12 Aldi Foods That Don't Taste Like They Used To

There's no doubt that Aldi is a popular place to grocery shop in the U.S. In fact, between 2022 and 2023 they opened more stores across America than any other chain food store, at the same time as pulling in sales of over $40 billion in 2022 across their 2,100 locations. The brand is a powerful entity in the grocery world. But with power comes responsibility and Aldi had a lot of responsibility on its shoulders. Their own famous brand lines cause waves with their fans when they're launched, taken off the shelves and, worst of all, when the recipe is changed. Aldi constantly alters the way its products taste because they change manufacturers frequently and want to keep buyers on their toes. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

One Redditor put it well when they said, "Never fall in love with anything at Aldi, they change manufacturers and recipes all the time." So, next time you're shopping in your local Aldi remember to not get too attached to what you're putting in your basket. Or just stockpile your latest favorite foods before it's too late, the manufacturer has switched, and the product just doesn't taste like it used to. Don't say we didn't warn you.

The crescent rolls

It seems that the changes the Aldi crescent rolls have undergone are both external and internal. Because not only has the outer packaging changed, but it seems that the ingredients are different, too. Though the Bake House Creations crescent rolls promise to be an easy, flakey dupe for the Pillsbury crescent rolls it seems that their updated look and taste hasn't been a hit.

This Reddit thread is full of disappointment over the new rolls. One reviewer has been eating, and loving, the Aldi brand of both the regular and reduced fat rolls for years, but it seems that the most recent recipe is subpar to its predecessor. According to them, this iteration has an "odd flavor" and smelled weird when they were in the oven. It was a damning review, which culminated in the reviewer concluding that the "... rolls are absolutely inedible!" And it's not just one person noticing the change. Many other crescent roll fans piped up saying that they'd had the same experience, too. So, whilst there are loads of delicious things you can make with crescent rolls, we'd recommend steering clear of the Aldi brand.

The oyster crackers

It's the little things in life that make the difference, and in the case of the Aldi oyster crackers, that couldn't be more true. Despite their size, the Aldi oyster crackers make a big impression on shoppers. Initially, the crackers were discontinued in 2023 which caused dismay amongst their fans. Then, when they eventually bought them back they'd changed the recipe! Oyster crackers are made of a combination of flour, baking powder, shortening, yeast, salt, and sugar, but Aldi tweaked the simple recipe. And you bet that didn't go undetected. 

One reviewer posted a heartfelt ode to the old crackers on Reddit, saying, "I used to love their bagged oyster crackers, then they weren't available anymore and the ones they have now are bleh." But Aldi didn't just stop at the taste because the size changed, too. The new oyster crackers were drastically smaller than the original ones which caused, you guessed it, some serious online backlash. If you've found yourself stuck with a bag of the new oyster crackers then put them to use by thickening your clam chowder with them, or using them to give your mac and cheese a crispy topping because you'll probably not want to eat them on their own.

The Clancy's Stackerz potato crisps

Clancy's are Aldi's claim to the chip world. And, as a line, they're pretty good. In fact, we ranked the original potato chips a respectable seventh in our article on popular chip brands, ranked worst to best. They came in just behind Pringles at sixth. So, combine the two and you've got Aldi's take on Pringles, the Stackerz potato crisps.

But things have changed when it comes to the Stackerz. Not only have they become a victim of the infamous Aldi 'shrinkflation' where one Redditor has spotted they've reduced from 6 ounce can to a 5.2 ounce can, but the fabric of the chip itself has also been meddled with. The newer edition has a sandier texture in comparison to the original recipe, which has turned many buyers off purchasing. But it's not all bad news because with this recipe change comes some benefits. Buyers quickly clocked that the new recipe meant that the Clancy's Stackerz were now gluten-free and celiacs over the U.S. celebrated the fact that they had a new snack in their orbit. So, whilst they might taste a little different, there were some benefits to this Aldi edit.

The pickles

If you're an Aldi fan, then it's likely you've already heard about the pickle drama. The refrigerated pickles took a beating online when Aldi changed its recipe a few years back. Punches were thrown and the pickles didn't fare well. According to one Reddit thread, the new refrigerated pickles have said to taste plasticky, plain weird, like horseradish. But, the main complaint is that the pickles are no longer crisp, but rather mushy and flaccid.

So, it looks like the Aldi refrigerated pickles are best to steer clear of if you're a fan of a crunchy, tasty pickle. Instead, check out this ranking of the best store bought pickles and you'll be on the right track. Or if you want to take things into your own hands then follow this simple recipe to make your own homemade pickles. It only takes a couple of ingredients (cucumbers, salt, sugar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, spices, and onion) and you'll end up with some delightfully crunchy, tangy pickles that satisfy your tastebuds.

The cream cheese

From stuffing it into mushrooms to turning it into cloud bread, there are a plethora of ways to use cream cheese in your cooking that goes above and beyond just spreading it on your bagel. But if we were you, we'd recommend staying away from the Aldi version of the stuff because it's one of the cheeses you shouldn't be buying from the budget store. What once was a passable dairy spread, now doesn't taste like it used to.

On a Reddit thread, one user noted, "The cream cheese spread has gone downhill recently," with another responding that it was the equivalent of calorific air due to it being so flavorless. But the taste isn't the only reason to stay away from the Aldi cream cheese. In May 2024 Aldi had to recall its cream cheese across 28 states and the District of Columbia due to the possibility of salmonella contamination. No flavor and the possibility of salmonella? Looks like we will pass on the Aldi cream cheese for now.

The chicken salad

The Aldi chicken salad is pulling two fast ones over shoppers. Not only has there been a change in the recipe, but there has also been a hefty price increase, which have caused a serious Aldi outcry online. On this Reddit thread, previous fans of the chicken salad voice their disappointment over the new recipe. Apparently, it is now filled with gristle and has gone up by almost $2 in some locations. One shopper stopped buying the salad because of the price jump, and said that they were actually " ... glad to hear the quality has gone down too because now I don't feel like I'm missing out."

Aldi fans have had a problem with its cranberry and almond chicken salad, too, due to it being sporadically sour tasting. The solution? Make your own! This basic chicken salad recipe is a good place to start. Or, if we are too late to warn you off the Aldi chicken salad and you've already got a tub at home, then we'd recommend checking out this article that will give you some useful inspiration to upgrade your chicken salad. Add some crunch, spice, and herbs, and suddenly your sad Aldi chicken salad will be dismal no more.

The red bag chicken

And whilst we are on the subject of poultry, we have to talk about the red bag chicken. This might surprise you, considering we ranked it number one in the best frozen chicken from Aldi just a year ago. They were especially loved for recreating the popular fast food sandwiches, like the Chick-fil-A sandwich, or you could even hack it into a Whataburger honey butter chicken biscuit. But things have changed for the fondly nicknamed "RBC" because what once was a cult favorite purchase from Aldi, doesn't taste like it used to.

There was a whole Reddit thread on the subject of the red bag chicken recipe change, and there is no doubt that Aldi has ruffled the feathers of their chicken shoppers, who believed the quality to have decreased. What were once juicy, succulent pieces of breaded chicken are now gristly and tough. It's not just the gristle, though. Apparently, the chicken is sweeter and the texture of the breading is much more crumbly. One fan summarized the whole sorry story by writing, "I used to be the biggest RBC Stan and now I haven't bought it in well over a year ... I couldn't stomach it anymore."

The bagged salads

Bagged salad kits are a great idea in theory. They make the process of conjuring up a delicious salad all that quicker and easier by providing you with a solid base upon which you can throw on all the fixings your heart desires. If you need some ideas then check out this article which will tell you all the hacks for eating bagged salad. But if you've recently purchased salad from Aldi then you might want to be prepared for a bit of disappointment because this is another product that doesn't taste like it used to.

This Reddit thread about the decline in quality of the produce at Aldi has a lot to say about the bagged salad, too. Where one reviewer was upset by the change of lettuce type in their Caesar salad kit (a mix of iceberg and green leaf lettuce instead of Romaine!), another was frustrated by how quickly the salads get soggy. And no one wants a soggy salad, so it'd be a better idea to stay away from the Aldi bagged salad kits.

The take and bake pizza

Another, slightly less health-forward, convenience food is the take and bake pizzas from Aldi. And, like their leafy counterpart, it seems that these refrigerated meals have been a victim of the dreaded recipe change that plague so many of the convenience store's products. Redditors have found that the recipe change is apparent in a few different parts of the pizza. The cheese has changed, but it seems the most noticeable difference is in the dough. Instead of being the light and fluffy base you'd hope for, it seems that the recipe change has given the dough " ... a slightly metallic aftertaste," with a texture like a "soft cracker."

But it doesn't stop there, because fans are arguing about the size of the take and bake pizzas from Aldi, too. In some cases, they've been an entire inch smaller in diameter than advertised! Just like the oyster crackers, it looks like the infamous Aldi 'shrinkflation' has also affected the pizzas. We do have some good news for you, however, because whipping up your own pizza is actually not as hard as you might think. Check out these secrets to perfecting your homemade pizza and you'll never need to rely on Aldi's subpar version again.

The tikka masala sauce

A huge pile of rice, a spicy sauce, and a squidgy naan bread to mop it all up with. Yep, when the craving hits, there is nothing better than a warming curry. In the past, many Aldi shoppers relied on the tikka masala sauce for their curry fix, specifically the 60 calories per serving. This Reddit thread is full of customers desperately trying to find a similar replacement. It seems the noticeable change in the recipe is the addition of ginger into the sauce. Whilst there are some incredible health benefits of eating the spice, like lowering blood sugar, aiding nausea, and helping with menstrual cramps, it seems like it is decisive in its flavor in the curry sauce. " ... ginger isn't my thing," "yuck," and " ... it sucks" are the phrases that especially pop out. On a separate thread, Redditors mourn the previous version of the tikka masala sauce, saying that this new one is flavorless and bland, exactly the opposite of what you're likely looking for in, what should be, a fragrant, spice-filled curry.

If you do have a jar of the Aldi tikka masala sauce sitting in your cupboard, then this five ingredient chicken tikka masala is a great way to use it up. Or take things into your own hands and gather your spices to make this vegan tofu tikka masala from scratch.

The peanut butter cups

Peanut butter and chocolate go together as well as, well, peanut butter and jelly. In 2021 we ranked Aldi's own brand of peanut butter cups in the top five of nut butter cups you can buy, and even called them the peanut butter cups that fans hate to love because they were so addictively delicious that they'd be gobbled up by buyers in record speeds. A few people even put a ban on buying the cups because they'd eat their way through the pack in a week, stating that, though they might love them, their diet didn't.

It seems that things have taken a turn since those articles went out. Now Aldi's Choceur Peanut Butter Cups fans are upset because they don't taste like they used to. One Redditor wrote that they were concerned they were the only ones who had spotted a difference in their favorite between-meal pick-me-up. The aftertaste has reportedly now got a chemical tang to it, which many other reviewers will reiterate, and some people have even thrown the bag out halfway through because they thought the cups tasted so strange. A fall from grace indeed, considering these were once the peanut butter snacks that people couldn't stop eating. If chocolate and peanut butter is what you need for a snack, then you could always try making a copycat Reese's Peanut Butter Cups recipe, or change it up with peanut butter ganache bars. Both will be full of indulgence ... not disappointment.

The hot dogs

Customers of the budget store took to Reddit once again when the hot dogs changed recipe. A theme of the change in ingredients seems to be a strange aftertaste, and the hot dogs have suffered a similar fate. One reviewer added to the thread that " ... they tasted weird and different to me lately ... They definitely didn't taste like this when I ate them last summer." Another said that her fiercest critic of the hot dogs (her actual dog) used to devour the sausages, until the recipe changed and now they are left untouched.

But what if you are looking for a good grocery store hot dog? Check out this ranking of grocery store hot dogs which found Nathan's Famous Angus Beef Franks to be the best you can buy. Once you've got your hands on the goods then set to work on your condiments, like a homemade hot dog relish or get even meatier with a quick and easy hot dog chili to smother on your sausages.