The 9 Best New Groceries to Hit Shelves This October
October is one of my favorite months because it’s finally, truly fall. I love witnessing the transitioning hues of orange, yellow, and red on the treelines and seeing Halloween decorations spring up — stringy spider webs and towering skeletons and pumpkins carved with smirking faces. That, and scouring the grocery aisles for new treats.
October is the month to finally go full steam ahead with autumnal produce (exhibit A: this meltingly tender cabbage), and also start thinking about the upcoming holidays. Speaking of fresh starts, I sampled dozens of new groceries hitting shelves throughout the month. Among the list of latest must-haves, you’ll find buttery cookies, an apple-flavored soda, spicy tinned mussels, and more. These are the surprising delights I suggest you seek out during your next grocery shop.
1. Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Ben & Jerry’s has revamped its non-dairy base, switching out the former almond milk for a vanilla-flavored oat-milk base. The result is richer and creamier than the original recipe — but there’s still an ample amount of cookie dough balls and fudgy chocolate shavings. Fans of this new non-dairy base will be happy to know that all the plant-based Ben & Jerry’s pints will all be making the switch in the future.
Find it in stores: Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, starting at $5.99 for 16 ounces at retailers nationwide
2. Jackson’s Spicy Jalapeño Sweet Potato Chips
The best part of Jackson’s latest sweet potato chip flavor is that it tastes like actual jalapeño — green and spicy and herbaceous. Other jalapeño chips are vaguely salty and spicy, but Jackson’s combines true jalapeño flavor with the natural sweetness of kettle cooked sweet potatoes. It’s a winning flavor combination with the perfect amount of crispiness, thanks to how thin the potatoes are sliced and the low-and-slow fry in avocado oil.
Find it in stores: Jackson’s Spicy Jalapeño Sweet Potato Chips, $4.49 for 5 ounces at Whole Foods, Kroger, Costco, Sprouts, and more
3. Goldfish Limited Edition Elf Maple Syrup Grahams
It’s not too early to get into the holiday spirit by turning on Elf and eating a fistful of this new collaboration with Goldfish. These graham crackers, which come in the shape of elf hats, a jug of maple syrup, and the classic smiling goldfish have a strong maple flavor and a sweetness that tiptoes to the edge of cloying, but reels it back in. It definitely tastes more like pancakes than graham crackers and could make for a unique pie crust.
Buy: Goldfish Limited Edition Elf Maple Syrup Grahams, $3.29 for 6.1 ounces at Instacart
4. Rudi’s Gluten-Free Garlic Texas Toast
Gluten-free options in bread and pastas have advanced leaps and bounds in the past five years. Take this Rudi’s Texas toast for example: there’s plenty of buttery garlic flavor, crispy edges, and a fluffy and plush interior. Plus, there’s the convenience of preparing in a toaster oven in less than five minutes. Serve this as a side for pasta or fried chicken and everyone — gluten-free or not — will be happy.
Find it in stores: Rudi’s Gluten-Free Garlic Texas Toast, $7.99 for four slices at Whole Foods
5. La Monarca Cafe Mexican Wedding Cookies
For a blissful melt-in-your-mouth bite, pick up a pack of these Mexican wedding cookies developed by Los Angeles-based La Monarca Cafe. Each cookie is coated in powdered sugar and has a crumbly texture that dissolves on the tongue with plenty of buttery flavor. For an ideal pairing, pick up a bag of La Monarca’s cafe de olla coffee; the sweet and bitter notes of the coffee are perfect for washing down the cookies.
Buy: La Monarca Cafe Mexican Wedding Cookies, $5.99 for 6 ounces at World Market and Costco
6. Olipop Crisp Apple Soda
The can design of Olipop’s returning fall flavor, crisp apple, has the coziest vibe. It makes me want to sit inside on a rainy day and read a book by a fireplace. Not only that, but the sparkling prebiotic soda inside is also true to its name and boasts a crisp and sweet-but-not-too-sweet apple flavor. It’s a grown-up version of the sparkling apple cider provided for the kids at every holiday meal — plus, each can has a whole nine grams of fiber (32% of daily value).
Buy: Olipop Crisp Apple Soda, $35.99 for 12 (12-ounce) cans at Amazon; also available at Sprouts, Whole Foods, Target, and Walmart
7. Il Mulino Vodka Sauce
The lucrative jarred pasta sauce trade adds another New York restaurant to its lineup. Il Mulino’s new sauces are the perfect way to bring a slice of this 40-year-old legacy home. The vodka sauce is a favorite; it’s certainly more tomato-forward than creamy, but I like that the acidic bite isn’t hindered by overwhelming richness. Toss the sauce with your favorite pasta shape, a crown of Parmigiano Reggiano, and chili flakes for the coziest (and easiest) weeknight dinner.
Buy: Il Mulino Vodka Sauce, $8.99 for 24 ounces at Il Mulino
8. A-Sha Spicy Beef Pho Rice Noodle Soup
Will this cup of instant pho taste better than your favorite Vietnamese neighborhood spot? No. Is it extremely easy to make and a satisfying snack? Yes. Each cup, designed in collaboration with Sanrio, comes with a pouch of dehydrated carrots and green onions and a dark red soup base that definitely has a kick. It doesn’t really taste like pho; there aren’t the warming spices and clear, simple broth that the beloved soup possesses, but it is nice to have an instant noodle alternative that carries rice noodles instead of fried ramen noodles. Just make sure not to overcook the rice noodles, which rehydrate faster than other standard instant noodles.
Find it in stores: A-sha Spicy Beef Pho Rice Noodle Soup, $22.49 for 6 (2-ounce) packs at Target, Costco, and H-Mart
9. Patagonia Provisions Spicy Mussels
The tinned fish craze hasn’t slowed down, and I’m perfectly fine with that because the options keep getting better and better. Take these spicy mussels from Patagonia Provisions, for example: they’re briny, meaty, and tangy with an undercurrent of heat, thanks to cayenne pepper in every bite. The mussels hail from Spain and Portugal and are sourced from family-owned farms. Make sure to have a side of crusty bread to soak up the broth, olive oil, and chunks of red bell peppers in each tin.
Buy: Patagonia Provisions Spicy Mussels, $8 for 4.2 ounces at Patagonia Provisions