new stores mainly in Florida, Texas, and on both coasts by end of 2018.

According to a press release, stores will be remodeled in an aesthetic similar to that of Trader Joe's and Publix, and will feature a modern design, open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally-friendly building materials—such as recycled materials, energy-saving refrigeration, and LED lighting.

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"With this significant investment in our stores, what we're really doing is continuing to invest in Aldi customers," explained Hart. "We're continuing to expand our fresh offerings, which means we need to provide more space for produce, meat, and bakery items. We've also made a number of improvements to our products—such as removing added MSG, certified synthetic colors, and partially hydrogenated oils from all of our Aldi exclusive-brand foods. But one thing that hasn't changed is that our customers still save money on the groceries they buy the most."