Is Cheaper Food Better?


Lily Fredericks

The name brand food is on the left and the Aldi food is on the right.

Lily Fredericks, Staff Writer

Aldi is a grocery store that’s been popping up around Iowa a lot more recently. It has a lot of off brand food that is very similar to name brand food, like Keebler and Frito-Lay. I thought it would be fun to do a blind taste test with Aldi’s brand and name brand foods to see which one actually tastes better or if there’s even a difference. I’ve seen other people do things like this from other places like The Dollar Tree and Walmart. 

My mom and I ended up buying fudge striped cookies, Pringles, wheat thins, Doritos, and Cheetos. The cost of all of that at Aldi was over $5, whereas the cost from Walmart was over $13. I do not know if this was just that one location but the people at Walmart seemed a lot more friendly than the people at Aldi.

The first food we tried was the different fudge striped cookies. We had just gotten done eating supper and wanted dessert so we decided to eat them first. My dad was the one who was giving us the different brands. My mom, brother, and I all had little bowls my dad would put the food in.

My dad had a random order of who would get what brand so it was not all the same for every person, each time. We all ate the first one. My mom thought the first cookie was kind of boring but she liked the second one a lot more. My brother said he liked the cookie number two better also. I liked the second one better also.

We had different answers for which one was better so my dad had the idea that we would do it again so that way we all knew for sure which one we liked more. The second time my mom and brother liked the first one better but I liked the second one better. My dad told us my brother and I liked the Keebler ones better and my mom liked the generic one better. My mom was really surprised that she liked the generic brand better. She said that if given the choice she would get the ones from Aldi because they taste better and the package holds a lot more cookies.

Agreeing with my mom I would get the Aldi brand ones because they are a lot cheaper. If anyone lives close to an Aldi grocery store and want a nice snack to eat getting the Bentons fudge stripes would be a good deal. The package of Aldi fudge stripes also holds a lot more cookies in it so you are getting more cookies for a lower price.

Also upon further research we found out that the Aldi fudge stripes were more of a shortbread cookie, and the Keebler fudge stripes were more of a butter cookie. So personally I would get the Aldi ones but I think this one is up to people preferences whether they like shortbread or butter cookies more.

The next day we decided to try everything else. The second thing we tried was cheddar cheese Pringles. These Pringles were actually what inspired me to do this. A few years ago my mom and I were wandering around in an Aldi, wasting time, and noticed they had an off brand version of Pringles. We thought that would be interesting to see how different those were to actual Pringles. We just never got around to doing it until now.

We all tried the first Pringle. The first one was a lot thinner than the second one. They were both good but we all decided if we had to pick one we would definitely pick the Pringles brand. The thinner one was Pringles and the thicker one was the Aldi brand. My mom was not sure at first which one she liked, but after trying both of them a second time she liked the name brand Pringles a lot better. My brother liked the Pringles a lot better from the start. We all agreed that Aldi’s brand tasted more like the Lays Stax, which are similar to Pringles but a different brand of chip. The cheese on the Aldi brand tasted a lot different than the cheese on the Kelloggs ones. It did not taste as much like real cheese, it tasted a lot more processed.

If someone is looking for a good cheesy potato chip I would recommend paying a little bit more for a better quality and getting the Kellogg’s Pringles brand from Walmart or a local grocery store. They were a lot better and were not too overly priced.

The third thing we tried was Wheat Thins. These were the hardest things to tell apart from each other. We all were not sure which ones we liked more so we had to eat them both twice. The Aldi ones had a lot more salt on them and the Nabisco ones were a little sweeter. There was basically no difference between the two. My mom and I agreed that if we had to pick one, we would pick the Nabisco ones because they were sweeter. My brother picked the Aldi ones because they were less sweet. The odd one out was my dad, he did not like either of them but he said if he had to pick one, he would pick the Nabisco ones.

The reason we tried something as random as Wheat Thins is because we have a running joke about them in our family. When we were little, my brother used to call Wheat Thins “sweet thins.” The name kind of just stuck with our family so we thought it would be fun to try which sweet thin was better. Wheat Thins were basically a staple in our house when my brother and I were little.

I would no matter what recommend the Aldi brand Wheat Thins. They are a lot cheaper and the taste is so similar, it would just make sense to get the Aldi ones to save money. We looked at the boxes and they were the exact same size so you are getting the same amount of crackers for a lot cheaper.

The next thing we tried was Doritos. They were both good similar to the Wheat Thins. The Aldi ones were way thinner and less cheesy. The Doritos had way more cheesy flavor on them. My mom thought they were both similar and good but she liked the Doritos a little better because they had more flavor. My brother, dad, and myself all agreed with my mom in saying the Doritos were better.

If you are looking for a not as powerful cheese flavor and more of a corn chip flavor I would recommend getting the Aldi ones. If I was the one to choose I would get the Frit0-Lays Doritos from Walmart. The better taste is worth the extra price in my opinion.

The last one we tried is Cheetos. These ones were easy to decipher which one was which. They did not taste very similar at all and there was a clear winner. To put it bluntly the Aldi ones were bad, they were not good, I cannot really say anything good about them. The cheese was a very weird and unusual flavor that tasted very processed and fake. The Frito-Lays Cheetos were way better. There was not even a comparison. These are the only snacks we tried that we will probably throw away and not eat. I was really surprised by this because when we saw them at the store they looked almost the exact same as actual Cheetos.

I would recommend never getting Cheetos from Aldi. They are not good and are very disappointing. I would definitely pay the extra money to get the name brand from Walmart. They are way better and worth the little bit of extra money.

Overall I would get the fudge stripes, Wheat Thins, and maybe the Doritos from Aldi. If anyone is looking to get cheap and tasty snacks that are just as good as the name brand food I would go to Aldi for some things. If I am being honest I did not have very high hopes for Aldi food but I was pleasantly surprised. Some foods I would recommend not getting from Aldi are Pringles and Cheetos. They just were not as good from Aldi as they were from the name brand.