I Tried Dozens of New Groceries Hitting Shelves This July — These Are the 9 Worth Buying

published Jul 20, 2023
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Product images of 6 different grocery items on graphic colored background
Credit: Clockwise from top left: Actual Veggies, Aura Bora, Chloe's, BetterBrand, Rao's Specialty Foods, A Dozen Cousins

It’s July, and summer is officially in full swing. I always find it a bit ironic that we save our outdoor grilling season for the hottest time of the year. There’s nothing quite like tending to a roaring fire when it’s already more than 90 degrees outside, squinting as ash and smoke billows. But I’m not complaining — especially with all the new grocery essentials that slot in perfectly for this beloved activity. 

Credit: Kat Thompson

We’ve got protein- and fiber-rich burger buns, veggie patties made from actual vegetables, jerk marinade perfect for chicken wings and kebabs, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. After sampling dozens of grocery items launching this month, these nine are my favorite. Let’s take a look.

Credit: Kat Thompson

1. BetterBrand The Sesame Better Bun 

I fully admit that I am a former BetterBrand skeptic. I didn’t really believe that you could pump up bagels and burger buns with protein and fiber with delicious results. I am happy to admit I was fully wrong! The new BetterBrand buns — which come in sesame, brioche, and pretzel and boast 20 grams of protein, 28 grams of fiber (100% of your daily value), and a 38 grams of carbohydrates (14%) per serving — will be a
cookout staple for me this summer.

The flavor is yeasty and buttery, while the initial texture feels plush and very close to the average burger bun. The sesame seeds add extra texture and feel quintessentially American. About halfway through my burger, the bun began to absorb the meat drippings and various condiments, taking on a spongier texture. It’s not entirely unpleasant, but it is different and something worth noting. To avoid this, I’d advise lining burgers with lettuce or cheese slices.

Buy: BetterBrand The Sesame Better Bun, $20.40 for 8 buns at BetterBrand

Credit: Kat Thompson

2. A Dozen Cousins x Brightland Honey Jerk Seasoning Sauce

For the savory bite of jerk seasoning with mild heat and just a touch of sweetness, get this collaboration marinade between beloved brands A Dozen Cousins and Brightland. This seasoning packet is perfect for chicken thighs, pork skewers, and veggie kebabs. 

Buy: A Dozen Cousins x Brightland Honey Jerk Seasoning Sauce, $5.98 for 3 ounces at Thrive Market

Credit: Kat Thompson

3. Actual Veggies Black Bean Burger

It’s incredible the amount of meat alternatives available for burgers now, but sometimes you want a veggie patty that actually tastes like vegetables. Actual Veggie’s black bean burger is a wonderful option, slated to launch at the end of July. Comprised of black beans (of course), as well as a medley of carrots, parsnips, lemon, chickpea flour, and more whole ingredients, this patty would fare well between buns, atop a bowl with avocado and cilantro lime rice, or as part of a breakfast plate with eggs, potatoes, and a dash of hot sauce. The 8 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per serving (12% and 21% of your daily value, respectively) help, too.

Find it in stores: Actual Veggies Black Bean Burger, $7.99 for (4-ounce) patties at Whole Foods, Ralphs, Wegmans

Credit: Kat Thompson

4. Rao’s Homemade Caramelized Onion Sauce

When it comes to pantry-staple pasta and pizza sauces (and, most recently, soups), Rao’s can do no wrong. Such is the case for its new caramelized onion sauce, which combines the brightness of tomatoes with the alluring fragrance of gently simmered onions. Notes of garlic, basil, and oregano also shine through. This makes for an amazing base for an easy weeknight pasta dinner, but would also be great spooned on top of crust for a pizza night. 

Buy: Rao’s Homemade Caramelized Onion Sauce, starting at $8.99 for 24 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Kat Thompson

5. Beehive Cheese Pickle Curds

The appetite for pickle-flavored everything continues at Trader Joe’s with new and exclusive Beehive pickle curds. These squeaky cheese balls are flavored with dill and garlic and come in a resealable bag, with four servings per packet. Although they’re snackable on their own, battering and frying them would be delicious, too (and would bring out summer county fair vibes).

Find it in stores: Beehive Cheese Pickle Curds, $2.99 for 4 ounces at Trader Joe’s

Credit: Kat Thompson

6. Grillo’s Blazing Hot Pickle Chips

For the pickle enthusiasts out there, Grillo’s is a requirement. The fresh pickles pack in plenty of vinegary tang that’s amplified by garlic, grape leaves, and dill. The new blazing hot pickle chips have the addition of habanero, making them an extra-fiery addition to sandwiches, burgers, or a snacking board. 

Find it in stores: Grillo’s Pickles Blazing Hot Pickle Chips, $5.49 for 16 ouncesat Target, Whole Foods, Walmart, Safeway, Albertsons, Kroger, and Costco

Credit: Kat Thompson

7. Aura Bora Raspberry Vanilla Sparkling Water

Aura Bora’s innovative sparkling waters always champion the flavors of fruit and herbs. This delicious new iteration features juicy raspberry notes paired with floral vanilla for a sparkling water that feels like a fruity cream soda. Have it straight as an effervescent afternoon pick-me-up or use it to top off a spritz. 

Buy:Aura Bora Raspberry Vanilla Sparkling Water,$33 for 12 cans at Aura Bora

Credit: Kat Thompson

8. McConnell’s Peanut Butter Crunch Cookies

Santa Barbara’s McConnell’s, known for its craft ice cream, now has cookies available for delivery — the same cookies typically served in its scoop shops. The cookies arrive frozen but already baked, so they only require a couple of minutes in the oven before being restored to their soft and chewy state. The peanut butter crunch cookies are especially delicious, with plenty of nutty texture and sweet and salty flavor in every

Buy: McConnell’s Peanut Butter Crunch Cookies, $12 for 6 cookies at McConnell’s

Credit: Kat Thompson

9. Chloe’s Mini Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

These new dairy-free frozen treats are reminiscent of summer afternoons chasing down an ice cream truck. The oat-milk base is creamy with ample vanilla flavor, while the cookie portion is soft, sticky, chocolaty, and just as nostalgic as the OG rectangular version. The mini size makes these sandwiches particularly fun to eat, and there’s a chocolate version, too, if chocolate ice cream is more your speed. 

Buy: Chloe’s Mini Cookie Sandwiches, $7.99 for 6 sandwiches at GTFO It’s Vegan

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