I Tried Dozens of New Groceries Hitting Shelves This March — These Are the 12 I’m Most Excited About

published Mar 16, 2023
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graphic collage of six new grocery products in round shapes
Credit: Photos: Hostess, Kettle Brand, Paolo Rovagnati, Sanzo, KIND, Gorton's; Design: Kitchn

Spring is in the air, and in the airwaves. With it comes a sense of renewal and reinvention and that extends to nearly every aisle in the grocery store. Cereals are shape-shifting and time-traveling. You’ll find refreshing new drinks to sip, and fun twists on classic snacks. There’s also a duo of air-fried innovations you’ll want to add to the list for your next shopping trip. I sampled them all and now I’m reporting back. 

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

I tried dozens of new launches, from longtime favorites to exciting up-and-comers. These are the 12 I’m most excited about.

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

1. Sweet Dreams Cereals

Do you hear cereal and think late-night snack? Then these are the boxes for you! Each one is made with soothing sleepy-time tea florals like chamomile and lavender, but they appear in a natural, fleeting, and light way, as if you chased down a bite of cereal with a sip of tea. The flakes are sturdy and bubbly with wheat and rice, the almond slivers are thick and generous, and the granola chunks make it clear it’s from the brand we have to thank for Honey Bunches of Oats. In short, they’re perfect. I’m over the goodnight moon for the Blueberry Midnight flavor, which is bursting with extra-plump, super-juicy dried blueberries.

Buy: Sweet Dreams Cereals, $4.48 for 13.5 ounces at Walmart and retailers nationwide

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

2. KIND Breakfast Cereal Bars

Maybe you prefer your cereal in a more portable package? The folks at KIND must have had you in mind when creating four new breakfast bars. Say hello to Cinnamon with Almonds, Honey Nut with Almonds, Chocolate with Almonds, and Peanut Butter. They’re lightly crunchy, as if there were seeds and grains mixed with a rice crispy treat. The flavors are notable, but discreet (in a good way!) and the sweetness mostly comes from a mild, creamy oatmilk drizzle. And each bar packs between five and six grams of fiber (18 to 21% of daily value), depending on the flavor.

Find it in stores: KIND Breakfast Cereal Bars, starting at $5.99 for 6 bars at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kroger, Albertsons, Publix, Giant, Stop & Shop, Hannaford, ShopRite, and CVS

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

3. Honey Bunches of Oats Granola Chips

Mornings, check. Evenings, check. Midday? Check. This iconic cereal brand is expanding into the snack aisle with granola chips in two classic flavors: Blueberry and Honey Roasted. These newbies are light, bubbly, and sweet (think: Golden Grahams or Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a bigger, sturdier, cracker-sized format). The Honey Roasted tastes just like you’d expect — like a bowl of bunches, sans milk — and I highly recommend dipping them in plain Greek yogurt to balance each bite in a familiar way without sacrificing crunch. I will also admit to using them as a cereal foundation to reduce the sogginess of the flakes I layer on top!

Buy: Honey Bunches of Oats Granola Chips, $3.48 for 6 ounces at Walmart and retailers nationwide

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4. MOSH Lemon White Chocolate Crunch

Co-founded by Maria Shriver and son Patrick Schwarzenegger, this snack bar brand has been gaining popularity since launching in late 2021. Lemon White Chocolate Crunch is the newest flavor to join the lineup and a pretty tasty way to kickstart your day. There’s a rich after-feel to them, thanks to the almond butter at its base. The white chocolate chips are creamy, interesting, and generous, with Starburst-lemon notes and little crunchies for a meringue-ish profile. Each bar has 22% of the daily value of protein, 21% of fiber, 100% of vitamin B12, and less than one gram of sugar.

Buy: MOSH Lemon White Chocolate Crunch, starting at $24.99 for a trial pack of 6 bars at MOSH, also available at Amazon and Erewhon

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5. Grace Farms’ Second Flush Darjeeling Tea

I can hardly explain how special this tea is, but I’ll try! The growers select the most expert pickers for this tea specifically, to harvest it at the border of India and Nepal under the light of a full Strawberry Moon. The rare tea is the yield of a coveted second flush — the second growth of leaves in a season. These leaves are flavor-packed, as the gravitational pull of the moon is said to drive maximum nutrients into the tea plant itself, resulting in tea that’s slightly sweeter and brighter than your typical Darjeeling, with hints of honey and citrus lemon shining more forward than the expected muscat. It’s a symbol of love and prosperity, and said to manifest luck — something you’ll feel you have on lock if you land this limited release. 

Buy: Grace Farms’ Second Flush Darjeeling Tea, $24 for 0.2 ounces at Grace Farms

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

6. Gorton’s Air-Fried Seafood

I grew up “trust[ing] the Gorton’s Fisherman” — no other fish fillets (or sticks!) cooked up quite as crispy in the toaster oven. As an adult, I trust them still, especially with the release of this new air-fried duo. The breading is as airy as tempura.. There’s no greasiness to mask the brand’s classic light seasoning, and the seafood is not heavily breaded, either, so its flavor really comes through. Plus, you don’t need an air fryer of your own to reap the rewards. Gorton’s done the work for you and reduced the fat by 50% (compared to the conventional prep) along with it. My trusty toaster oven has been busy with these two! 

Find it in stores: Gorton’s Air-Fried Seafood, starting at $9.19 for 15.2 ounces at Instacart, Cub Foods, Walmart, ADUSA, Kroger, ShopRite, Meijer, Publix, Albertsons, and other retailers

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

7. Kettle Brand Air Fried Potato Chips

Naturally, you’ll want a side of air-fried chips with your air-fried fish. Kettle-cooked first (to preserve that robust texture and potato flavor) and then finished in an air fryer, this new technique yields a chip with lighter density and 30% less fat than its classic counterpart. There’s a sharp, shard-like shatter to them and a long-lasting crunch that maximizes the joy of chew-time. For the launch, they’re available in sweet and spicy Jalapeño, super-sour Salt & Vinegar, and balanced Himalayan Salt; fingers crossed that Backyard Barbecue and Sour Cream & Onion will soon follow!

Find it in stores: Kettle Brand Air Fried Potato Chips, starting at $4.29 for 6.5 ounces at Target, Kroger, Whole Foods, and other retailers

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

8. Hostess Kazbars

Can’t decide between a piece of cake or a candy bar? Then Kazbars are for you. Moist, soft chocolate cake sandwiches the fluffy creme the Hostess brand has spent decades perfecting. The handheld cake bites — available in Chocolate Caramel and Triple Chocolate — are then covered in a thick coat of easy-melt chocolate. But my favorite innovation is the addition of candy crunch to the center. These are like sugar crystal crackles that break up the silkiness in the wonderfully restrained caramel and chocolate fudge. They’re rich and texturally interesting, and the minis are perfectly sized for snacking.

Find it in stores: Hostess Kazbars, starting at $2.79 for 2.75 ounces at Walmart, Kroger, Food Lion, Publix, assorted convenience stores, and other retailers

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

9. Rovagnati Black Label Cured Meats

Charcuterie trends show no signs of slowing down. As the palates of enthusiasts become more refined, now is the perfect time for this Italian brand to make its stateside debut. The Black Label is launching here with Prosciutto Crudo, Prosciutto Cotto, Salame Milano, Salame Napoli, Hot Soppressata, Mortadella, and salami sticks in Mild, Smoked, and Hot & Spicy. They taste as you expect, but better with big, salty Italian flavor, silky or chewy texture (depending on the product), and bragging rights of genuine article. Plus they come with wine pairing suggestions, making wine, cheese, and meat nights even easier.

Find it in stores: Rovagnati Black Label Cured Meats, starting at $3.99 for 2 ounces at Stop & Shop, ACME, Super Fresh, The Food Emporium, Tropical Supermarket, Key Food, Food Universe, Food Dynasty, Gala Foods, and other retailers in the Northeast

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

10. Jeni’s Biscuits with the Boss Ice Cream

Ted Lasso fans, brace yourselves. The affable coach’s homemade shortbread cookies have crossed over into sweet (ice) cream territory. Jeni’s limited-edition pints sold out in days, but you can still score a few scoops at your local shop! In it, you’ll find crumbles of dense shortbread folded into a very sweet cream base with a hint of salt over plush undertones of butter. It’s more sugary than savory, and it’s certainly rich. You can definitely make them last longer than an episode. 

Find it in stores: Jeni’s Biscuits with the Boss Ice Cream

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

11. Pirate’s Booty Crunch Attack

The classic, airy puffs we’ve grown to know and love have gone crunchy. They’re still made with rice and corn, but they’ve been compressed into irregular twists, concentrating both the flavors of their key ingredient and the white cheddar powder that coats them. The boxed-mac-and-cheese-reminiscent powder is way funky in this version, ideal for those who prefer aged over young cheddar. Like the OG puffs, they’re baked, and free of gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, and artificial ingredients and preservatives (not like the bag lasts long enough to need the latter).

Find it in stores: Pirate’s Booty Crunch Attack, $7.49 for 8 ounces at Kroger and other retailers nationwide

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

12. Sanzo Pomelo Sparkling Water

New flavor, new look, same sparkle. This new can from the Asian-inspired sparkling water company is joining flavors like lychee, yuzu, Asian pear, and calamansi on Whole Foods shelves, where it’ll be sold exclusively until it launches online in April. The reason this grapefruit-adjacent flavor is exciting is because it takes all the guesswork out of finding a pomelo at peak ripeness, which is notoriously difficult to determine. What’s in the can is bright, slightly sweeter than its Western counterpart, but still retaining that hint of zest. It’s made with fruit juice and leaves out added sugars and artificial flavorings, so it’s the real deal … just fizzier. 

Find it in stores: Sanzo Pomelo Sparkling Water, $2.49 for 12 ounces at Whole Foods Market, available on Sanzo’s website starting May 1

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