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Spring is a season of new beginnings. In the food and beverage industry, it is an especially fruitful time for product launches.
Earlier this month, companies from far and wide converged on southern California for ExpoWest, one of America’s largest trade shows, spotlighting new and innovative products in the burgeoning natural and organic food business. That means big debuts for all kinds of meat and dairy alternatives, superfoods, and plant-forward goods.
But these better-for-you items aren’t the only new provisions vying for your attention right now. Even mainstream food companies are looking to make a timely splash with their own new spin-offs.
We’ve combed through the various news releases and announcements. Here are 10 new grocery items that piqued our interest.
Now even your vegan and lactose-wary friends can enjoy America’s best-selling candy. Hershey this month launched its newest twist on the classic Reese’s milk chocolate-covered peanut butter cups—this time, minus the dairy milk. The new plant-based peanut butter cups replace the milk with oak flour. In a review, The Takeout described the new dairy-free version as “more rigid” and “less melting in your mouth” than the original, but ultimately deemed it “a first draft of something great.” The standard two-pack is available nationwide and starts at $2.50, about a dollar more than the regular version.
Most brands start out with an original flavor before expanding into a wider array of tastes. Not Mush. The popular maker of variously flavored ready-to-eat overnight oats waited six years to come out with its most basic offering. The new Mush Original flavor is made with whole rolled oats cold-soaked in almond milk and sweetened with dates. Find the standard five-ounce cups at retailers including Wegmans and Publix for about $2.49 each, while a bigger 18-ounce tub is sold exclusively at Whole Foods for $5.99.
Costco shoppers in particular have been raving about Goodles-brand better-for-you boxed macaroni and cheese, which incorporates various plants in its noodles beyond just wheat. The California-based company recently launched its newest flavor: Here Comes Truffle. Unlike other truffle-flavored foods at many supermarkets, which too often use truffle oil instead of the genuine article, the Goodles noodles include real ground black truffles, according to the listed ingredients. Find the new truffle flavor at Target, Whole Foods, Albertsons, and Safeway. A four-pack costs $16.29 online.
Fans of the protein-packed, dietitian-endorsed cheese snack Whisps can soon get their fix in more manageable, bite-sized doses. Whisps Baked Cheese Bites will debut next month, made of 100% real cheese and available in cheddar and Parmesan flavors. The new miniature Whisps initially will be sold exclusively at Walmart, though additional retailers will begin carrying the snacks later this year.
Mānuka honey has become one of the buzziest superfoods around, thanks to its many purported antibacterial, immune-boosting, and digestive benefits. The popular brand Comvita is making it easier than ever to reap these benefits by packaging its sought-after New Zealand-sourced nectars—including a new kid-friendly “Yummy Honey” variety—in convenient squeeze bottles. The 11-ounce bottles of Comvita’s multifloral and children’s varieties start at $11.99, while the pure raw Mānuka honey starts at $27.99.
Popcorn is the quintessential movie-watching snack. Now, America’s biggest theater chain is trying to capitalize on the cinema-snack connection with its own retail line. AMC Entertainment this month launched its new Perfectly Popcorn at Walmart locations across the country. Available in three flavors—Classic Butter, Extra Butter, and Lightly Salted—the at-home version might not perfectly capture the in-theater snacking experience, but at least it will be more affordable. A six-count box of microwave popcorn starts at $4.98, while the pre-popped bagged version sells for $3.98.
Alec’s claims to be the “first regenerative organic ice cream.” That essentially means that all of its ingredients derive from eco-friendly, holistic farming practices. The company also uses 100% A2 dairy, which is said to be easier to digest than the regular kind. All do-gooding aside, the ice cream reputedly tastes really good, too. The newest flavor, made with salted peanut butter, fudge, and chocolate-covered honeycomb toffee, earned “Best New Dessert” honors this year at ExpoWest. You can pick up a pint at retailers including Sprouts and Natural Grocers, or order online for $11.99 each.
Ohio-based Cleveland Kitchen specializes in fermented foods like kimchi and pickles. Now the company has combined these two things into a tantalizing, spicy-sweet delicacy. Look for the brand’s Kimchi Pickles at Target stores, priced at $5.99.
The ridiculously titled, plastic bottle-averse canned water company Liquid Death is now expanding into other beverages—complete with even more absurd names. The company just launched a line of low-calorie iced teas, each containing a “microdose of caffeine,” according to a press release. Flavors include Grim Leafer (Earl Grey flavored with bergamot orange), Armless Palmer (black tea and lemonade), and Rest In Peach (black tea flavored with peach, pear, and apricot). Single cans start at $2.69 at select retailers, while an 8-pack starts at $16.49.
Siete Family Foods made its mark on the snack aisle with a line of grain-free chips that catered to consumers looking for low-inflammatory options. Now, the Mexican-American company is coming out with a more traditional style of corn chips called Maíz Totopos. Available in three varieties—lime, sea salt, and blue corn—the chips are made with minimal ingredients: just nixtamalized organic corn, avocado oil, sea salt, and lime. Look for them at Sprouts, Whole Foods, H-E-B and Kroger stores, starting at $5.49 per bag.