Aldi Reviewer Presents: The 2021 AR Awards

The AR Awards

Hello, and welcome to the 3rd Annual AR Awards! These awards, chosen by Aldi Reviewer staff, are meant to recognize the good, bad, and ugly of everything Aldi-related (with a bit of Trader Joe’s sprinkled in) that we covered during the year. Below you will see our nominees and winners in several categories.

(Past awards: 2020, 2019)

Before we go on, two things:

  • One, when it came to product awards, we only considered nominees among the products we covered in some way during the last 12 months. If we didn’t cover the product during that time, we didn’t consider it. That means there could be legitimately good candidates that we just didn’t get around to covering.
  • Two, lists like this are always subjective, which means one person’s favorite might be another person’s most hated. If you think there is a deserving product, feel free to let us know (politely) in the comments!

With that said, let’s begin.


Regular Buy / Seasonal Favorite of the Year

Park Street Deli Street Corn Dip

Winner: Park Street Deli Street Corn Dip (Regular Buy)

This corn dip is a unique enough product that you might think it would be an Aldi Find, but it’s not — it’s in stores all the time. And we’re better off for it: it’s a delightful dip with just a little kick and a lot of flavor. We reviewed some solid Regular Buys and Seasonal Favorites this year, but this one stood above the rest.

Honorable Mention:

Aldi Find of the Year

Wahlburgers Gourmet Blend Angus Beef Burgers + Wahl Sauce

Winner: Wahlburgers Gourmet Blend Angus Beef Burgers + Wahl Sauce (Aldi Find)

2021 was a year of some cool Aldi Finds, including some some surprisingly good AirPod knockoffs, fabulous Girl Scout cookie imitations, and a nifty smart indoor garden. But our winner this year came from the celebrity category. When this burger and sauce duo first landed at Aldi, we were intrigued, especially as there are no Wahlburgers restaurants near us. Our curiosity was rewarded, as both the burgers and the sauce were as good as advertised. Even the reluctant meat-eater in our family scarfed them up.

Honorable Mention:

Trader Joe’s Product of the Year

Trader Joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

Winner: Trader Joe’s Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

TJ’s sometimes likes to use lofty descriptors when labeling its products. In this case the description fits. These sandwiches truly are sublime, with the right sweet / salty mix to make for the perfect dessert sandwich. They vanished from our house soon after opening.

Honorable Mention:

Surprise of the Year

Aldi + Wahlburgers

Winner: Aldi + Wahlburgers (Aldi Finds)

In a year when Aldi Finds were unpredictable, the marriage between a German grocer and an American celebrity family proved a true bright spot. Wahlburgers burgers, sauce, hot dogs, bacon, and dill pickles were among the many excellent offerings dropping in the Aldi Finds food section throughout the year. We loved each and every one of them, which made their frequent return to stores a welcome surprise.

Honorable Mention:

Disappointment of the Year

WinnerAldi Recalls Pet Advent Calendars Due to Choking Hazard (Recall)

We didn’t think it possible for a product to disappoint us in multiple ways over the course of two years, but here we are. In 2020, we chose the Heart to Tail Pure Being Cat Treat Advent Calendar as our Disappointment of the Year, citing how much our cat hated the treats — a sentiment shared by some readers. Then, in late 2021, Aldi announced a recall of both the Heart to Tail Pure Being Cat Advent Calendar and the Heart to Tail Pure Being Dog Advent Calendar over reports of them being so hard to chew that they could pose a choking hazard. In short: your pet just might hate this treat, and even if they don’t, it could choke them.

The epic scope of this particular product fail is so large that it has made us wonder if we should honor the achievement by renaming this category the Pet Advent Calendar Disappointment of the Year. We just might.

Honorable Mention:

News Story of the Year

We saw this banner a lot in 2021.

Winner: Shipping delays force Aldi to shift how it handles Aldi Finds

Supply chain issues have plagued retailers all year. Aldi is no exception. Aldi Finds have been especially impacted, to the point where Aldi has had to rethink its limited buys, including shrinking the product ad. Even products that are advertised are hit-or-miss as to whether they will reach stores on time.

Honorable Mention:


Thoughts? Reactions? Lists of your own? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at www.joshuaajohnston.com.

One Comment

  1. The back of the cat treats said they had the squeezable mousse treats as well, so I took a chance. ONE of the squeezable treats, and all the rest were the rock hard treats that I’m not at all surprised are a chocking hazard. Luckily none of our cats will touch them so it was fine, just a lot of trash. They have excellent cat treats, why don’t they just use those in the advent calendars?

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