Aldi's White Cheddar Puffs Are A Deliciously Cheap Pirate's Booty Copycat

Given the popularity of Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar Puffs, it seems inevitable that Aldi — everyone's favorite discount grocery chain — would carry a copycat version. Since the company's founding in 1987, the Pirate's Booty brand has become a beloved healthy snack food that, like many others, should be available in every vending machine.

Like Pirate's Booty, the Simply Nature White Cheddar Puffs, which are available at Aldi, are baked, not fried. They are also bursting with cheddar flavor, have the same crunchy-airy texture, and cost about half as much as Pirate's Booty. The two versions also, importantly, have a similar health profile, with both Pirate's Booty and Simply Nature coming in at 70 calories for a half-ounce serving. Both are also non-GMO.

While both brands have pretty comparable health profiles, a bag of Simply Nature white cheddar puffs will cost you about $2, whereas a bag of Pirate's Booty is priced at about $5. The choice is a no-brainer.

A very popular Aldi item

Simply Nature, one of Aldi's in-house, private brands, is promoted specifically as the grocery chain's health-conscious, organic brand. In 2020, the brand won the Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem, one of the many seals promoted by the well-known magazine to help consumers identify high-quality and healthy grocery items.

As for the white cheddar puffs themselves, they are already among Aldi's most beloved products, particularly among the younger set of snack lovers. In 2022, the white cheddar puffs were voted an Aldi Fan Favorite in the "Kiddy Cravings" category during the grocery chain's fourth annual survey. 

After the survey's results were released, Insider's Paige Bennett tried and reviewed several of the winners herself. Reporting on her own findings, she gave a special mention to the white cheddar puffs. Meaning that even among the products that had already won each category, the white cheddar puffs stood out. "Simply Nature's organic white-cheddar puffs reminded me of being a kid again," wrote Bennett. "They tasted just like I expected: a little cheesy with an airy, crispy texture. I don't love cheese puffs as much as I did when I was younger, but these were a fun, tasty snack."

And a very popular Aldi brand

When it comes to the health-conscious Aldi shopper, it seems that Simply Nature has the demographic pretty well cornered. This should be no surprise given the praise the brand has received, and considering that it was launched explicitly to compete in the same realm as stores known for offering healthy and organic fare.

"The move [to launch Simply Nature] should enable [Aldi] to better compete with pricier counterparts like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods," reported Retail Dive when the brand launched, "which can only help it as it continues to increase its presence, with an average of 80 stores added annually over the past few years."

Currently, Simply Nature offers items in several grocery categories, from pantry essentials to frozen foods and fresh produce to fresh bread, and even deli meats. You'll find the label on macaroni and cheese, gluten-free granola, shredded cheese, and whole bean coffee. Simply Nature even has fresh, whole organic chicken on its roster. That's something Pirate's Booty cannot say, no matter how many flavors and varieties they offer.