Lidl made its name in the UK as a discount supermarket.
Now though it’s not just a place to go if you want to save a few bob – not only is a trip to Lidl less painful that traipsing around one of the big supermarkets, but its own-brand products are top notch too.
Lidl is currently the UK’s fastest growing supermarket. Here are my top 12 favourite Lidl products in 2017.
Lidl: My top 12 products in 2017
1. Simply Sumptuous Swiss Style Muesli (£1.29 for 750g)
As a man of habit, I eat a bowl of muesli for breakfast every single weekday (on a weekend, I might “treat” myself to some toast).
My muesli of choice is always Lidl’s sugar and salt free version, which is much better than other supermarket own brands and much less expensive than the overrated Alpen.
2. Alesto Dried Mango (£1.29 for 100g)
I get that dried fruit contains a lot of natural sugar. But it’s my go-to snack when I’m trying to be a bit healthier (it’s better than chocolate, right?).
Unlike lot of other dried Mango varieties, this one from Lidl doesn’t include any additional sugar. It makes a great ingredient for my homemade breakfast bars, too.
Lidl also do excellent dried figs (Alesto Soft Figs – £1.29 for 200g) that are cheaper than big supermarket varieties and less dry.
3. Baresa Green Olives Stuffed With Garlic (£0.69 for 120g drained)
I love olives and I love garlic. So these olives stuffed with garlic are perfect as a little appetiser or with some “pickies” as my mum would say (think pitta bread, houmous, dried meats and the like).
Unfortunately, Lidl recently started using chunks of garlic instead of full gloves in these olives. But they’re still delicious.
If you prefer nuts to garlic, there’s a version with almonds too.
4. Deluxe Colombian Supremo Roast and Ground Coffee (X for 227g)
I wouldn’t call myself a coffee connoisseur, but I do like a nice cup of it with a splash of milk.
I gave up on instant coffee years ago. And although using a cafetiere isn’t really doing it for me anymore, that’s my only option when I’m at home or working.
This coffee is my favourite of the mid-priced supermarket varieties. Fair trade, this coffee uses one type of arabica bean and makes a brew that’s rich but not too bitter.
5. Alesto Californian Pistachios Roasted and Salted (£1.49 for 150g)
Pub campaigners won’t agree with me on this, but I think you’re halfway to recreating the pub experience at home if you can pick yourself up some freshly drawn draught ale and some decent pub snacks.
Although they’ll quickly provide you with your daily salt intake, these pistachios fill the pub snack need.
So as an occasional treat, they’re brilliant.
6. Freeway Sport Isotonic Sports Drink (£1.25 for 4x500ml)
On the increasingly rare times I run for more than 90 minutes or so, I find I need a calorie boost to get me round.
These isotonic sports drinks do the job with 125 calories per bottle. All at about a quarter of the price of Lucozade Sport, which contains pretty much like-for-like ingredients.
7. Milbona Fat Free Yoghurt (£0.30 for 175g)
Yes, I know these yoghurts are full of sugar. But I still like them occasionally (i.e. whenever there’s one in my fridge).
These are essentially Lidl’s version of Muller Lite. I prefer Lidl’s creation too, especially when I can get hold of a mango or pineapple flavour.
8. Kanpur Garden Mango Chutney (£0.89 for 370g)
Mango Chutney is well, Mango Chutney – wherever you buy it.
This mango chutney from Lidl is fine with a bhaji or poppadum and is far cheaper than the less generous supermarket own brand and branded alternatives. Add in the generous amount of mango chunks, and you’re onto a winner.
9. Eridanous Feta (£0.99 for 200g)
I find the quality of feta cheese available in supermarkets a bit hit and miss. Which is a shame, as I’m addicted to it on salads or with a pitta bread as a snack.
Produced in Greece using sheep and goat’s milk, this feta cheese from Lidl is tangy, creamy and not overly salty.
10. Ocean Sea Norwegian Smoked Salmon (£3.79 for 200g)
I love this smoked salmon in a bagel with some cream cheese, black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
The smokiness if not overpowering and the meat isn’t difficult to take a bite of unlike some supermarket brands. The only thing I find hard to verify is the sustainability of the fish they use – but that’s a problem with other brands too.
11. Birchwood Farm Free Range Chicken Breasts (£3.99 for 350g)
I know the free-range chicken industry isn’t perfect. But it’s got to be better for the animals than buying chicken that has been farmed intensively.
It wasn’t long ago that celebrity chefs were campaigning for more free range chicken in supermarkets. Go in your average mainstream supermarket though and you’ll struggle to find any free range chicken at all.
Lidl, on the other hand, always has plenty of free range UK chicken available. So I don’t have to feel as guilty as I could do when I buy it.
12. Freshona Pickled Gherkins (£0.69 for 360g drained)
Pickled in vinegar that’s much less harsh than supermarket versions, these gherkins are cheap, tasty and low in fat.
I enjoy them as a guilt-free snack to tide me over until tea time. They’re also excellent chopped up in salads.
What are your top Lidl products? Are there any products you make a special trip to Lidl for?