The Most Exciting New Groceries Hitting Shelves This April
It’s a good time to hit the grocery store — in addition to all the great spring produce we’ve been waiting for all season long, there are a bunch of great new packaged goodies hitting shelves now too! This month, I taste-tested more than 40 new products that are coming out right this minute.
Here are the ones I’m most excited about. I think you’ll be excited about them, too.
As a professional new-product taste tester, I feel like I’ve been swimming in a sea of alt-pastas for months. Chickpeas this and lentils that! Some are great, but it’s nice to be reunited here with my good ol’ friend gluten this month. It’s a new launch from one of my all-time favorite brands — Annie’s — and it stands for a good cause! As the box says, this new organic line helps protect our planet by sourcing wheat and peas (for extra protein) from two Montana family farmers with A+ soil practices, pulling carbon from the air and into the soil in a way that can reduce greenhouse gases. If I’m buying a box of non-alt mac — and I am, frequently — it might as well taste great and help the planet.
2. Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunks, $5 for eight ounces
I am SHOCKED that this is a new product — seriously, how has this not existed before? — but nevertheless thrilled to have this hit the market this month. It’s cookie dough balls in a bag, people! Now I don’t have to navigate through a sea of vanilla to get to the star of my favorite ice cream. When it comes to late-night munchies, it really doesn’t get much better than this. Good news for vegans: There’s a version for you, too, that also tastes great, although the dough balls were a bit smaller and firmer than the non-vegan version and tended to clump to each other a bit more in the samples I tried. But honestly, are clumped-together cookie dough balls really a bad thing? I’d say no.
FINALLY, a fun cereal just for grown-ups. This new cereal brand called Magic Spoon is a way-healthier version of everything you love about classic kids’ cereal, all the way down to the packaging (there are fun characters and a maze on the back!). It comes in familiar flavors like frosted, cocoa, and fruity, but my favorite of the lot is cinnamon — a decidedly adult version of the classic that’s very much not-sweet (there’s no cane sugar, corn syrup, or sugar alcohols). It’s not the cinnamon-sugar you’re used to, that’s for sure, but that means the spice can really come through. With 12 grams of protein per serving, it’ll keep you full through lunch, and since it’s quicker to make than basically any other breakfast out there, you can actually carve out some me-time in the morning to sit down and do that maze!
The most Bostonian collab to ever happen: Harpoon Brewery and Dunkin’ Donuts have joined forces. As a Boston University alum, I was curious to try this new limited-edition beer from two New England institutions to see if it would instantly bring me back to my Terrier days. The answer: Kind of? (A regular ol’ large iced Dunkin’ also would have done the trick.) And I’ll be honest: When I sent a photo of the can in a group text with my college friends, the reactions were … polarizing. While I probably wouldn’t seek this out all season long, it was interesting to have that coffee taste with a bright pale ale instead of something more expected like a stout. For a fun hit of Massachusetts nostalgia and novelty (and to rile up the group text), it was definitely worth trying.
5. Twisted Ranch Garlic Buffalo Smashed, $3.50 for 13 ounces
Now for some news from a different part of the country: A funky St. Louis restaurant called Twisted Ranch teamed up with Kraft Heinz to launch six new ranch bottles with in-your-face flavors. I tried the whole gauntlet: Black Peppered Parmesan, Cheesy Smoked Bacon, Honey Dipped Wasabi, Garlic Smashed Buffalo, and Mango Spiked Habanero. Now, I’m not the biggest ranch-head (which tends to put me in the minority among people, I know), but I could easily get behind the garlic smashed Buffalo flavor, which tastes like a kicked-up version of the classic that could go on anything from chicken to carrots to fries. Some of the others were a little too out-there for me (looking at you, mango-spiked habanero), but I’d urge you to follow your own ranch journey here.
6. Outer Aisle Plantpower Sandwich Thins, $7 for six
Shoutout to my friend Kaley who was a great sport when I told her I’d be bringing “sandwiches on cauliflower bread” to our picnic on a recent afternoon. Turns out she had nothing to be worried about, because these were great! Made with cauliflower, eggs, and Parmesan cheese, these sandwich thins are totally keto-friendly. I tried the jalapeño and Italian flavors, and both were surprisingly tasty vessels for turkey sandwiches, and filled me up way more than your average bread variety. Although if you get very turned off by a soggy sammie, know that these sandwich thins are perishable, and straight from the fridge they might be a little damper than you’re used to.
What’s more exciting for kids than pancakes at a sleepover? Funfetti pancakes at a sleepover. And if you’re a parent in charge of making said pancakes, and there’s a gluten-free kiddo in the mix, this new box from Krusteaz will be a lifesaver. It makes tasty, super-fluffy pancakes that everyone can get on board with — even the gluten-eaters among us. Sadly it doesn’t come with extra sprinkles as the box photo might indicate, but I’d be willing to bet you have some extra lying around your pantry anyway.
Which one of these are you most excited about?