10 Taste Tests to Help You Grocery Shop

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Sometimes, it can be hard enough to decide what you want to eat. Even after you’ve landed on the idea of a frozen pizza, you then have to decide which frozen pizza to buy. To help you with some of these major decisions, we ran a bunch of taste tests this year — including things like frozen pizza (obviously), coffee, breakfast sandwiches, and more.

Here, you can find them all in one place. Give them a read and then get shopping.

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)


As Americans become more sophisticated about their morning cup of joe, the coffee aisle at the grocery store is expanding. Now there are single-varietal beans alongside those tubs and cans your grandparents drank, but with all that choice comes the dilemma of what to buy.

To help you zero in on your perfect cup, we sampled 15 of the most readily available coffees usually found at supermarkets nationwide and ranked them.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)


We heated up three griddles, poured an extra cup of coffee to power through the impending carb coma, and flipped our way through 11 brands of pancake mix in a quest to find one that had the tender fluffiness and rich flavor we get when we make them from scratch.

(Image credit: Image: By Brooke Becke/ Design: Susanna Hopler)

Frozen Pizza

We are living in a frozen-pizza-lover’s paradise. Walk into any supermarket and you’ll be dazzled by the bevy of options with various styles of crust (thick, thin, and even cheese-stuffed!) and a bounty of meat and veggie toppings. Just picking one to toss in your cart can make your head spin. This story should help with that.

(Image credit: Talenti Gelato)


No doubt you’ve seen their trademark clear tubs, plastic brown lids, and adventurous flavors in your supermarket’s freezer section. But which Talenti flavors should you buy? We did the hard work so you don’t have to (okay, it wasn’t really hard).

Can you guess our number-one choice?

(Image credit: Photo By Y Photo Studio/Shutterstock)

Peanut Butter

Young or old, who can resist peanut butter? When paired with jelly and made into a sandwich, this creamy, nutty spread takes us back to our childhood. It has a place baked into cookies, stirred into oatmeal, and blended into smoothies. Not to mention eating it straight from the jar. (It’s OK — we do it too!)

We tried seven well-known brands of natural peanut butter and ranked them from our least to most favorite. Want to see how they ranked?

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler/Valentina Razumova)

Hot Dogs

Have you shopped for hot dogs recently? There are so many options to choose from in the grocery store aisle. No matter what kind of dog you’re craving, there’s a hot dog out there for you.

We set up a taste test to determine the superlatives for all the hot dogs in the grocery store. Keep reading to see what we thought of these top dogs.

(Image credit: Bagel: Shutterstock)

Breakfast Sandwiches

Not to be dramatic, but a breakfast sandwich can make or break your entire day. A great one has the potential to put a pep in your step, while a bad one is not only a waste of time, money, and calories, but it can also throw your appetite off for the foreseeable future.

In the interests of avoiding a bad breakfast moment, we tried seven bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches and ranked them. Here’s how they stacked up, from worst to best.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Ice Cream Cakes

How does Fudgie the Whale stack up to his less famous friends? Pretty darn well, actually. Find out which other cakes we liked and which ones your next party is better off without.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Halo Top

Halo Top — a low-calorie, low-sugar, high-protein ice cream — took the freezer aisle by storm this year. People lost their minds over the healthier version of ice cream, and for good reason. It actually tastes decent! We did two major taste tests (once with a staffer and once with a four-year-old). Check out the results.

The Best Halo Top Flavors

(Image credit: Kitchn)

Pumpkin Pie

There’s something to be said for the convenience of frozen pies. You can buy them well ahead of time, they’re supremely affordable, and some require nothing more than a few hours on the countertop to thaw.

We tried six frozen pumpkin pies, the ones you’re most likely to find in a supermarket. We compared them based on price, ease of preparation, and taste (of the crust and filling). After sampling all six pies, there were a few we’d definitely toss in our cart again — and a few that are better left to freeze.