Whether you're shopping at a conventional grocery store like Kroger or a budget retailer, you're probably looking for value — good quality at a good price, says John Karolefski, grocery store analyst and editor of Grocery Stories. And if you regularly shop at Aldi, you know the grocery chain often delivers.
"Aldi, happily, has a lot of good quality , good-tasting products at good prices," Karolefski tells CNBC Make It. "It's one of the reasons they've been so successful in the U.S."
Part of the secret to the store's low prices is that the vast majority of their products are private label, so you're not paying for the marketing and advertising that many brands need to spend to attract customers. It's a strategy similar to the one used by fan favorite Trader Joe's, and it's worth noting that Aldi U.S. and Trader Joe's are independently operated companies with distinct but once-related corporate parents. It could be said that Aldi and Trader Joe's are "estranged cousins."
Overall, Aldi has "got a good formula," Karolefski says. But of course some products are a better value than others.
Based on a mix of recommendations from Karolefski and our in-house analysis, here are five items you should always buy at Aldi.