I Tried Dozens of New Groceries Hitting Shelves This January — These Are the 18 I’m Most Excited About

published Jan 12, 2022
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Credit: Su-Jit Lin

New year, new products, and, boy, does 2022 bring a cascade of them! For every typical resolution, there’s a new collection of items to support it. Looking for reasons to stop skipping breakfast? There’s new yogurt to the rescue. Seeking more plant-based swaps? Almond Breeze, Califia Farms, and Plant Boss know what’s up! Want to expand your global palate? Kevin’s Natural Foods, AYO Foods, and Acid League can help. Or maybe you just want to eat whatever brings you joy … in which case all of the above and below are here for your tasting pleasure. 

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

If these new releases are any indication of how we are all determined to make 2022 better than the year we just bid adieu to, we’re in good shape for a happy new year indeed. I just tried dozens of brand-new products and these were the clear standouts.

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

1. Icelandic Provisions Cherry & Almond Skyr

I learned about the newest flavor to the Fruit & Nut lineup a month ago and have been so excited to share the news since that first spoonful! This luscious, full-fat Icelandic skyr (think: extra, extra-thick Greek yogurt) feels like a creamy dream and features whole crushed, ripe black cherries interspersed with blanched almonds … all with less sugar typically found in other yogurts and definitely less than you’d expect for such bold flavor. It’s seriously the best combo this authentically Icelandic brand has put out; the chunks of cherry are big and bold, and the almonds are crunchy and don’t get soggy. Plus, it’s rich and luxurious enough to have for dessert as well as breakfast.

Find it in stores: Icelandic Provisions Cherry & Almond Skyr, $1.99 for 4.4 ounces at Whole Foods

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2. Hershey’s/The a2 Milk Company Chocolate Milk

Staying on dairy, a2 — the doctor-founded brand that’s revolutionized conventional milk by exclusively using output from cows that naturally produce only the more digestible a2 protein — is coming out with a new chocolate collaboration with Hershey’s! This gives those who may be sensitive to dairy — something that disproportionately affects Black, Asian, Native American, and Latinx populations — a new and better option, even if it’s not lactose-free. You can find it in the refrigerated dairy aisle as well as in shelf-stable 8-ounce servings.

Learn more: Hershey’s/The a2 Milk Company Chocolate Milk, $4.49 for 59 ounces

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3. Sheila G’s Reese’s Pieces Brownie Brittle

In another “sweet” collab with Hershey’s, Sheila G’s is coming out with two new flavors this month: Heath Toffee Crunch (with buttery bits of that unmistakable flavor) and Reese’s Pieces (with its irresistible peanut butter and candy shell appeal). Both add even more crunch to this already-snappy brownie treat, which has a deep chocolate flavor that is a perfect complement to these candy accents. Dip these in milk for extra delight, and the above-mentioned new chocolate a2 for extra extra-ness.

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4. Almond Breeze Extra Creamy Almondmilk

Another dunking option, you ask? But let’s make it extra creamy! If you want concentrated almondy goodness and a bigger mouthfeel, Almond Breeze now has it. Using real almond oil sourced from their parent company’s own Blue Diamond nuts, it’s all the consistency you want, love, and maybe miss from dairy milk plus the added flavor of almonds and plenty of calcium.

Find it in stores: Almond Breeze Extra Creamy Almondmilk, $3.69 for 59 ounces

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5. Hope and Sesame Barista Blend Sesamemilk

While we’re all sipping on almonds, pecans (hi, THIS PKN!), pistachios (I see you, Tache), and amped-up oats, Hope and Sesame is sowing the seeds of yet another plant milk entrant: sesame milk. After three years of development, espresso-slingers are getting a new incredibly sustainable ingredient in the form of a shelf-stable Barista Blend, which promises to froth, foam, and steam to perfection. It’s a bee-friendly, low-water, pesticide-free, naturally high-protein ingredient, and I think it’s worth a go.

Find it in stores: Hope and Sesame Barista Blend Sesamemilk, $3.99 for 32 ounces

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6. Starbucks Zero Creamers

Hitting the refrigerated dairy aisle are two new additions to Starbucks’ drink-inspired collection, but this time with zero sugar added. Instead, you’ll find sucralose to be the sweetening agent for their Hazelnut Latte and Caramel Macchiato Zero creamers, which means you can bring that name-brand sweet, buttery caramel and vanilla flavor and signature nuttiness to your morning coffee and skip the sugar and drive-thru rush.

Find it in stores: Starbucks Zero Creamers, $5.49 for 28 ounces

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7. Califia Farms Cinnamon Roll Oat Creamer

Zero’s a hero for this brand, too, as they go live late this month with a Zero Sugar Oatmilk. But if that’s too dramatic a cutback for you, its grand entrance is coupled with an Oat + Almond Plantmilk Blend, which gives you that creamy feel of oat with the light smoothness and lower-caloric footprint of almond. And if it’s flavor you’re looking for, I’m very psyched about their latest coffee creamers. Cookie butter fans will go gaga over the Cookie Butter Almondmilk flavor, with almonds being a perfect accompaniment to speculoos spices, and very rich but not too sweet Cinnamon Roll Oatmilk, which is my new favorite way to “eat” cinnamon rolls.

Find it in stores: Califia Farms Cinnamon Roll Oat Creamer, $4.59 for 25.4 ounces

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8. Acid League Living Pantry

This brand made a splash with unique “living” vinegars — ones that are raw, unfiltered, and fermented with premium ingredients and flavors friendly to your gut. This month, they’re branching out with gorgeous bottles of classic, global condiments with the Acid League twist. I’m talking about Caramelized Fish Sauce using Okinawan black sugar; reimagined Worcestershire sauce with blood orange; All the Alliums “secret sauce;” soup and sauce starters (Wild Mushroom); hot sauces that take you from Baton Rouge to the Sichuan province; Saffron Gold sauce with saffron, habanero, and Meyer lemon; and special EVOOs. The new collection has 17 products in total, making them great for any last-minute gourmet gift baskets.

Buy: Acid League All the Alliums, $16 for 10.1 ounces at Acid League

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9. Mazzetti Chef’s Reduction Classic Balsamic Glaze

This global giant is bringing their signature sass to the States with a premium line of Italian balsamics that have made a splash as #1 best-sellers in Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia. These are authentic, complex, smooth, and high-quality. The plummy and plush Mazzetti Gold Label Balsamic Vinegar and Mazzetti Chef’s Reduction Classic Balsamic Glaze are both staples in my kitchen. I find the thick, syrupy and sweet glaze particularly ideal for finishing.

Buy: Mazzetti Chef’s Reduction Classic Balsamic Glaze, $6.99 for 7.3 ounces at Instacart

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10. Organicville No Salt Added Italian Vinaigrette 

Keeping on with condiments, this organic eating mainstay has just come out with two new ones. I appreciate the No Added Salt Italian Vinaigrette not just for its main claim, but also that their first set of ingredients are apple products and then oil, and not vice versa. I also like that it has no added sugar, either, which makes it keto-friendly.

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11. Outer Aisle Broccoli Sandwich Thins

Outer Aisle is adding a new vegetable-based bread alternative to its already existing cauliflower line, bringing broccoli to the table as the hottest crucifer for keto and grain- or gluten-free eaters. These refrigerated or frozen mini-wraps are made with my favorite happy trees, whole cage-free eggs, Parmesan cheese, and nutritional yeast. With a full serving of broccoli and seven grams of protein in each, it’s a good way to quickly and effortlessly slide more vegetables into your diet. 

Buy: Outer Aisle Broccoli Sandwich Thins, $7.99 for 6 at Outer Aisle

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12. Plant Boss Burger Mix

This year-old brand got really popular last year for its Plant Taco flavors, and the new recipes sound promising. The burger mix has onion, smoked paprika, and black pepper and the meatball brings in Italian flavors, including onion, oregano, and basil. All you need? Water, oil, and your hands to shape them! What makes them different from other plant-based meat makers: The products are dehydrated and will keep in your cupboard, saving you precious fridge and freezer space.

Find it in stores: Plant Boss Burger Mix, $6.99 for 3.35 ounces

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13. Kevin’s Natural Foods Teriyaki-Style Beef

This chef-created brand of ready-made dishes is a Costco mainstay as well as a supermarket darling — and the quality really does live up to the hype. (It’s also gluten-free and Paleo-certified.) The gentle, sous vide cooking means tender proteins. The new Teriyaki-Style Beef has begun its roll-out to major national retailers, and you’ll see it everywhere by February.

Buy: Kevin’s Natural Foods Teriyaki-Style Beef, $13.99 for 16 ounces at Instacart

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14. AYO Foods Waakye

Eric Adjepong (of Top Chef fame) has partnered with AYO Foods to introduce two ways to try West African cuisine. The recipes he’s developed for the brand are as follows: Waakye, a Ghanaian rice and red peas dish, and Chicken Yassa, a Senegalese marinated chicken dish prepared with onions, lemons, or mustard. I’m sure it’s no equal to the version made by his own hands IRL, but as we retreat back into our homes again (hello, Omicron), count me in for any chance to try a Top Chef’s cuisine.

Buy: AYO Foods Waakye, $5.49 for 8 ounces at Instacart

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15. Gordo’s Hot Cheese Dip

Atlanta-based queso brand Gordo’s — a longtime supplier of cheese dip to local Mexican restaurants — has responded to their customers clamoring for some heat in their cheese with a hot flavor made with only real cheese and extra jalapeño peppers. This queso is so unbelievably gooey and thick, with a mild, smooth American cheese flavor. The heat is also nice — subtle, but definitely there. No fillers, nor thickeners — all gluey, heavy, dense, and delicious.

Buy: Gordo’s Cheese Dip Hot, $4.46 for 16 ounces at Walmart

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16. Pringles Scorchin’ Wavy Loaded Nachos 

For those who can’t wait the 30 seconds to heat up their Gordo’s, Pringles is coming in hot and fully loaded. You get a direct hit to the nose of piled-up tortillas, meat, cheese, and spices as soon as you open the container, but one bite into the extra-thick, wavy crisps brings you right back to a pumped-up fried potato with a hint of cheese. The slight burn creeps up at the end of the bite.

Find it in stores: Pringles Scorchin’ Wavy Loaded Nachos, $2.09 for 4.8 ounces

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17. Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Chance

Want to cool off after all that heat? Our friends from Vermont are debuting a new flavor this month, plus two new Cores. There’s Boom Chocolatta Core, with mocha and caramel non-dairy dessert with fudge flakes and gluten-free chocolate cookies swirled together to surround a gluten-free chocolate cookie core. The Bananas Foster Core features a salted caramel center; the surrounding dairy-free ice cream is, of course, banana and cinnamon, but accented with almond toffee. Finally, in both dairy and dairy-free, Mint Chocolate Chance is a knock-out rendition of my favorite flavor combo, mint ice cream studded with fudge brownies from Greyston Bakery. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds goes toward Chance the Rapper’s non-profit SocialWorks for youth through arts, education, and civic engagement. 

Find it in stores: Mint Chocolate Chance Non-Dairy, $4.99 for 1 pint

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18. Bevy Long Drink Hard Sparkling Citrus Refresher

And we’ll conclude with a refreshing drink! Boston Beer Company is coming out with the U.S.’s first malt-based, Long Drink-inspired cocktail in Hard Citrus and Hard Berry flavors. What is a Long Drink, you might ask? (I know I did!) In short, it’s a blend of gin, grapefruit soda, and tonic, invented specifically for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki — and it’s stuck around since. These new flavors add fruit to this wild juniper-based refresher, and with an ABV of 5.8% it’s a light sip for long days.

Buy: Bevy Long Drink Sparkling Citrus Refresher, $12.99 for 6 (12-ounce) cans at Drizly

Which of these are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments below.