Hello, and welcome to the 2nd Annual AR Awards! These awards, chosen by Aldi Reviewer staff, are meant to recognize the good, bad, and ugly of everything Aldi-related that we covered during the year. Below you will see our nominees and winners in several categories.
(Past awards: 2019)
Before we continue, 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: Kirkwood Breaded Chicken Breast Fillets (Regular Buy)
We reviewed some really awesome products this year, including a delightful brownie bar mix and a tasty sourdough loaf. But nothing approached the mystical hype that was Aldi Red Bag Chicken. Aldi superfans have touted this as a Chik-fil-A clone, and we think it comes pretty close, especially out of the air fryer. Pair this with Aldi brioche buns (lightly toasted), and you have a peerless combination.
- Baker’s Corner Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bar Mix (Seasonal Favorite)
- Specially Selected Brioche Buns (Regular Buy)
- Specially Selected Sourdough Loaf (Regular Buy)
Aldi Find of the Year
Winner: Gardenline Walk-In Greenhouse
Gardening was a popular activity this year, and Aldi sold several kinds of greenhouses — including a 4-tier greenhouse and a drop-over greenhouse — to help protect plants from weather and pests. The most interesting greenhouse to us, however, was the walk-in greenhouse. We grew three large tomato plants in this and had a steady supply of fresh tomatoes through the season.
Surprise of the Year
Winner: Crane Full-Size Table Tennis with Paddles and Balls (Aldi Find)
Aldi went all-out for the holidays this year, running a collection of toys that made me think they were trying to do a department store impersonation. None was bigger — literally — than the Crane ping-pong table, which we’ve never seen sold at Aldi before. We didn’t review it ourselves, but if the initial comments are any indication, this was a pretty good buy.
- Huntington Home Bowl Bouquet Toilet Spray
- The multiple tweaks of Tuscan Garden Large Black Olives
- Bee Happy 12 Days of Crafts Advent Calendar
Disappointment of the Year
Winner: Heart to Tail Pure Being Cat Treat Advent Calendar (Aldi Find)
We reviewed a number of Advent calendars this year, and we liked all of them. Our cat, though, was not so pleased: after a few tentative bites of cat calendar treats, she refused to touch them. It got so bad that I tried leaving the treats in her bowl overnight with her food … and despite the fact she was meowing loudly for food the next morning, the treats were still there, untouched.
- Summer Waves Giant Dino Sprinkler + Summer Waves Giant Unicorn Sprinkler (Aldi Find)
- The comments for the Gardenline Instant-Up Gazebo (Aldi Find)
- The once-awesome Choceur Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, which were last year’s Surprise of the Year (Regular Buy)
News Story of the Year
Winner: Aldi Adapts to the Pandemic
There’s no denying that no news story in 2020 was bigger than the pandemic. Grocery stores quickly became one of the most important focal points in the economy, especially as certain products became harder to find. Aldi took a number of measures throughout, from early sanitation measures to carving out special hours for vulnerable customers. The grocer also temporarily reduced its return policy before quietly bringing it back later in the year. Aldi adjusted its Aldi Finds, too, shrinking them for a time to focus on essential products before finally — to the joy of most of us — ramping them back up, especially around the holidays.
- Aldi Onions Part of Multistate Recall Over Possible Salmonella Contamination
- The Facebook “Free Groceries” Scam Returns
- Aldi Introduces Seasonal Catalogs
Thoughts? Reactions? Lists of your own? Feel free to let us know in the comments!