ALDI's test kitchen is whipping up holiday dishes and a line of healthy, ready meals for launch in January. The products will hit store shelves after each is tested at least 30 times and compared with items at rival supermarkets. "Discount stores used to be places where people needed to shop," said Tony Baines, managing director for buying. "Now, people actually want to shop here." The privately owned company will soon open its 500th store.

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