The Best New Groceries – April 2022


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Every month, when I go to report and write Kitchn’s Grocery Spotter column, I try to look for general themes. Sometimes heat-and-eat breakfast foods are trending. Sometimes it’s frozen desserts. Sometimes it’s dinner shortcuts. For April, I would say the theme is … unique twists.

I’m talking things like breakfast taco-flavored chips, Greek yogurt cheesecake, corn that’s not popped and potatoes that are. We’ve got fresh flavors that help usher in the summer, with unexpected spins on strawberry, watermelon, pineapple, rosé, and barbecue. And salty snacks that prove there are multiple ways and levels to which one can crunch. The list goes on.

I taste tested a few dozen new products to hit grocery store shelves this April. These are the surprising delights I suggest adding to your cart.

1. Taylor Farms Summer Flavor Chopped Salad Kits

Taylor Farms is back with seasonal salads — and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited about it. This brand’s chopped salads tend to stay fresher than their competitors, and their flavor combos are wildly impressive. On shelves already is the Strawberry Rosé, colorful with radicchio, strawberry-infused cranberries, and a wine-forward berry rosé vinaigrette. Watermelon Crunch has returned for its sophomore year, combining almonds, toasted watermelon seeds, and tangy feta and watermelon lime dressing. And then there’s the new Organic Lemon Parmesan chopped kit with Parmesan cheese, garlic Romano crouton crumbles, and a bright lemon vinaigrette, which is awesome with broiled cod or grilled chicken. Look for it toward the end of this month.

2. Van Leeuwen Raspberry Layer Cake and Black Cherry Chip French Ice Cream

This brand started as a little truck in New York City, and now it’s taking over the freezer cases. This month, they’re adding fluffy yellow cake into an eggy, creamy, vanilla ice cream base with swirls of tart raspberry, cutting through the sweetness like a sassy surprise. Then there’s the Black Cherry Chip, which is made with real cherries and dark chocolate and tastes supremely sexy and luxurious.

3. Enlightened Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

The folks at Enlightened have a new Greek yogurt formula, with less fat, less cholesterol, and a graham cracker crust as opposed to the original’s almond. It has a little more sugar than their flagship line, but it’s still 35% less than a traditional equal portion. You can get the classic plain flavor or plain topped with dark chocolate starting this month. Both are New York-style and come pre-dolloped with whipped cream in cute little lidded cups.

4. Seapoint Farms Mighty Lil’ Crunchy Corn

I was already a big fan of Seapoint Farms’ dry-roasted edamame, a satisfying high-protein, high-fiber snack for when I want something salty yet virtuous. So when they announced they were getting into corn, I thought, why not? After trying them I say, “Why, yes!” Made from non-GMO corn, this is so many things folks want in a snack all together in one. Imagine half-popped giant corn kernels with all the roastiness and crunch of corn nuts, the internal meltaway of barely burnt popcorn, the flavor and saltiness of Fritos … and there you have it. Bonus: It comes in (still vegan) Zesty Ranch for an even more amplified savory sensation than their base Pink Himalayan Salt flavor.

5. Like Air Classic Puffcorn

Think of the flavor of rich, buttery popcorn. Now add the texture of an airy cheese puff. That’s Like Air’s updated snack (formerly Butter & Salt) in a nutshell. These flavor-blasted puffs are only 50 calories per cup and leave behind no telltale orange powder, nor hulls or kernels. They’re also gluten-free, free of seven of the major allergens, and contain no artificial flavors or ingredients. 

Find in stores: Like Air Classic Puffcorn, $5.98 for 14 ounces at Sam’s Club; in Kroger, ShopRite, and other retailers by June

6. Popchips Loaded and Fiery Buffalo Flavored

Popchips’ newest flavor — Fully Loaded — channels all of my favorite steakhouse baked potato toppings into a savory never-fried, popped potato bite. And on trend with the current craze for spicy chicken, the brand also just released Fiery Buffalo. Together, these two are a match made in gastropub snacking heaven. 

Find in stores: Popchips Loaded and Fiery Buffalo Flavored, $3.99 for 5 ounces at Kroger

7. Brave Good Kind Tender Chicken Bars

Jerky has been hot in recent years as protein intake has been on the uptick. Last year I caught wind of this brand, which presses chicken into flavorful bars with a chewy, tender texture — more like a softer Fruit Roll-Up than traditional jerky. The formerly online-only brand is now hitting Sprouts shelves in all three flavors: Original, Hot Honey (my favorite), and Teriyaki. 

8. Milton’s Craft Bakers Thin & Crispy Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I love cauliflower and am a big fan of just eating it how it’s grown. However, I’m also believer of pizza as a human right, and there’s no denying that it’s been a boon to gluten-free, low-carb eaters. As of this month, one of the original pioneers of the trend is making their artisan-inspired, crispy-crusted pizzas available to Sprouts shoppers in all four flavors. You’ll now be seeing Milton’s Uncured Pepperoni, Four Cheese, Roasted Vegetable, and Margherita in those frozen cases beginning this month, because everyone deserves extra cheesy, nice and zesty pizza.

9. Kevin’s Natural Foods

Kevin has been a busy guy … and we’re certainly not complaining! Especially since we, ourselves, are too busy to do what he’s been doing, which is making well-thought-out dinners with tender, sous-vide meats in flavorful sauces that are gluten-free and Paleo-friendly, to boot. The brand recently unveiled Chicken Chile Verde and General Tso’s Chicken to Costco locations in Texas and the Southeast, respectively. But if you’re not a card-carrier, don’t worry — this month also brings BBQ Pulled Chicken into Targets nationwide and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts for Giant Landovers, Raley’s, and Publix.

Find in stores: Kevin’s Natural Foods, from $7.99 (Brussels Sprouts) or $10.99 (BBQ Pulled Chicken, Chicken Chile Verde) for 16 ounces at HEB; $14.49 Chicken Chile Verde, General Tso’s) for 32 ounces at Costco

10. Whole Foods Breakfast All Day Collection

Whole Foods is leaning into breakfast and breakfast flavors. For the bakers, there’s a mix for Glazed Apple Fritter Scones with real dried apples, and another for Cinnamon Coffee Cake complete with streusel ($3.99 each). The Vietnamese Coffee and real Matcha Green Tea granolas ($4.99) turn yogurt into outstanding ways to eat your favorite bevvies. The new Organic Banana Bread Dark Chocolate and Cinnamon Roll Milk Chocolate Bites ($5.99) are strongly chocolate-forward, with just a hint of the pastries, making them a good dessert snack, while savory Chorizo Breakfast Taco tortilla chips (3.69) somehow channel eggs and savory, spicy sausage. Wash it all down with imported organic Apricot Bellini Italian Soda ($2.99), which comes alcohol-free but can be spiked at home.

Find in stores: Prices indicated above

11. Banza Plant-Based Shells + Vegan White Cheddar

It wasn’t too long ago that Banza unveiled their chickpea mac and cheese, using pumpkin for that signature orange hue. And now, the brand is dousing their tiny, adorable, delicate shells with white plant-based cheese made from potatoes and parsnips. While it’s still fairly vegetal, comes out a little watery, and has a neutral, more cream sauce flavor with only occasional hints of aged cheddar, it’s definitely a flexible, good-for-you meal base.

Although it defeats the vegan purpose, I found one serving to be a satisfying lunch (thanks to higher protein and fiber, even with much fewer carbs than conventional) with leftover pan-fried Porter Road smoked Easter ham mixed in.

12. Angry Orchard Tropical

I’m not much of a drinker; my aversion to too much effervescence and overly sugary drinks makes me lousy at imbibing. And so, cider is my go-to when I’m out, and this brand is a frequent default. I’m super excited because they’ve added pineapple and other fruit flavors to make this new tropical-influenced blend. They’re calling it a “vacation in a can,” and I can confirm that it definitely tastes like summer. It’s a new, permanent flavor that will be sold year-round, which will be good news when those winter doldrums come back around for another lap.

Find in stores: Angry Orchard Tropical, $10.99 for six at Publix, Albertsons, Safeway and other retailers nationwide

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

Su-Jit Lin

Contributor

Su-Jit’s life revolves around food, travel, and words, with each feeding into the other. She’s a lover of puns and telling the stories of human experience on both sides of the hospitality space.

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