Hello, and welcome to the 4th 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: 2021, 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
Winner: Belmont Chocolate Crème Pie (Seasonal Item)
This pie wasn’t in stores for too long, but it sure made a splash when it did. Every layer was a masterpiece, from the Oreo-like crust to the chocolate chips and syrup. This pie didn’t last long with our reviewers, who devoured it. The only knock on it is that it’s bad for you, but is that a knock, really?
- Happy Farms Queso Blanco (Regular Buy)
- Benton’s Peanut Butter Fudge Cookies (Regular Buy)
- Mama Cozzi’s French Bread Pizza (Regular Buy)
Aldi Find of the Year
Winner: Ambiano Electric Glass Kettle (Aldi Find)
This Aldi appliance proved to be a revelation. Fast and efficient, the kettle did exactly what it was made to do, which was to heat up water to boiling in minutes. It outperformed a stovetop kettle in every way, and even managed to do it while looking rather cool, thanks to a clever little blue lighting ring around the base. Best of all, it was pretty inexpensive compared to the competition.
- Ambiano 4-Slice Toaster (Aldi Find)
- liveGfree Glazed and Chocolate Frosted Donuts (Aldi Find)
- Specially Selected Wood-Fired Neapolitan Style Flatbread Pizza (Aldi Find)
Trader Joe’s Product of the Year
Winner: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie
It was a good year for desserts, and Aldi’s cousin Trader Joe’s certainly pulled its weight. Our reviewers loved this pie, which was easy to serve and had a perfect balance of spices and seasonings. It was as good as any homemade pie we’ve ever had.
- Trader Joe’s Unexpected Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar Cheese
- Trader Joe’s Formula No. 3 Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash
Surprise of the Year
Winner: Aldi Themed Products (Aldi Finds)
We’ve long known Aldi is a cult, but even we didn’t expect the grocery store to lean so hard into the Aldi-themed merch category as it did this year. Whether it was socks, pajamas, or even miniature Aldi stores, you didn’t have to look far to get something with the Aldi logo emblazoned on it. The store clearly wants to start them young, too, if the line of Aldi toddler toys is any indication.
- The much-improved Heart to Tail Pure Being Dog Advent Calendar and Heart to Tail Pure Being Cat Advent Calendar of 2022 (Aldi Find)
- Aldi imitations of Always Pans and Caraway Pans (Aldi Find)
- Aldi imitation of the Swurfer Swingboard (Aldi Find)
Disappointment of the Year
Winner: Easy Home Cordless Cyclonic Stick Vacuum (Aldi Find)
We had a few duds this year, including messy portable campfires, an ill-fitting swimsuit, and a soundbar that proved a dud despite testing two different models on three different TVs. None of those, though, topped our failed attempt to use the Aldi cyclonic stick vacuum. It simply wouldn’t power on. At all. Dead on arrival, we had no choice but to return it to the store. It doesn’t get much more disappointing than that.
- Adventuridge Portable Campfire 2-Pack (Aldi Find)
- Crane Ladies’ Swimsuit (Aldi Find)
- Medion Soundbar (Aldi Find)
News Story of the Year
Winner: Happily Ever Aldi: Grocer is Giving Away an All-Aldi Wedding Package
Aldi socks aren’t enough for you? How about a full-on Aldi wedding? Earlier this year, the grocer gave away a full package that included travel accommodations, hair and makeup for the wedding day, a photographer, and a reception for the couple and up to 50 guests. And the whole thing would take place at the Aldi model store in Batavia, Illinois. The winning couple tied the knot in November.
- Aldi Summer Clearance
- For Thanksgiving 2022, Aldi is Rewinding Prices Back to 2019
- Trader Joe’s Employees in Massachusetts Seeking to Unionize
Thoughts? Reactions? Lists of your own? Feel free to let us know in the comments!
I actually love the Easy Home Cyclonic Stick Vacuum. I’ve had it for just over 2 years and haven’t had any problems. My only complaint is that the filter is paper and I haven’t been able to find a replacement. The service provider was no help whatsoever, told me they were just responsible for post sales repairs. Isn’t replacement of the filter a repair? At any rate I’ve just been very careful when cleaning the filter to extend its life. When Aldi offered this again early this year I bought one as a backup.
I bought the Belmont pie for Christmas dinner. It was a great buy at the sale price of $8.49 or $8.99 and was scrumptious!