I recently had the opportunity to visit the Test Kitchen at Aldi’s HQ in Batavia, Illinois. (I also got to tour a freshly redesigned Aldi.) For some of the other editors I was with, it was almost like a trip to Disney World! But frankly, I’ve never been much of an Aldi shopper, and when it came time for the “Aldi or Not” taste test, I had no idea what to expect.
About the Taste Test
Each test had two products in sampling cups labeled A or B. I knew one of the cups was an Aldi product, but didn’t know which one. I also didn’t know which national brand I’d be comparing the Aldi product against.
Taste of Home
Kale Veggie Burger
A: Dr. Praeger’s Kale Burger ($4.42) *
B: Earth Grown Kale Veggie Burger ($3.59)
Both had a savory–and surprisingly good—flavor. I’ve never had a kale burger before and couldn’t tell the different between the two at all.
A: LaCroix Muré Pepino ($4.25)
B: Belle Vie Bold Cucumber Blackberry ($2.99)
I’m obsessed with LaCroix, but I gave the point to Aldi for this round. The Belle Vie water was crisp and refreshing with a light flavor. I couldn’t believe it!
Taste of Home
A: SimplyNature 100% Juice Antioxidant Power ($3.89)
B: Smart Juice Antioxidant Force ($5.30)
I really wanted to be able to guess the Aldi product here. But I couldn’t—both had the same pleasant cranberry-cherry aroma and flavor.
A: Cedar’s Organic Hummus ($3.99)
B: SimplyNature Organic Hummus ($2.29)
Both are hummus. Both are delicious! (By the way, I sampled the hummus with gluten-free pretzels, which, if you haven’t heard, are so much crunchier and more delicious than the regular thing.)
A: Cliff Builder’s Protein Bar ($7.50)
B: Elevation by Millville Protein Bar ($5.99)
The Cliff Builder’s bar had a chewy texture, the Millville bar was more crisp. Both bars were Chocolate Peanut Butter and packed 20g protein, but I preferred the crispy crunch of the Millville bar.
Gluten Free Bagels
A: Live Gfree Cinnamon Raisin ($3.99)
B: Udi’s Cinnamon Raisin ($5.24)
The Live Gfree bagel was loaded with raisins and cinnamon flavor. The Udi’s bagel only had one raisin, and c’mon, that’s so not enough. Point to Aldi.
A: Maple Grove Farms 100% Pure Maple Syrup ($5.98)
B: SimplyNature Organic Pure Maple Syrup ($4.99)
I thought Aldi’s brand of maple syrup tasted exactly like what you’d get with your pancakes at a diner. I usually prefer a darker syrup, though, so I picked the Maple Grove Farms option here.
A: Sundae Shoppe Low-Fat Mint Chip ($2.99)
B: Halo Top Mint Chip ($4.18)
It was outrageous how good the Sundae Shoppe ice cream was! It didn’t melt as quickly, the mint chip flavor was refreshing, and visually, it had the perfect color. I wanted to ask for seconds.
*FYI, the prices are national averages provided by Aldi.
Taste of Home
The Results Are In
In all but one test, I preferred the Aldi brand or honestly could. not. tell the difference. I was shocked! I did the math, too—you would save more than $10 if you bought the eight Aldi products here. (In case you’re curious—this is why Aldi stuff is so cheap.)