Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Aldi Millville Toaster Tarts vs. Kellogg's Pop Tarts: Toaster Pastry Comparison

Aldi Millville Toaster Tarts vs. Kellogg's Pop Tarts
I've found that Aldi's Millville brand toaster tarts are a cheap and tasty alternative to Kellogg's pop tarts and wanted to share my impressions of how they are different for anyone who wanted to try the off-brand. I'm not associated with Aldi in any way, just an ordinary guy trying to help out curious consumers. The Millville ones may not quite be as "crazy good" as the real pop tarts, but they are't far from it either, and they're much cheaper.

Millville toaster tarts are only available in a box of 12 for a whopping $1.99 per box at my local Aldi store, although they never go on sale (16.6 cents per tart). Kellogg's pop tarts usually are $2.89 per box of 8 (36.1 cents per tart), but sometimes they do go on sale. That's a substantial price difference (less than half the cost!) and is the main reason why I buy the Aldi brand ones. I'm not even sure if you could make homemade pop tarts as cheap as you can buy the Aldi ones once you factor in your time, cost of electricity for baking, ingredients, cleanup, etc.

Aldi Millville Toaster Tarts vs. Kellogg's Pop Tarts Size
Anyway you can see the main difference right away - the Aldi Millville toaster tarts are a little bigger lengthwise than the Kellogg's pop tarts. They are the same width, but the Aldi tart is longer. (However the frosting is more uniform on the Kellogg's brand one so there may actually be more frosting on the brand name pop tarts.)

Aldi Millville Toaster Tarts vs. Kellogg's Pop Tarts Thickness
And if you were thinking maybe the Aldi Millville tarts were thinner to account for the difference in size, I found the Millville tarts are actually slightly thicker, due to a more robust pastry and slightly thicker filling. (They aren't quite as thick as they appear in this image, because they were cupped slightly, creating an arch shape that makes them look thicker than they really are.)

Aldi Millville Toaster Tarts vs. Kellogg's Pop Tarts Insides
Here's a look at both of them cut in half. The Aldi toaster tarts are on the left, Kellogg's are on the right. You can see the thicker crust on the Aldi brand toaster tart.

Aldi Millville Toaster Tarts vs. Kellogg's Pop Tarts Nutrition Facts
A quick glance at the nutrition facts confirms that the Aldi toaster tarts are 2 grams larger than the Kellogg's version (see the serving size). You can also compare the ingredients and see they're mostly the same, except Aldi's tarts list corn syrup first and Kellogg's tarts list sugar first. The Aldi brand tarts also list a couple more nutrients and have a little less fat than the Kellogg's brand... they might be healthier for you? The nutrition facts also say that the Aldi brand contains more allergens, if that's an issue.

Aldi Millville Toaster Tarts Cut In Half
Here's a close-up of the Aldi brand toaster tarts. I found them to have a crisper crust or pastry that can best be described as "robust". It is thicker than the Kellogg's crust and seems to resist breaking or crumbling in my lunch box. I'm not sure if the Aldi food scientists were aware of this, but the thicker crust also saves the day when the Aldi checkers are literally throwing the boxes into your cart. Even though I buy these all the time and the checkout people slam them back into the cart, I've never had a broken one. The filling is sweeter than the Kellogg's brand and has more brown sugar flavor, and not very much cinnamon flavor.

Kellogg's Pop Tarts Cut In Half
And here's the Kellogg's pop tart up close. The pastry or crust is softer and more tender, which makes them prone to crumbling in the package if they get bumped around, but might be preferable to some palates. The crust also has a buttery flavor that the Aldi brand tarts don't have, and the filling is less liquid-like and more sugar-like. Kellogg's filling also packs a pleasant cinnamon zing that is missing from the Aldi brand.

Aldi Millville Toaster Tarts vs. Kellogg's Pop Tarts Side By Side
The bottom line is I find Aldi's Millville toaster tarts to be a wholly acceptable substitute for Kellogg's pop tarts. They compete well on size, taste and price. Hopefully this post was helpful if you've been thinking about trying the Aldi brand tarts but wanted to know what they were like first. As always, let me know if you agree or disagree with my thoughts in the comments section!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Aldi Lullabies Baby Wipes vs Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes

Aldi Lullabies Baby WIpes

Thinking about trying Aldi's Lullabies Baby Wipes, but want a little more info before testing them out? This review will attempt to compare the Aldi Lullabies wipes to name-brand premium wipes, specifically Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes.

You're probably familiar with German-based discount supermarket chain Aldi for their penny-pinching prices on off-brand groceries, but they also sell a small selection of health, baby and personal care supplies. Aldi markets "Lullabies" brand wipes in a yellow and blue package of 56 wipes for a whopping 85 cents - yes, $0.85! It was this attractive price that initially inspired me to try out the Aldi wipes. I was curious how Aldi's Lullabies baby wipes stacked up against nationally recognized name brand wipes, specifically Pampers Sensitive Wipes.

Aldi Lullabies vs Pampers Sensitive

Aldi Lullabies Baby Wipes: The Details

It's a little hard to read in the above photo, but Aldi Lullabies wipes measure 7.0"x7.5" and state that they are hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and contain aloe and Vitamin E. At my local Aldi store, the Lullabies wipes only come in this 56-count size, in a crinkly plastic wrapper with a hard plastic pop top. It's noteworthy that the package holds just 8 fewer wipes than a full-size 64-count tub of name-brand wipes in a lot smaller size - if you're looking for a diaper-bag friendly package, Aldi has managed to cram a lot of wipes into a compact size.

The Pampers Sensitive wipes in the travel size pack that I had handy are actually a little smaller at 7.0"x7.0". The only callout similar to Aldi's claims is a statement that they're fragrance free. Interestingly we also have a jumbo 9-refill pack (576 wipes) of Pampers Sensitive wipes and the size is even smaller still - 7.0"x6.8", and that box says perfume free, not fragrance free. (Wipes definitely have a unique smell to them, I suppose some consumers protested that the wipes actually do have a fragrance.)

Aldi Lullabies Baby Wipe Ingredients
The ingredients in Aldi Lullabies Baby Wipes list off several long chemicals, plus aloe and chamomile extracts.

Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipe Ingredients
Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients contain a slightly different list of long-named chemicals and some of the same ingredients, including aloe and chamomile.

Frankly, if you're on daddy duty, the difference in size and ingredients is moot. You only grab one wipe at a time anyway, and the extra half-inch of material isn't going to make or break a clean-up job. As far as ingredients go, I really didn't care what was in there as long as it didn't cause diaper rash and could stand up to big messes.

Aldi Lullabies Wipes Comparison

Aldi Lullabies Baby Wipes: Test Results

In informal testing, both wipes performed just fine at cleaning big-time messes from our baby's bottom. Not surprisingly, I found our baby didn't seem to care for one brand over the other. The Pampers wipes had a slightly softer, stretchy feel that made me think they were a bit gentler than the Aldi wipes. But the Aldi wipes seemed a little tougher and had textured ridges that really did a nice job at cleaning seedy green poop off our peanut's behind.

Aldi Lullabies Baby Wipes Review
The Pampers wipes are on the left, while the Aldi wipes are on the right. As far as thickness goes, I didn't notice a significant difference between them, although the Pampers wipes in the jumbo box say 20% thicker than their Natural Clean version in large print. Dampness levels were also similar right out of the package, and of course you could always sprinkle a little water over them if you prefer a moister wipe.

When you consider costs, the Aldi Lullabies wipes are $0.85 for 56 wipes, or 0.01517 cents per wipe. Pampers Sensitive prices vary depending on where you buy them and how many you buy at a time. Online pricing from shows 10.99 for 448 wipes, or 0.02453 cents per wipe.

To be fair, Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes are a premium wipe, while I would consider Aldi Lullabies wipes to be an off-brand budget wipe. If you're thinking about cost in the first place you're more likely to be considering wipes that aren't necessarily "natural", "sensitive" or "unscented", but the point of this review is that if Aldi Lullabies wipes compare reasonably well to a more expensive wipe like the Pampers Sensitive wipes, odds are good they'll compare favorably with other less expensive wipes too.

The bottom line is that for $0.85 it can't hurt to try Aldi's Lullabies Baby Wipes... they might not be your favorite, but they're definitely not too bad. Have you had a positive or negative experience with Aldi's wipes? Leave your feedback in the comments section below!