We love Aldi nappies, they have become our staple. But while I was happy sampling pretty much every single baby snack out there because I just NEED to try them all (is anyone else like this?! Let’s face it, most of the snacks get eaten by the mums… right…?!), I didn’t really think to try Aldi’s versions until recently. I wondered if I was being a brand snob so I decided to compare a few of their snacks compared to non-supermarket brands and these are my thoughts. Please bear in mind I used to do a LOT of taste testing in my previous job as a recipe developer… this might show!
Apple Biscotti: Mamia 8 biscuits for 34p (Aldi) Vs. Heinz 12 biscuits for £1.05 (Boots)
The Aldi ones had an artificial fruit taste to them, slightly floral-y or apricot-like rather than apple. They dissolved fast on the tongue and had a more claggy feel after eating. There was a light crunch to them and a processed/high refined sugar feel to them similar to Rich Tea biscuits. The Heinz version had a more pleasant ‘apple’ taste and a more complex flavour. It was slightly thicker and more crunch to them with a more open crumb texture (more holey and scratchy) inside. I preferred Heinz flavour-wise although I did find the packet really hard to open without a pair of scissors! However I would personally not give either to my baby as they contain cane sugar as one of the main ingredients and I’d prefer to give Oscar natural sugars as much as I can. I was pretty shocked to find this and so ate them all myself instead…
Raspberry Rice Cakes: Mamia 40g for 52p (Aldi) Vs. Organix 50g for £1.25 (Boots)
While both had irregular thicknesses and evenness to them, the Aldi ones tended to have more odd looking rice cakes with some being extremely thin whereas Organix rice cakes tended to be thicker in general (and a couple of mine looked like yorkshire puddings with big dents in the middle!). Sure the Organix ones were raspberry and blueberry flavoured compared to just raspberry but they were definitely more flavoursome, with tang and more crunch compared to Aldi ones. The Aldi rice cakes had less flavour but were more evenly distributed overall as the backs are also covered in flavoured powder compared to the Organix ones which aren’t. The Aldi rice cakes had slightly less crunch due to the thin, flatter rice cake (although larger diameter). I preferred the Organix ones because I did think that the lightness of the Aldi ones would require eating more in order to feel satisfied (from an adult’s point of view).
Tomato Wheels Crisps: Mamia 20g for 43p (Aldi) Vs. Organix 20g for 80p (Boots)
The Aldi tomato wheels tasted tomatoey in a more artificial way compared to the Organix tomato slices. The Aldi versions are a lot more flat in flavour and shape, and ever so slightly more claggy/ sticky on your teeth, whereas the Organix ones definitely offered more crunch. As with the rice cakes, I felt that the Organix crisps offered more satisfaction to your snacking experience because of the fuller flavour and mouth sensations (crunchiness and less stickiness), but of course this is from an adult’s point of view. I liked both brands of tomato wheels but Organix won in crunchy levels so it had to be the better crisp.
In terms of nutrition, I was surprised to find that all of the Aldi branded snacks had lower fat, salt and carbohydrate content, as well as calories when compared to the brand names (welldone Aldi). This is a big difference to what I have found in a lot of the adult copy cat versions of food I have looked at before (yes I do actually read every single label).
So there we have it, nutritionally per 100g, Aldi are ‘healthier’ when comparing macronutrients. And price-wise, there is a BIG difference, with Aldi definitely faring better. In terms of flavour intensity and quality of the product, I personally preferred the brand names in these examples (perhaps my developed palette is more needy). But since these snacks are intended for my baby who would not know the difference in flavours yet and is really using snacks for energy boosts, practicing hand-to-mouth actions and exploring textures, rather than being a food critic poring over the minor subtleties, I will definitely continue to buy them for him (except for the biscuits).
Have you got any opinions on the Aldi snack range? Are you a brand snob? I’d love to hear what you think!