Aldi Reviewer Presents: The 2023 AR Awards

The AR Awards

Hello, and welcome to the 5th 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: 2022, 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

L'Oven Fresh Garlic Knots

WinnerL’Oven Fresh Garlic Knots (Regular Buy)

We got to try out some pretty tasty Regular Buys this year — one of the real treats of this job. Our consensus favorite of the bunch were Aldi’s garlic knots, which are an amazing companion to pasta or lasagna dinners. They’re buttery, garlicky, flavorful … and best of all, available every day. There’s a reason they never last more than one meal when they’re served in our house. Our only complaint is that sometimes we get shorted a roll in some packages, and we’ve heard from readers with the same complaint.

Honorable Mention:

Aldi Find of the Year

Journey to India Butter Chicken

Winner: Journey to India Butter Chicken (Aldi Find)

We have a hard time finding grocery store Indian food that’s as good as what we get from authentic restaurants. That’s why we were pleasantly surprised when we tried this butter chicken frozen entree from Aldi. It tastes a lot like what we’d get at our local Indian buffet. This dish contains only chicken with sauce. To some people’s confusion, Aldi also sold another Aldi Find frozen butter chicken entree this year that included rice, and that one didn’t impress us as much. But this one with just the chicken and sauce is excellent.

Honorable Mention:

Trader Joe’s Product of the Year

Trader Joe's Patio Potato Chips

WinnerTrader Joe’s Patio Potato Chips

TJ’s is never a dull store, which makes picking this winner each year an adventure. The competition was fierce, too, including some legendary Trader Joe’s products. In the end, our crown went to a TJ’s riff on Canadian-style all dressed chips. These patio chips are perfectly seasoned in a way that comes together better than the sum of its ingredients, and were hit in our house during the summer months. They were also superior to the Aldi version.

Honorable Mention:

Surprise of the Year

Crofton Cast Iron Bread Oven

Winner: Crofton Cast Iron Bread Oven

Sometimes we see viral hits coming and sometimes we don’t. We didn’t see this one coming. The Le Creuset dupe garnered massive interest on Google and social media alike, as shoppers tried to find out if it lived up to the hype. If the comments on our post are any indication, it looked like a good buy for the price.

Honorable Mention:

Disappointment of the Year

Serra Ladies Wrap Dress

WinnerSerra Ladies Wrap Dress (Aldi Find)

We had our share of disappointments this year, including some underwhelming beer battered shrimp and a functionally annoying spray mop. But our top this year came in the form of a dress. Sure, Aldi isn’t a grocery store, but it’s still frustrating when a dress looks so different on people — multiple with multiple body types, even — than it does on the box. The blue dress was adequate, especially if you’re willing to make some alterations, but the red dress was a no-go that went straight back to the store.

Honorable Mention:

News Story of the Year

Aldi + Winn-Dixie

Credit: Aldi

WinnerAldi is Purchasing Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket

This story shook the pillars of the grocery industry when it landed back in August. We’re still processing what it means for Aldi and the rest of the industry, but suffice to say that the grocery scene in the American Southeast — Florida especially — will look very different after this acquisition is finalized in 2024.

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

One Comment

  1. The only problem with Aldi buying out Winn Dixie’s parent company is that Winn Dixie had to close its Pharmacies! The were the least expensive of the ones near me ( Walgreens, CVS, Sams, Costco, Walmart, Publix, Target(cvs).

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