NOTE (8/17/18): People wondering about how Aldi might be affected by the Monsanto weed killer story can read our thoughts here.
EDITOR’S NOTE: periodically updated with additional products.
On the first aisle of our Aldi store is the vaunted cereal section. It has maybe the largest selection of any specific section in any Aldi store we’ve seen. While some of the Special Buys are name brand cereals, most of the Regular Buys — and many Special Buys — come from Aldi’s own brands. So how do they stack up? Let’s look at some of them.
Millville Cinnamon Crunch Squares
This Regular Buy item, of course, is Millville’s version of the General Mills cult favorite Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I’m not sure it tastes quite like the brand name version, but it still tastes pretty good if you take it on its own merits. That taste comes at the cost of a high sugar content. It’s a good source of vitamins and minerals, though.
Millville Corn Flakes
We’ve generally found Aldi’s Regular Buy corn flakes to taste like the brand-name stuff, although we think corn flakes in general are among the less-inspired cereals on the market, especially with so many other flake cereals now available. They seem to sog quickly in milk and they don’t have a lot of taste absent some added fruit. The vitamin and mineral count is good, though, and they can be used for a few different recipes, including casseroles and crisps.
Millville Crispy Oats
Aldi sells their take on Cheerios in regular, honey nut, and multigrain versions. Now, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that generic oat cereal doesn’t usually match the taste of Cheerios. I’m not sure Aldi’s Regular Buy version does either, but I will say that, as far as generics go, Aldi’s is my favorite short of the General Mills classic. It’s got both good crunch and good flavor. (If that’s not good enough for you, Aldi often stocks brand-name Cheerios on their aisles.)
Millville Honey Nut Crispy Oats are one of our favorites, with just the right amount of sweetness, although you pay for it with a higher sugar count. All varieties of this cereal are a good source of vitamins and minerals as well as some fiber.
Millville Crispy Rice
The Aldi Regular Buy version of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies tastes a lot like its name-brand counterpart. They’re crisp, they crackle, and they make for a mean rice crispy treat. We think they go best with fruit, because 1) this cereal can be a little on the bland side by itself and 2) it has no fiber in it. It’s a decent source of vitamins and minerals.
Millville Frosted Shredded Wheat
This Regular Buy cereal, which is the Aldi take on Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats, comes in original (frosting), strawberry cream, and blueberry flavors. It tastes very similar to its name-brand counterpart, and we noticed this past year that the pink color on the strawberry cream flavor and the blue color on the blueberry flavor looked less bright and more subdued. Come to find out, the color changes were a part of Aldi’s move to eliminate artificial colors from its house brands, and it doesn’t affect the way the cereal tastes. Our family likes strawberry cream the best.
With 11 grams of sugar per serving, this cereal is a little high in sugar content, but it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals and has a good amount of fiber to boot.
Millville Honey Crunch ‘n Oats
The Aldi Regular Buy version of Posts’s Honey Bunches of Oats, Millville Honey Crunch ‘n Oats is a concoction of flakes, oats, and honey. It’s a decent impersonation of it’s name-brand counterpart, although we wonder if it’s a little lighter on the oats. Regardless, it’s a pretty good cereal, and has just the right amount of sweetness. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Millville Raisin Bran
This Regular Buy Raisin Bran is Aldi’s version of the other Raisin Bran, and it does a very good imitation. In fact, I’m not sure I could easily tell the difference, except for one detail: it seems to me that this version of the cereal is a little bit lighter on the raisins than its brand-name counterpart. If that bothers you, you can easily buy this box of cereal and a lot of raisins and still have plenty left over compared to what Kellogg’s sells. This cereal is about the equal of most other cereals on this list in terms of vitamins and minerals, and also is pretty high in fiber. It also has more sugar per serving than any other cereal on this list, probably due to the raisins.
Millville Crunchy Granola Raisin Bran
This is Aldi’s version of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch, and it is an excellent version indeed. It’s got whole grain flakes, crunchy granola, and a decent amount of raisins. It tastes great and is one of my favorite cereals, and is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, plus 5 grams of dietary fiber. On the downside, it is, like Millville Raisin Bran, high in sugar, probably from the raisins.
Fit & Active Vitality Cereal With Red Berries
The packaging compares it to Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries. This Regular Buy is a mix of crunchy rice and wheat flakes with dried strawberries. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, including fiber, and it’s one of the favorite cereals in our house. The cereal is crisp, with good flavor, and the strawberries (which the cereal has in reasonable quantities) add a nice touch of sweetness.
Millville Marshmallows & Stars
This Regular Buy cereal compares to General Mills Lucky Charms, and it does a decent job. The marshmallow pieces taste similar to the name brand cereal, and there is a fairly generous ratio of marshmallows to cereal pieces. It’s a hit with our kids, and the grownups like it, too. There are no synthetic colors in the marshmallows, and the cereal is a good source of calcium and Vitamin D, but, similar to its name-brand counterpart, the sugar content is high. The Aldi brand has 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving. For that reason, we do not regularly buy this.
SimplyNature Coconut & Chia Granola
As far as we can tell, this cereal is a Regular Buy. As the name says, it consists of granola pieces mixed with generously sized coconut flakes and chia seeds. It’s also organic. This cereal tastes sweet but not too sweet, although it comes in at 9 grams of sugar per serving, so it’s not exactly low sugar. It advertises itself as low sodium, cholesterol free, and an excellent source of fiber, with 5 grams of protein per serving. We like this cereal a lot.
Millville Golden Corn Nuggets
This Special Buy (ALDI Find) cereal is Aldi’s take on Kellog’s Corn Pops. It features “crispy puffed corn cereal with a touch of sweetness.” At 15 grams of sugar per serving, it’s got a fairly high sugar content, but we cannot taste any discernible difference between the Millville brand and the pricier Kellog’s brand.
Millville Corn Puffs
This is a Special Buy (ALDI Find) meant to imitate General Mills Kix. And imitate it well it does. As Elizabeth notes in her review: “The flavor is slightly sweet and lightly crunchy. It tastes pretty much exactly like the name-brand version. These don’t have the hard sugar coating that much sweeter cereals can have, so if my kids were still toddlers, I would be happy to feed them this cereal and know it could dissolve/be swallowed easily without choking.”
Everyone has a different taste when it comes to cereals, so our take might not be the same as yours. That said, we think Aldi does a pretty credible job of imitating most name-brand cereals, especially compared to other grocery store generic cereals. Feel free to serve up your own likes, dislikes, and observations in the comments.