Clancy’s Cheese Puffs

According to the Internet, cheese puffs were invented by two different companies in the 1930s, based on pushing heated corn dough through a machine tool called a die. Today, a number of companies sell products like cheese balls, cheese puffs, and cheese curls. Crunchy Cheetos are probably the most famous example, but for many Americans, when they think of cheese puffs they think of something larger and fluffier.

No one American company has the corner market on fluffy cheese puffs the way Cheetos do on crunchy cheese curls, although the Cheetos company does sell its own brand of cheese puffs that are staples on grocery store shelves. Aldi, ever known for its imitation of brand name products, sells both cheese puffs and cheese curls. Here, we take a look at the cheese puffs.

Clancy's Cheese Puffs

Clancy’s Cheese Puffs are an Aldi Regular Buy, which means you can find them in stores all the time. At the time of this post, an 8.5-ounce bag costs $1.38, coming out to 16.2 cents an ounce. For comparison, our local large-inventory grocer sells Cheetos Cheese Puffs in 8-ounce bags for $3.64, or 45.5 cents an ounce. The Cheetos are around 2.8 times as expensive as the Aldi puffs, although the price does come down some if you buy a larger bag of Cheetos.

Aldi puffs and Cheetos puffs are pretty similar in terms of ingredients, calories, fat, sodium, and carbs. Both are based on corn meal, and both are not a health food … but you already knew that.

Clancy's Cheese Puffs

Our family did a taste test of the two. While the two were close, all four testers preferred the name brand over the Aldi version. The Cheetos were both fluffier and cheesier, while the Clancy’s puffs had more crunch and somewhat less cheese.

On the other hand, when one of our testers did a blindfold test of a random puff, they guessed the wrong brand, thinking the Aldi puff was a Cheetos puff. My takeaway is that, while there is a difference, it may not be a massive difference unless you’re testing the two side-by-side. If I were hosting a party where I wanted to make a good impression, I might still get the Cheetos puffs, but for something large and more casual the Clancy’s might work.

Clancy's Cheese Puffs

The Verdict:

Clancy’s Cheese Puffs are a cheap cheese puff and they taste pretty good. Our testers thought Cheetos puffs were superior, but if you’re looking to save some money the Aldi brand isn’t a bad imitation, especially considering the price difference.

About Joshua

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


  1. I bought Clancys cheese puffs for the first time today – these are the worst cheese puffs I have ever eaten…

    Don’t buy these you will be really disappointed….even the Walmart brand is much, much better….

  2. I loved Cheetos Cheese Puffs until the price got too high. And we didn’t have an Aldi’s close to home. Now we do. So I started buying Aldi’s brand and I love them. I did buy a Cheetos brand when I had a very good coupon but not as good as Aldi’s. I go through 2 bags a week. Just got my last bag out but there is a problem. The bag is only half full. Never happened before. I might try to contact Aldi’s to let them know. Aldi’s time in a couple of days. 👍😊

  3. They used to be great, but like al new snacks, they soon began to have less flavor, probably to maximize profits at the cost of lower sales. it’s a shame, they were really good at first.

  4. I am not a regular shopper but when I go to Aldi’s I most always buy two bags of Clancy’s cheese puffs. Today I was soooo disappointed. Clancy’s has been replaced with a cardboard tasting brand. What happened?

  5. Since Aldi’s stopped selling the Clancy’s Cheese Puffs I now buy my Cheese Puffs from Giant Eagle. They are made by Utz. Love them. But the price is double what I paid at Aldi’s for Clancy’s brand. Gotta have my cheesy poofs as a nighttime snack. Lol

  6. Of course tastes are subjective, but in my opinion, Clancy’s cheese puffs are heads above any name-brands. The name-brands to me are void of flavor. The flavor and texture of Clancy’s are my absolute favorite. I purposely leave the bag open for a day or two to let them ‘stale’ just a bit which seems to enhance the flavor. Rarely did/do I go to Aldi’s, but when I did, it was solely for the Clancy’s cheese puffs. Their ‘replacement’ brand, ‘Pajedas’, are as flavorless as the name-brands. Just my opinion. I miss the Clancy’s.

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