What’s good at Aldi?

by Christina Geyer on November 20, 2007 · 43 comments

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Aldi supermarket distribution within Germanylast updated 8 October 2008

I avoided the discount supermarket Aldi for a long time because, although I’d heard there was really good stuff in there, I had also heard there was stuff to avoid, and I didn’t have a lifetime of experience knowing the good from the bad.

So now I am presenting you an Aldi “shopping list.” I’ve gone through all the issues of Stiftung Warentest (a German consumer testing magazine) since 2004, and written down the Aldi products that have gotten a “good” or “very good” rating. Now, they could be the test winner, or they could have placed 15th, but they are at least “gut.”

Aldi Nord (includes Aldi supermarkets in Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain)

Aldi Nord logo

  • Apple juice, unfiltered: Apfelblüte
  • Pasta, refrigerated: Delikato Fleisch-Tortelloni
  • Baby diapers: Vibelle Play
  • Batteries, AA and AAA: Top Craft Ultra Alkaline
  • Bread, white sandwich: Goldähren Butter Toast
  • Cat food, dry: Schnuki
  • Chocolate, milk: Moser-Roth Edel Vollmilch
  • Dog food, for all breeds and ages: Alnutra High Premium Trockennahrung
  • Face cream, anti-wrinkle night: Biocura Beauty Gesichtspflege Nachtcreme Antifalten
  • Fish sticks: Eskimo Fischstäbchen
  • Frying pan: Ballarini beschichtete Aluminiumpfanne, 28cm
  • Hair gel, extra strong: Kyrell Styling Gel
  • Ketchup: Delikato Tomaten Ketchup
  • Laundry detergent, colors: Unamat Color ultra-plus
  • Laundry detergent, heavy duty: Tandil ultra-plus
  • Light bulbs, energy efficient: Elektronische Energiesparlampe E27 12W
  • Margarine: Delikata Frühstücks-Margarine
  • Mashed potato mix: Aldi Nord Kartoffel-Püree
  • Mineral water, sparkling: Claudius Mineralwasser, Medium
  • Muesli, with fruit: Gletscherkrone Activ Müsli Frucht, probiotisch
  • Olive oil: Daidalos Grieschisches Natives Olivenöl extra
  • Orange juice: Rio d’oro Orange Premiumdirektsaft
  • Salmon, frozen Atlantic: Golden Seafood
  • Shower gel for sensitive skin: Mildeen Pflegedusche Sensitive
  • Shrimp, frozen large warm water: Golden Seafood King Prawns Riesengarnelenschwänzen
  • Spinach, frozen whole leaf: PrimaBio Blattspinat
  • Spinach, frozen with cream: Eskimo Rahmspinat
  • Sunscreen (also for kids): Ombra Sun Care Sonnenmilch
  • Thermos, 1 Liter aluminum: Aldi Isolierflasche Edelstahl
  • Toilet paper: Solo Luxus
  • Tomatoes, canned: King’s Crown ganze Tomaten, geschält, im eigenen Saft
  • Toothpaste: Eurodont Aktiv Fresh

Aldi Süd (includes Aldi supermarkets in Australia, Hungary, Ireland, UK, and USA, Aldi Suisse, and Hofer in Austria and Slovenia)

  • Apple juice, filtered: Rio d’oro
  • Apple juice, unfiltered: Rio d’oro
  • Baby diapers: Mamia “entdecken”
  • Cat food, dry: Minou Delikatess-Mix
  • Chocolate, milk: Moser-Roth Edel Vollmilch
  • Dishwasher tabs, multifunction: Alio complete
  • Dog food, for all breeds and ages: Maximus High Premium Trockennahrung
  • Face cream, men’s: Prince Cool Intensiv Creme For Men
  • Face cream, anti-wrinkle night: Lacura Gesichtspflege Nachtcreme Antifalten
  • Fish fillet, frozen: Almare Seafood Schlemmerfilet “Bordelaise”
  • Fish sticks: Almare Fischstäbchen
  • Frying pan: Prodecon Schüttrandpfanne Promont
  • Hair mousse for volume: Kür Schaumfestiger Volumen
  • Honey: Goldland Wild Blüte
  • Ketchup: Kim Tomaten Ketchup
  • Ketchup, light: Be Light Leichte Linie Tomaten Ketchup
  • Laundry detergent, colors: Tandil Color ultra-plus
  • Laundry detergent, heavy duty: Tandil ultra-plus
  • Margarine: Bellasan Pflanzen Margarine
  • Milk, ultra high treatment: Milfina H-Milch
  • Mozzarella: Cucina
  • Muesli, with fruit: Knusperone Früchte-Müsli Premium
  • Orange juice: Rio d’oro Orange Premiumdirektsaft
  • Pasta, refrigerated: Cucina Fleisch-Tortelloni
  • Salmon, frozen Atlantic: Aqua
  • Shampoo, anti-dandruff: Kür Pflege Shampoo Anti-Schuppen
  • Shampoo, Volume: Kür Volumen-Pflege Shampoo
  • Shower gel for sensitive skin: Caribic Pflegedusche Sensitive
  • Spinach, frozen with cream: Gartenkrone Rahmspinat
  • Soy milk: bio Soya Drink Naturell mit Calcium
  • Sunscreen: Ombia Sun Sonnenmilch and Sonnen Spray
  • Sunscreen for kids: Ombia Sun Sonnen Milch für Kinder
  • Toilet paper: Kokett
  • Toothpaste: Friscodent

Rainer is a big fan of the higher end Aldi (Süd) cheese and cold cuts (“Don’t get the super cheap stuff” – he says). I thought their Nürnbergers were good. The only thing I haven’t been that pleased with is the meat. I just bought a pack of the diapers to test out myself, and most of the Rio d’Oro juices are direktsaft (not from concentrate), which I prefer.

Update (10 Feb 2008): The diapers are good, but they leak occasionally, so I’m sticking with Pampers. Additionally, I can recommend the jalapeno poppers and the veggie burgers.

Update (8 Oct 2008): I’m a fan of the refrigerated Cucina lasagne.  Very yummy for a convenience product.  The wraps (forgot the brand name) and Cucina canneloni are also pretty decent.

What are your favorite Aldi products?

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  • http://regensblog.com Sarah

    I don’t know about the Moser-Roth chocolate, but the Choceur brand is what I always take home to family, and they rave about it. The Tizio Premium coffee beans make really wonderful coffee and espresso (we like it strong). I think I bought the toothpaste once and was less than impressed, but the Koketts tissues are very nice – better than Tempo, I think. And I used the shampoo a few times and it was awful; it wouldn’t rinse out, no matter how little I used.

    That’s pretty much all I’ve had memorable experiences with at Aldi Süd. Nothing from Nord, natch.

  • rita

    always take those test results with a grain of salt, because the owners of aldi are on the board of stiftung warentest (at least that’s what my mum told me recenty when i asked here something about the whole system).

  • http://reversingthebraindrain.blogspot.com michael

    I completely avoided Aldi (Sud here) at first, too. But I have been charmed by it now. We mostly like to check out their specials, particularly when they have a “theme” like American week, Mexican week, etc. Food-wise I am not so scared anymore, either. I have found the fresh turkey to be good. We also go for the yogurt salad dressing, the mozzarella (as you note), sliced cheese (like Rainer), although we do not shop there routinely. I do look forward to it now, though. I had a bad first impression, largely because the store was not much to look at and was a bit depressing. We used to shop at a brand new Whole Foods in DC (which was quite eye-catching!) and the change was a bit shocking. Real depressed me at first, too, but then we found a new, nicer one to frequent.

    Thanks for the useful list!

  • silvia

    I almost love everything Aldi Sued has to offer except for the yellow soda pop and Wurstsalat, too sweet. I especially grave the round cooked ham in slices and a ton of dairy products, frozen items and cakes. Give me a german Aldi to replace the one I have in town…LOL
    But on the other hand, better “a” Aldi, than “no” Aldi at all.

  • Lynn

    Christina,
    Did I tell you that they have Aldi here in Australia? I just recently started going there and it’s like being in Germany except everyone there speaks English! I love going there to get Haribo and Ritter Sport but I mainly go there to pick up diapers. Next time I’m there I’ll have to see if they carry any of the brands you’ve listed.

  • http://martinamr.blogspot.com/ Martina

    I can vouch that Aldi diapers are good, at least they were 10 years ago.

    But unless they have a new supplier for toothpaste, that stuff was nasty the last time I tried it.

    Their breakfast cereals aren’t too my taste, either, but the Müsli is.

    One of our personal favorites is the Maultaschen in the refrigerated section.

    I live in Aldi-Süd territory.

  • http://lifeandtimesofoliviaandco.blog.de Sarah

    Are the diapers still good? I haven’t tried them yet. Just ventured into the DM brand as an alternative to pampers. I like most Aldi products, but my kids love the fresh pizzas. I like the frozen Bio veggie burgers as well.

  • Lynn

    For anyone who is looking for diapers.. I really liked the Rossmann brand diapers and training pants for my daughter. They were an excellent alternative to Pampers.

  • http://www.justcallmemausi.blogspot.com christina

    We like almost everything from Aldi (except the diapers – I think we tried those once but they were scratchy and leakes so went back to Pampers – this was over 10 years ago, though so things may have changed!), but I usually make my husband shop there because our store is always so full and I don’t like the atmosphere much. You sure can’t beat the quality, though, and we stock up on many of our staples there. Actually, much of the Aldi stuff is actually brand-name products in different packaging. For example the Chipsletten chips are Chio Chips, the Aldi brand coffee is made by the Jacob’s company and the roasted peanuts are from Ültje. The book “Aldi – Welche Marke steckt dahinter?” by Martina Scheider has a list of over 100 Aldi products that are made by well-know manufacturers.

  • http://www.justcallmemausi.blogspot.com christina

    Oops, made a mistake on the chips and found a couple more: The Goldkronen-Stapelchips are Chipsletten von Bahlsen-Lorenz, the no-name mustard is Löwensenf, the Finesse tomato soup is from Erasco (which is actually Cambell’s) and the Akuta-Geschirrspültabs are from Calgonit.

  • http://vakdad.blogspot.com geoffry

    Now we have an Aldi, a Plus, a Real, a Lidl, and a Rewe in the same block. Talk about “Qual der Wahl” (Torture of Choice)…
    I have liked Aldi, but find their prices going up a bit more than the other places.
    At the moment I am a big fan of Lidl. They have an amazing selection of Spanish produce, and a number of things you cannot get at Aldi (try the Taco chips, for once in a bag big enough to actually share). Terrific wines as well. (An embarassing admission: I have been serving a Sicilian wine –Nero d’Avola–from Lidl at parties because it is very good, but I always put it in a nice decanter first because it is sold in a cardboard container)

  • http://lulusbay.blogspot.com/index.html Lynda

    I was really excited when Aldi arrived in Australia – it seemed so familiar. Many Australians hate the place because in the early years they only dealt in cash – no eftpos and no credit cards. Many of my friends find it just too frustrating because they don’t have everything they want and they end up going to the other supermarkets anyway. Most of the products here are OK – but many of them are quite inferior to name brands. Also Aldi Australia has the usual ‘special’ products, but they are usually very poor quality, where as I am still wearing the huttenschuen I bought from Aldi in Germany years ago and the kids clothing there is great – but really horrid here.

    After my initial joy, I found it a bit painful and now only go in for staples that I know are good – just to stock up. Oh and they changed my life because I can get all german christmas cookies here… for years I always had to bake all my own.

  • Christina G

    @sarah: The Moser-Roth chocolate is really, really good. That’s why we don’t buy it 😉 I’ll have to check out the Koketts tissues. We tried the toilet paper, but went back to Charmin. It just wasn’t as nice (actually, Rainer didn’t care, he’s happy to use recycled single-ply toilet paper, that’s what he brought back from the store after I had Oliver. I sent him directly back with the orders that nothing less than 3-ply comes home with him)

    @rita: There was an article in the last issue that Aldi’s “Snäppchen” are only a value about 40% of the time… but all the other discount markets faired worse. I just use the articles as a guide for products to try out for myself.

    @michael: That’s exactly how I felt when I first came over.

    @silvia: I’d agree that it’s better to have an Aldi than none. I know a lot of Germans in the US would kill to have an Aldi USA nearby!

    @lynn: I did hear that there are Aldis in Australia. Great that you found a good chocolate and gummy bear source! I was looking for comments on the Aldi diapers online and found an Aussi message board where all the moms were raving about the Aldi diapers, that’s why I decided to give them a shot.

    @martina: I’m picky about how my toothpaste tastes, so I’ve never tried. I’m going to try the Maultaschen though!

    @sarah: I’ll have to check out those Veggie burgers too.

    @christina: Rainer told me that also. He’s an Aldi enthusiast. I think he’d only shop there if I let him.

    @geoffry: I’d say that if the wine tastes good, that’s all that matters!

    @lynda: Too bad the products are just okay. But at least you’ve got an Aldi! 😉

  • http://www.lucidindeutschland.net Hezamarie

    I love the fresh orange juice in the cold section. It’s the only OJ that comes close to the stuff sold directly from Florida groves. It is nothing like Tropicana, which is a ‘sehr gut’ thing.

  • http://swenglishexpat.blogspot.com/ swenglishexpat

    Hi, just dropping by to say that I have “roared” you. Visit my blog to find out what I am talking about. Roooaaar!

  • http://bleedingespresso-sognatrice.blogspot.com sognatrice

    I don’t know anything about Aldi, but I did want to say that I *love* your new look! I’ve changed my link and my subscription :)

  • http://berlinbites.blogspot.com Ed Ward

    Little-known fact: the “gourmet” chain Trader Joe’s in the States, much favored by my friends who are too cool to shop at Whole Foods, is owned by Aldi. Allegedly, some Trader Joe’s stuff is showing up in Germany. There isn’t one near me, hoewver, so I can’t vouch for that.

  • Christina G

    @hezamarie: The fresh oj there is really good. It never lasts long here when we buy it.

    @swenglishexpat: I will get on that sometime this week.

    @sognatrice: Thanks!

    @ed: I didn’t know that. There’s several near my parents, I’ll have to stop in and take a look if I get a chance this Christmas (I was in one several years ago and did notice that they had Ritter Sport, but so do the regular supermarkets in the area).

  • Migraine Meister

    Every time I venture into a Real, Lidl, Aldi, Globus or Plus I get the same creepy feeling… I don’t know whether it is some form of globalization guilt or maybe the floor cleaner they use… but my husband must have his approx. 30 liters of Lidl’s Apfelschorle per week so I grin and bear it (and pick up their diapers while there!). I love my local little Edeka, where I get lots of solid child rearing tips from the cleaning lady there!

    Man oh man – I tried out nearly every type of diaper when my son was born… and our pediatrician had her opinion as well (that Aldi and Pampers were actually too good – that they didn’t breathe well enough and caused rashes quickly).

    My faves are Rossmann, Lidl, Pampers

    I avoid:
    Schlecker, Edeka (called Elkos) and those Öko Molton cardboard things – geeze! better to strap a bucket under the kid than those Molton “diapers”!

  • Beate

    If you are looking for good and cheap diapers, go to the DM drugstore. They are called “babylove”. We use them for over two years now and we never had any problems.

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  • Antje

    I am new to your blog and I love it. I am German but I have been to the US about 35 times! I love “Whole Foods” – unfortunately we do not have such great food stores here. Our organic food stores are so small compared to “Whole Foods”. At Aldi I buy organic stuff, which is tested as good quality – it’s the same good quality as food from health food stores – no pesticides. I just wanted to tell you that I do not use their salmon filets cause they are from the Atlantic Ocean. You should prefer “wild salmon” from the North West Pacific – this has much less pesticides. Most “non-organic” stuff at Aldi has less pesticides than produce from Edeka/REAL/Walmart/Rewe – allthough the produce there looks better! You will find “Wild Salmon” at Real/Tengelmann/Plus

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Thanks for the tip, Antje. I prefer Pacific salmon as well. I’ll have to look for it at Real. The last place I found good salmon was in Rostock.

  • gemmylyn

    A total ALDI fan here, I don’t know how we would survive otherwise. I try to buy the best quality products they offer. I used ALDI diapers for my last child and found them very good and cheap. This is after using Pampers and other brands for my first 2 at the cost of a small fortune. My children never had diaper sores because I would wash their poopos at each diaper change, if it was just urine, then a quick wash in the bathroom sink, if it was the other, then the shower. This way, I didn’t have to use expensive baby creams either.

    I stopped using LIDL a few years ago because the workers are all….barring none…rude, short-mannered and unhelpful. But what really turned me off LIDL though was that a few years ago when the Discounters started offering cheap travels, LIDL offered a cheap fare to Kärnten in Austria for €88.00 (a popular number with neonazis). Kärnten has one of the highest concentration of neo NAZIs in Europe. This really begs the question: WHO or WHAT is LIDL?

  • http://www.testqualitaet.de Hochstuhl Maik

    It doesn’t matter whether you go to Aldi or Lidl. It is important how the supermarket is directed. @gemmylyn: I think this was pure chance.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Just updated products through to the October 2008 issue of Stiftung Warentest.

  • Jane

    We are an Aldi Süd household too, buying things we cannot get at our local market. Why not do the same list with things that rate badly at Aldi such as the butter? Tee hee.

  • http://americanwolpertinger.blogspot.com Emily Flechtner
  • http://americanwolpertinger.blogspot.com Emily Flechtner

    ps: it is pacific wild caught salmon! certified by Marine Stewardship Council

    Emily Flechtners last blog post..Clothespins and Wild Pig Gulasch or: my adventure in cross country skiing in the alps (spitzingsee)

  • Rachael

    We have an Aldi now in Raleigh. I have not been, but I’ve heard good things about it — consistent with what’s been written here (choosing select things, picking carefully, etc. that there can be great deals).

  • Elena

    Hi, I have been an Aldi shopper in the US for quite some time. I have been pleased with everything I have purchased with the exception of a loaf of bread, I believe it was one of those carb counting ones.

    I have been informed by the employees that most of the food items are produced by major brands specifically for Aldi with the exception of some of the canned meats (Brazil) and the chocolate. Oh my, that chocolate. My step-sister was in Germany with her husband and sent some German chocolate in a Christmas package.

    There is a gourmet chocolate company here, and I believe the chocolate I get at Aldi’s is equal to the gourmet. While I do like the Choceur, I really go for the Moser-Roth Orange and Almond and the white chocolate.

    Elena

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    @elena: A lot of it is major brand stuff made for Aldi. I agree that the Moser-Roth chocolate is awesome, still get Choceur most of the time just to save money. I brought a bunch of it back to the US with me on my last trip and everyone raved about it.

  • http://www.regensblog.com cliff1976

    I concur: Choceur => highly efficient Bestechungsmittel. Yummy (and exotic!) for them, easy for you. Dig.

    cliff1976s last blog post..Rügen? Sylt? Other points north?

  • Anne

    we like the foccacia from Aldi Süd – calorie bombs!!
    also the whipped cream cheeses (Frishkäse)- as spread (esp. when we can score some bagels during ‘America Week’) – the Meeresreddich (horse radish) is good topped with a slice of Aldi Lox, some lolla salad and sliced tomato.

  • E Ellis

    I have always used Friscodent interdent small brushes but for the last few months they have not been available, only an inferior quality which requires a new holder. Why the change.

  • christine w

    GREAT:
    Aldi South:
    Louisiana Krabben (crayfish) – YUM!
    CordonBleu was always my son’s favorite…FAVORITE!

    USA:
    Atlantic Smoked Salmon (farm raised)…FABULOUS!

  • olive

    anyone know where i can buy KoKett moist toilet tissues ( as a matter of urgency )

  • H Bult

    Hello
    I have same problem as E Ellis – unable to obtain Friscodent interdental small brushes. Anyone else in UK stocking them?

  • http://otomcio.com Tom

    Pistachios. Lots of them. Green bags of tastiness.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    Aldi has really expanded their nut selection recently. It’s great!

  • Florence

    Does anyone know what Charmin is called here? I have tried 20 different kinds of toilet paper and cannot find soft, wonderful Charmin. Everything feels like rough sandpaper!

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    Charmin is called Zewa and is found in regular supermarkets and drugstores (Rewe, Real, Edeka, DM, Müller, Rossmann).

  • Florence

    Which zewa? I have tried several and it doesn’t feel like Charmin. Thanks Christina :)

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