I’m the Grocery Editor at Kitchn — These Are the 10 Best Snacks I Tried in 2020

published Dec 31, 2020
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reusable grocery bags on the floor in the kitchen filled with groceries
Credit: Joe Lingeman

I take my role at Kitchn very seriously: I’m the Lifestyle Editor for all grocery-related content, which means that a big part of my job is to scout out new-to-store grocery items, give ’em a try, and report back to all of you. In a year when visiting supermarkets in person hasn’t been the easiest task for most people, I feel privileged even to have tried so many items worth talking about.

Here are the 10 best snack items I tried this year. If you can get your hands on any of them, I promise that your grocery game will be forever changed.

Credit: Thrive Market

1. Pipcorn Heirloom Cheeseballs

Perhaps the last fun thing that happened to me pre-pandemic was receiving a gigantic box from Pipcorn containing nearly every flavor they offer. (Thank you, cheese ball gods.) Before any government official declared anything, I was already prepared to hunker down, hibernate, and eat nothing but these heirloom cheese balls. I fell in love with classic Cheddar off the bat, but the Cacio e Pepe and Jalapeño Cheddar flavors are also excellent.

Buy: Pipcorn Heirloom Cheese Balls, $3.79 for 4.5 ounces at Thrive Market

Credit: Kendall Wenaas

2. KIND Bark

Before we get any further, I feel inclined to share that this is not a virtuous snack list by any means. I love my snacks as chocolate-y as they get: Hence why KIND Bark made the list. It’s delicious chocolate flecked with a copious amount of nuts, packaged in a convenient, resealable bag. You know, if you actually had the foresight to save some for later.

Buy: KIND Bark, $3.99 for 3.6 ounces at Target

Credit: Lauren Masur

3. Gaea Organic Olive Snack

Before these bad boys, I’d never tried a snack pack of olives. (I’d only ever purchased cans or jars.) Now that I’ve been introduced to this super-convenient pouch, I’m a total convert to bagged olives. These pitted green olives are liquid-free, which makes them a great, non-messy WFH desk snack.

Buy: Gaea Organic Olive Snack, $3.49 for 2.3 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Lauren Masur

4. Justin’s Honey Almond Butter Plant-Based Protein Bar

If you love Justin’s Nut Butter, you’ll love these convenient nut butter-based protein bars that launched this fall. As the package suggests, they’re “deliciously chilled,” which means they’re meant to be refrigerated. The result? A cool, filling, snack with 10 grams of protein.

Buy: Justin’s Honey Almond Butter Plant-Based Protein Bar, $2.99 for 1.4 ounces at Target

Credit: Kendall Wenaas

5. Good & Gather Everything Cashews

Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman, wouldn’t stop talking about these seasoned cashews — and I trust her with my life — so I had to give them a try. Dusted with a generous amount of sesame seeds, garlic, onion, salt, and poppy seeds, a handful of these flavorful nuts helps get me through a mid-afternoon slump.

BuyGood & Gather Everything Seasoned Cashews, $6.79 for 7.5 ounces at Target

Credit: Abigail Abesamis Demarest

6. Banza Frozen Pizza

If you’re here to tell me that pizza is not a snack, please move along. These chickpea-based frozen pies from Banza launched this fall and now I have to have one in my freezer at all times. I love the Margherita and Cheese versions best, but they also make a roasted veggie version that hits the spot too.

BuyBanza Pizza, $7.99 for 10.9 ounces at Target

Credit: Safe and Fair

7. Safe+Fair Granola

I’ve tasted a lot of store-bought (and homemade!) granola in my day, so when I received a package including this fun flavor, I didn’t know how it would stack up. But let me tell you … this sprinkled on plain yogurt? *Chef’s kiss.* It tastes just like a key lime pie, trust me.) Also, a portion of proceeds goes to allergy and asthma research.

Buy: Key Lime Pie Granola, $6 for 12 ounces at Safe +Fair

Credit: Thrive Market

8. Lesser Evil Veggie Sticks

Despite the fact that this is not a virtuous snack list, these Vegan Ranch Veggie Sticks made the cut. (They’re that good!) They’re much thicker than the veggie straws you grew up eating, and have a super-satisfying crunch — they also contain real veggies! I would like a bottled version of the vegan ranch flavor dust … that’s how much I like it.

More info: Lesser Evil

Credit: Lauren Masur

9. Siggi’s Plant-Based Coconut Blend

I’m by no means dairy-free, but because the category has been exploding in recent years I’ve been tasting my way through the non-dairy selection. Siggi’s Plant-Based Coconut Blend is the best dairy-free “yogurt” I’ve tried hands-down. It’s so good that it even made our 2020 Kitchn Essentials.

Buy: Siggi’s Plant-Based Coconut Blend, $1.59 for 5.3 ounces

Credit: Lauren Masur

10. Mooala Bananamilk

Oh hello, another dairy-free selection (I swear this was not on purpose)! This cinnamon-laced bananamilk (new to Aldi this year) is not a snack by itself, but I used it to make the chia pudding and overnight oats of my dreams, so it definitely counts. If you drink it by the glass, it kind of tastes like banana bread.

What are the best snacks you tried in 2020?