Why Buying Aldi Brand Butter Might Not Be A Good Idea

Aldi is your one stop shop for tons of great deals, from honey to dairy, home goods to fast fashion. However, although the German grocery giant's reach is extending across the U.S. at an impressive speed, there are certain items savvy shoppers pick up elsewhere. The worst products you can buy at Aldi include vanilla ice cream, soya milk, leafy greens, and even fresh produce. There's still plenty to love about shopping at the bargain store, of course, including super-short checkout lines and a clever layout that makes it easy to pop in and out without wasting too much time wandering.

Butter is a staple of every American household, which is why it's so disappointing to learn that it's one of the dodgier Aldi buys. It may still be worth it to save a little money, but all things considered you might be better off shelling out for the real stuff.

Aldi butter isn't actually that cheap

As the Wisconsin Agriculturalist reports, butter consumption hit a nearly 50-year high in 2017, partly due to the rise in popularity of trendy, "brown butter cocktails" and even coffee with butter whipped into it — yep, you read that right. Big restaurant chains also switched from butter to margarine, which drastically increased demand, which then pushed butter prices up further. According to The Guardian, complicated trade issues in Europe sent dairy production into a downward spiral around the same time, leaving the whole industry scrambling for supply and jacking up prices.

Aldi previously stocked Ireland's Kerrygold butter, which is among the most popular brands consumed in the U.S., as per The Kitchn and Extra Crispy, which both rated it the best butter on the market. The grocery giant stocked it seasonally, at a low price, according to The Aldi Nerd, but the ubiquitous dairy commodity is subject to market forces, and Aldi seemingly had to adapt. 

Aldi butter is a less tasty substitute for the real thing

The main difference between American and European butter is butterfat. European butter contains about 82 percent, while American contains just 80 which, combined with its higher water content, results in an entirely different flavor and texture, as Real Simple explains. According to Aldi Reviewer, Aldi stopped stocking Kerrygold in 2018, replacing it with their own, allegedly inferior brand; Countryside Creamery Pure Irish Butter.

Although it does, indeed, originate in Ireland, it's worth noting the product only contains 80 percent butterfat, putting it below the magic Kerrygold amount. It's reasonably priced, but the taste is nothing compared to the real stuff. The Aldi Nerd easily gives Kerrygold higher marks, claiming the difference is undeniable, while Aldi Reviewer notes that, although it costs slightly less than what Kerrygold did from Aldi, and it looks and tastes similar, it simply isn't the same: "You can't just explain it, [Kerrygold] just tastes better," the reviewer notes.

At best, Countryside Creamery Pure Irish Butter a cheaper substitute for a product you might not mind paying slightly more to indulge in.