The Most Exciting New Groceries Hitting Shelves This July
You’d think grocery store shelves couldn’t get any more full, and yet every month brings a new wave of products for us to try. This month I tried 50 new products, and I loved almost all of them. Most skewed toward healthy (which I appreciate because I’m always trying to find better ways to snack), and nearly all but a few were items I’d happily buy again.
The new stuff isn’t always easy to find, especially when it comes to small boutique brands — their rollouts tend to be a store-to-store trickle. But here are the products that launched this month (or are expanding nationally) that I was most excited about.
1. Bennett’s Butter, $6 for 6 ounces
These tubs of whipped butter don’t skimp on flavor, and they have just enough of a twist to make them a bit more complex and interesting than you might expect. For example, the Cinnamon-Brown Sugar includes maple syrup, too. The Roasted Garlic and Herb has a touch of lemon. The Everything Bagel has the barest hint of honey for balance. And my favorite, the Mushroom Butter, which I used to butter-baste salmon fillets in a skillet, includes not only mushrooms, onions, and garlic, but also a dash of liquid aminos for even more savory depth. Just one scoop added to the pan gave me restaurant-worthy salmon in one step. I also grilled some zucchini, tossed them with a scoop of the Sriracha-jalapeño butter, and boom! Amazing side dish. Popcorn, bagels, toast, pilafs, veggies, proteins … I’m putting these butters on everything.
2. Noosa Blended Lil Tubs, $1.50 for 4.5-ounces
I love rich, creamy Noosa yogurt, but shy away from the brand’s usual 8-ounce tubs. They’re just too big for a snack. While these 4.5-ounce Lil Tubs have been in some stores for a bit, they’re rolling out nationwide this month with seven flavors, two of which are brand new: blended mixed berry and strawberry.
3. TeaRIOT Energy Teas, $4 for 12 ounces
Combining white tea, cold-pressed juice, and 100 mg of L-theanine, these refreshing drinks aim to give you a second wind whenever your energy starts to flag. The idea is the caffeine in the tea and the L-theanine (also derived from tea) work together to keep you alert and focused without jitters, and the juices make it all go down easy. I love the Hibiscus Glow, which is tart and gingery, and the Cider Kick, which is more apple-y with a warm heat from cayenne. The Matcha Rise is grassy, minty, and tropical, while the Turmeric Shine is great for those who like carrot juice. Lemon Yerba Mate wasn’t my thing, but it might be someone else’s. I definitely felt awake and refreshed after drinking the teas. Was it the power of suggestion, or did it really work? Who cares? I felt great, and they were delicious, healthful, and kept me hydrated. Look for them in Whole Foods stores.
4. Green Giant Riced Veggies Simply Steam, $2 for 7 ounces
These little pouches of riced cauliflower with cheese or seasonings are probably meant to be a dinnertime side dish. But unless you’re just feeding toddlers, I think they’re too small and bland. However, they’re a perfect way to add veggies to your morning routine. Pop a pouch in the microwave while you fry up an egg, add some hot sauce or a spoonful of something flavorful, like pesto, zhug, or even those Bennett’s Butters (see #1), and you’ve got a quick and healthy breakfast or lunch bowl. The new flavors launching this month include Riced Cauliflower with Broccoli Florets & Cheese Sauce, Riced Cauliflower Italian Style, Riced Cauliflower & Cheese Sauce, and Riced Cauliflower Casserole.
5. Bolthouse Farms Coleslaw Yogurt Dressing, $3.50 for 14 ounces
We make a lot of slaws in our house. They’re crunchy, cruciferous, and great as a side dish or a topper for tacos. But mayonnaise-based dressings have a ton of fat and calories. Not this dressing, which uses yogurt as the base. A two-tablespoon serving has 50 calories and 3.5 grams of fat compared to 140 calories and 14 grams of fat in my old favorite. The ingredient list is simple and recognizable, and it’s perfectly tasty on its own, although I preferred adding a splash of lemon juice, and a bit more salt and pepper.
6. Core Bar Overnight Oat Bars, $3 each
These bars really do taste like overnight oats in a much more palatable bar form (I’m not a huge fan of the cold, mushy texture of overnight oats). They taste like actual oatmeal with delicious ingredients mixed in — not like a weird processed energy bar. They’re sweetened with dates, not sugar, and packed with probiotics, which is why you have to keep them in the fridge. They’re at Whole Foods and come in six flavors: Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Cherry, Blueberry Banana Almond, Lemon Poppy Seed, and Coconut Cashew Mango (my fave).
7. Kodiak Cakes Instant Oatmeal, $5.50 for 6 packets
The brand that got its start with whole-grain, protein-enriched pancake and waffle mix has started protein-packing a whole new slew of carbs. This month the new S’mores Flapjack cups (essentially a pancake in mug cake form with 12 grams of protein), the Bear Bites (think: Teddy Grahams, but whole grain with 5 grams of protein) and the instant oatmeal packets (12 grams of protein) are all getting much wider distribution around the country. Keep in mind the addition of whole grains and protein powder make these a little different than the usual suspects. The Bear Bites are a bit rough in texture and the oatmeal almost seems like it’s mixed with tapioca pudding. But they were all tasty, quite filling, and I didn’t have a carb crash afterward.
8. Smashmallow Blueberry Crumble Crispies, $5 for 6 bars
These perfectly crispy-chewy Smashmallow “Smash Crispy” treats taste just like homemade Rice Krispies Treats, and the new Blueberry Crumble variety is bursting with blueberry flavor. Best of all, the ingredient list lacks the big laundry list of weird chemical additives found in the ready-made mainstream version. The brand got its start with inventively flavored marshmallows, but I think I like its crispy rice treats even more.
9. Michel et Augustin Triple Chocolate Cookies, $1.79 for four squares
Leave it to two French guys to make the most delicious cookies in the grocery store. Their original ganache-filled cookie squares are fit for the finest patisserie, and their new triple-chocolate version is downright dangereuse. A buttery, salty, chocolate sablé-like cookie holds a puddle of dark chocolate ganache sprinkled with cacao nibs. They’re decadent and grown-up and definitely raise the bar on supermarket cookies.
10. Beckon Lactose-Free Ice Cream, $6 for 16-ounce pint
There aren’t a lot of choices out there for lactose-intolerant lovers of premium ice cream, unless you’re willing to shift to something made with a dairy alternative like coconut, almond, rice, or soy milk. Beckon Ice Cream aims to fill the niche by making traditional ice cream with cream, milk, eggs, and sugar, and just adding the lactase enzyme to make it lactose-free. The pints come in flavors like Espresso, Chocolate, Vanilla, Sea Salt Chocolate Chip (which is salty enough to stand up to dark fudge sauce), and a bracingly refreshing Mint Chip. They’re a great stand-in for regular ice cream, although just a tad icier in texture than traditional premium ice creams, likely because they contain no gums and stabilizers.
Which of these are you most excited about?