11 Aldi Foods That Definitely Didn't Meet Expectations

There's no denying that Aldi changed the grocery game. While the German discount grocery chain has been around since the early 1960s, and operating in the United States since 1976, it's only been relatively recently that the store has truly gone mainstream. This is largely thanks to its low-cost items, which Aldi bosses propelled into the American market with increasing force in the late 2000s, prompting a huge surge in growth.

And if you're wondering about the real reason Aldi is so cheap, it's not necessarily because its products aren't as good as those you'd find in other stores. Aldi keeps its prices down by stocking primarily its own brand of products, allowing it to replicate well-known items at a lower price point. It also keeps its staffing costs low and employs "so simple it's genius" ideas, like not unboxing its produce onto shelves, saving labor and time.

But while the majority of customers head home from Aldi with a trunk full of low-cost items that taste just like their name-brand counterparts, not everyone leaves the store pleased. Certain items in Aldi's repertoire have emerged as products that should be avoided at all costs, thanks to their taste, perishability, nutritional value, or sheer cost-effectiveness. ‌

Sugar-free coffee creamer

On the face of things, sugar-free coffee creamer shouldn't be that controversial an item. But the product is bad enough at Aldi that customers have taken to the internet to complain about it. "I would've paid to see my own face when I took that first sip," one customer wrote about the brand's sugar-free coffee creamer in a Reddit thread about poor-quality Aldi foods. While most of the customers in the following thread don't elaborate on exactly what makes this creamer so bad, their passionate criticism — calling it "nasty," "absolutely awful," and "gross" — is enough to steer even those with the strongest stomachs away.

And if the reviews of Aldi's sugar-free coffee creamer's taste weren't enough to put you off, its ingredients just might. Its French Vanilla Coffee Creamer gets its sweet flavor through the addition of maltodextrin, a highly processed sweetener that also operates as a thickening agent. While maltodextrin is safe to consume, it has been found to reduce the amount of good gut bacteria some people have, which may contribute to inflammation. Aldi's sugar-free coffee creamer also contains carrageenan, an ingredient derived from seaweed, which has also been labeled a potential cause of inflammation and may contribute to the development of a host of chronic diseases.

Tomato condensed soup

A can of tomato condensed soup is a pantry staple for rainy days. But the Aldi version may leave you wanting more. In typical Aldi fashion, the price of its Chef's Cupboard Tomato Condensed Soup is appealing, costing far less than name-brand alternatives like Campbell's. It's also as easy to prepare as other condensed soups: You just pour the can into a bowl, add water or milk, heat, and serve.

The issues, however, start before you even open the tin itself — if you're able to, that is. The can quality of Aldi's tomato condensed soup seems to reflect its price, with flimsy tabs that snap off when you try to open them. Once you've managed to get into your can of soup, the taste isn't much better. Aldi's product just doesn't stand up to the pricier alternatives. The soup is lacking in flavor and feels notably thin, even if you're using whole milk to make it. It also doesn't mix as easily as other soups, requiring a little more effort. 

The soup's actual ingredients should also be kept in mind: While canned soup is frequently high in sodium, Aldi seems to take this a step further, with over a fifth of your daily sodium value in a half-cup serving. Aldi's might be the best price you'll get for a canned soup like this, but you're losing out in every other way.

Corned beef hash

Canned corned beef hash is hardly a gourmet product, and few people are under the illusion that it is. But even the greatest lovers of this foodstuff might hesitate to buy Aldi's. The store's corned beef hash has received a pretty negative reception from folks online, one from someone who bought it for their daughters. The purchaser wrote on Reddit, "Little did I know how terrible it would be, [I] assumed it would be decent like most of their canned goods ... [But it's] super greasy, like twice as much fat as what comes in a can from Mary's brand."

Another buyer's review was similarly scathing. It read, "That canned corned beef hash was the worst canned food product I ever purchased in my entire life – and I'm 73." While fat can provide additional moisture and flavor in food — and the fat in corned beef hash potentially works to keep the meat juicy in its canned state — it appears that Aldi's product misses the mark. Consuming loads of fat from canned foods also isn't great for your health. "The high amount of saturated fat [in canned meats] can contribute to increased bad cholesterol levels which can clog your arteries," registered nutritionist Jesse Feder told SheFinds. Feder also pointed to high sodium in canned meats as a potential issue for blood pressure. ‌

Deli turkey

Given that deli turkey meat is a regular ingredient in many people's weekly meal plans, it's understandable that they'd want to keep costs down when buying it. But Aldi's product isn't the one to opt for. Aldi's deli meat can be pretty hit-and-miss, and its deli turkey has a somewhat weird consistency. "I bought the deli turkey once and it was slimy and tasted terrible," an unhappy customer wrote on Reddit. "I might have made two sandwiches just to feel less bad about wasting the food, but I remember throwing the rest out."

While we can't speak for the product's taste, it's useful to remember that slimy deli meat, while unpleasant, isn't typically harmful. "Strong off-odors, not slime, indicate spoilage," Utah State University's food safety professor Brain Nummer told Men's Health. A slimy texture on deli meat develops thanks to a bacterial response to the sugars in some products, and while that may not be the most appetizing thought in the world, it won't hurt you. What might be worse for your health is repeatedly eating Aldi's deli turkey due to its high levels of sodium. Containing over 20% of your daily value of sodium in just 57 grams of meat, this meat is pretty darn salty.

Premade sushi

Premade sushi from a grocery store will likely never compare to the sushi you get in a restaurant prepared by a specialist chef. But even then, Aldi's sushi is noticeably sub-par. Aldi's sushi is simply lacking in quality, with several customers pointing out how bad it is. One person went as far as to dub it "totally inedible" in a thread on Reddit.

While it's not clear exactly why Aldi's sushi wasn't a winner for these folks, it's worth remembering that good-quality sushi is usually judged by the freshness of its ingredients, and it helps if the fish and rice are top-quality, and therefore, pretty expensive. This goes against Aldi's ethos of offering low-price everyday items. Generally, store-bought sushi is also a worse product than the kind you get in eateries due to the rice, which is often crumbly and overseasoned, and the sushi's temperature is often way too cold, ruining its flavor. And where do you find sushi in Aldi? In the store's fridge and freezer sections.

There is one saving grace for Aldi's seafood, however. While Aldi's premade sushi isn't exactly restaurant quality, its frozen Ahi tuna steaks make a pretty good addition to homemade sushi. For the tastiest sushi, however, we'd always recommend getting it made fresh to order.

Vegetables and salad

Despite the store's low prices, Aldi makes a concerted effort to carry high-quality products. The supermarket's website promises "delivered-daily produce" and also cites its rigorous quality checks. Unfortunately, though its vegetables and salad might be delivered every day, they can still be hit-and-miss. "With produce, ALWAYS check the whole bag/container. I think Aldi produce rocks, but it goes bad very quickly," one knowing customer wrote on Reddit.

This seems to have been the case with Aldi produce for some time, and its fresh produce often spoils way before the expiry date. Its salad bags and kits appear to be a regular culprit, and it's been noted that these items — which often contain chunks of lettuce and salad greens — tend to go bad way faster than if you were buying the produce item whole. This might be due to the fact that the items in salad bags are way more susceptible to condensation, which can deteriorate the contents pretty quickly. However, given that condensation doesn't form as readily if salad bags are kept consistently cool, it does call into question how well-chilled Aldi's salad items are.


It makes sense to consider buying meat at Aldi. After all, it's a regular purchase for millions of people that can be pretty pricey, and as grain prices increase, meat is only going to get more expensive, making the cut-price store's options seem all the more attractive. But there are several reasons why Aldi meat may not be all that. The first is that the store has had issues with quality control in the past. In 2019, Aldi had to recall two of its Kirkwood meat items — the Buffalo Crispy Chicken Strips and the Honey BBQ Crispy Chicken Strips — from stores across the country. The reason? Pieces of metal were found in the product.

If that wasn't enough to put you off, it might also be useful to remember that Aldi meat may not be that good of a deal. Customers have noted that while Aldi prides itself on being low-price, its meat is often not that cheap in comparison to other supermarkets' store-brand products, despite being seemingly lower quality. In fact, when it comes to a regular chicken breast, Aldi's product is often more expensive, pound-for-pound, than the same item at stores like Walmart and Kroger. You may also find ground turkey for cheaper elsewhere. ‌

Canned Vienna sausage

Vienna sausage is a must-have pantry staple for some folks. But if you're doing your weekly grocery trip, it might be wise to buy yours from another store. Aldi's canned Vienna sausage is certainly cost-effective, with its 4.6-ounce can coming in at around 55 cents per unit, making it way cheaper than comparable brands. But you won't get much flavor for that price.

Aldi's Vienna sausages are incredibly salty-tasting, lacking in any flavor complexity or nuance. As you might expect, the reason for that salty taste is that the product's sodium content is through the roof, with 1100 milligrams per serving. That's almost half of your daily value in one sitting for an item that you're likely going to eat alongside other foods. Its fat and saturated fat content is also high, with 17 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat in each portion. All of this adds up to a food product that might not be the best for your health. Excessive sodium intake can cause high blood pressure, while eating too many saturated fats may have an impact on your heart health.

Pizza crusts

Aldi has a range of frozen pizzas, but if you're in the mood to make your own, they have you covered too. The store sells several pizza crusts, in both a mini-size and a regular one, under its "Mama Cozzi's" brand name. Regrettably, though, you're far better off going elsewhere if you want your pizza crusts to taste like something. Aldi's pizza crusts are rather bland-tasting, with no distinctive flavor to help augment your toppings or make the whole pie taste better. They seem to lack enough salt to make their taste pop, and there's also a brittleness to them, which means they have none of the chew of a well-made pizza dough.

Interestingly, while its pizza crusts might taste bland, they still have a surprisingly high sodium content. A single mini pizza crust contains 330 milligrams of sodium, which is approximately 14% of your daily value. This may not break the bank in terms of your salt intake, especially if the rest of your diet is low-sodium. But considering that you're ingesting this amount and still not getting any taste out of it, things start to feel a bit unfair. ‌

Lobster mac and cheese

Aldi may be low-price, but it's by no means lacking in class. The store stocks numerous items that have a gourmet feel to them in its Specially Selected range, with everything from sourdough loaves to garlic mussels available at the supermarket and beloved by shoppers. And the store's Specially Selected Lobster Mac & Cheese, which combines two all-time favorite flavors, should be a winner — but you'd be better off avoiding it, simply due to the fact that it tastes bad.

Many customers have voiced their displeasure at this product's flavor, and some of their comparisons make us want to reach for a bucket. One person wrote on Reddit that the lobster mac and cheese was "like eating the stinky Insoles from shoes you wear without socks." Other reviews were similarly scathing. "This was an abomination. The lobster smelled fishy. Nothing was good," one person stated, while another said it was so bad that they couldn't believe it had taken everyone so long to mention it in the Reddit thread. The problem with this product lies squarely with its deeply fishy smell and taste, which completely ruins any subtlety in the flavor and cuts through the taste of the mac and cheese for the worse.

Alfredo sauce

When you need a quick pasta dinner, a jar of Alfredo sauce is your best friend. But you can probably find a better one somewhere other than Aldi. Online, the store's Alfredo sauce has been dubbed a product you should steer clear of, partly due to the fact that to make it taste good, folks have found that they have to add additional ingredients, which somewhat defeats the point of a quick and easy jarred sauce. "I've seen people say the Alfredo sauce is bad but I assumed it was those people that prefer to make their own and I didn't listen lol. I struggled to finish that meal," wrote one especially unhappy customer on Reddit.

It's worth pointing out that Aldi stocks several types of Alfredo sauce, with its Classico Extra Creamy Alfredo Pasta Sauce shoulder-to-shoulder with its own-brand Priano range. Unfortunately, both of these options are likely worth avoiding entirely. The Classico sauce (which is also sold in other stores) has a tendency to be watery and flavorless, whereas the Priano sauces have the opposite problem, with an overpowering, unpleasant taste. And if you ever see the bacon Alfredo sauce in stock, run for the hills. "Do not get the bacon Alfredo sauce. Smells like dog food," a commenter complained on Reddit.