5 Aldi Products You Should Never Buy, According to Our Editors

But don't worry, Aldi, we still love you.

If you’ve ever perused Allrecipes, then you know how much we love Aldi. We’re obviously not the only ones as Aldi is the fastest-growing grocery chain in the U.S. and continues to garner loyal fans all across the country.

The store has great private label products at low prices that competitors really can’t match—and it’s growing its new product inventory nearly every month. But, even as Aldi lovers, sometimes you have to call it like you see it. There are a few products at Aldi that we just don’t like to buy.

We polled our Aldi-shopping Allrecipes editors as well as read what Aldi customers had to say on Reddit and found the top five things they never buy from the German retailer.

1. Condiments & Salad Dressings

There are two reasons people steer clear of Aldi’s condiments and salad dressings. One, because they have brand loyalty to their favorite condiments and salad dressings and aren’t willing to give them up. And two, because some of Aldi’s condiments and salad dressings are just plain bad.

As a Pittsburgh native, I’m a Heinz ketchup user through and through, so you will never find me buying Burman’s Ketchup. Not because it’s inherently bad, but because Heinz is my preferred brand and I know it’s going to be perfect every time. Some other condiments that Reddit users prefer to splurge for the name-brand products on over the Aldi products include Miracle Whip, Jif Peanut Butter, and Vlasic Pickles.

The good news is that Aldi sells a lot of name-brand condiments alongside its private-label products. So, if you have a certain brand that you have to buy, then you likely can.

As for the salad dressings, we’re not really sure what’s going on there, but both our editors and Reddit users suggest you skip them. Although, while some say all the salad dressings aren’t that good, others call out that the salad dressings in the glass bottle, as well as the “restaurant-style” dressings, as being pretty tasty. So, it could all be based on your taste preference.

2. Some Produce

One thing that most Aldi shoppers can agree on is that the produce can be hit or miss. One day you might find the freshest, plumpest blueberries and ripest bananas, but the next you could find bruised apples and nearly-moldy strawberries.

There’s really nothing you can do about that besides inspecting your produce thoroughly before adding it to your cart. The good news is that Aldi’s Twice as Nice Guarantee allows you to return products you’re not satisfied with for a full refund and replacement. So, if you do buy produce and have a quality issue with it, you can return it to your store.

Another complaint that some Aldi shoppers have about the produce section is that a lot of products are sold in bulk. Unlike most other grocery stores that let you buy as many items as you need, some of Aldi’s produce is only available in bulk, multi-pound bags—like potatoes, onions, and garlic. If you only need one pound of potatoes for a recipe, you’ll be stuck buying a five-pound bag at Aldi—so you better have some other potato recipes in mind.

Aldi sign


3. Lunch Meat

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with Aldi’s deli meat. In fact, Aldi is a great place to buy packages of lunch meat for pretty low prices. 

However, because Aldi’s store model is pretty bare-bones, it doesn’t actually have a deli counter. So, while the store sells lunch meat under its private label and even offers cuts of pre-sliced deli meat from an Aldi-branded deli, there’s no one to freshly slice your meat at the store.

If you were hoping to speak to a worker about slicing your meat a certain way or ordering a certain amount of meat, Aldi isn’t the place for you.

4. Baked Cheese Crackers

Aldi’s snack section is typically a hit. The chips, trail mixes, and cookies are huge winners with most Aldi shoppers. However, an overwhelming amount of Reddit users called out Aldi’s Baked Cheese Crackers (its private-label crackers comparable to Cheez-It) as being subpar.

“I tried their version of the toasted Cheez-Its recently, hoping to save some money. Have to agree that they don't even come close to name brand,” said Reddit user AreTeeMiss

The good news is Aldi typically sells the real deal Cheez-It crackers right next to its own version. If you’re willing to pay a few extra cents, then it’s worth it. Or just stick to Aldi’s Penguin Baked Cheddar Snack Crackers (comparable to Goldfish), which are a fan favorite.

5. Fish Sticks

As with the deli meat, Aldi doesn’t have a fresh seafood counter. Despite that, it sells a large selection of fresh and frozen seafood that most customers love. However, while the fresh salmon and frozen beer-battered cod are among some of our editors’ favorite products, one editor said they wouldn’t be purchasing Aldi’s fish sticks again.

“If I had to choose something that disappointed me it would be their fish sticks,” they said. “They were acceptable, but not great. I usually get 365 fish sticks from Whole Foods, which are also pollock, but the Aldi ones were really puny and less 'meaty' in comparison.”

If you’re looking for a breaded fish option, stick to Aldi’s Beer-Battered Cod Filets and Beer-Battered Fish Filets—and if your kids will only eat them in fish-stick form, just cut them a little smaller so they’ll never know!

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