8 Grocery Items You Should Be Buying At Target

When it comes to groceries, I would venture to guess that the majority of people think of Target as just a slightly more expensive Walmart, and that's not far off. On average, Target charges 15% more for groceries than Walmart. This raises the question: If Great Value products are cheaper, why even shop at Target for food? Well, if you taste test a lot of the foods side by side, some of Target's offerings are simply better quality. And in at least a few cases, Target carries some items that Walmart does not.

Since its inception in 2019, Target has vastly expanded its house grocery brand, Good & Gather. Today, Good & Gather produces tons of frozen pizza, chicken tenders, peanut butter, juice, waffles, and dozens of other items I won't list off here and now. Though not quite the worldwide conglomerate that Walmart is, Target's been no slouch, and its grocery section has been quite profitable. So much so that I fully expect the business to continue expanding its food production going forward.

I'm not in love with everything Good & Gather does. I actually despise the fact that it sells packaged Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken (like, I'll just buy a rotisserie chicken from a real grocery store, thank you very much). But between select house brand hits and the well-curated frozen food section, there's a bunch of great items to pick up from the bullseye brand. Here are the best eight groceries to buy at Target.

Frozen pizza

I'm not ranking the items in this list, but if I were, the number one grocery item you should be buying at Target is absolutely frozen pizza. The selection is wonderfully diverse, featuring a lot of brands that other stores simply don't. You can usually find Banza gluten-free pizza, which is actually really great, and not available at a lot of the other grocery stores in my vicinity. Another reliable plant-based product, Tattooed Chef, is also at Target. Some of the more overall high-quality frozen pizzas like Screamin' Sicilian and Rao's are available, plus an assortment of basic-but-delicious stalwarts like Tombstone, CPK, DiGiorno, and Red Baron. I counted six different coolers full of frozen pizza at my local Target. That's a lot.

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Chicken tenders and strips

These Good & Gather chicken breast strips are among the best frozen chicken products I've ever tried. The breast meat tastes fresh and clean, and not like some unholy chicken nugget mashup. They're really juicy and have a nice crunch due to the cracker meal crust. Really surprising to me that Target produces such a well-executed frozen chicken strip, but here we are. It's the first real home run I've seen out of the Good & Gather brand. The tenders are not just way tastier than Walmart's Great Value brand, but likely every other frozen chicken tender you could buy from the store.

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Peanut butter

When it comes to peanut butter, I like smooth and processed, not organic and oily. It also doesn't make much difference to me whether the jar says Skippy or Jif. If you're similarly unfussy about your peanut butter, and you plan to use it primarily as an ingredient rather than for snacking, this big ol' 2.5-lb. jar of Good & Gather smooth peanut butter is just $5.29 at my local Los Angeles Target. That's a good deal; the name brands sitting next to it are a few bucks higher. Though the unit price on Good & Gather PB is not as cheap as what you'll find at a Walmart, if you're already shopping at Target it feels criminal not to walk out with a 40-oz. tub of peanut butter for five bucks.

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Tuna

The selection of tuna at Target is vast. Here, it stretches across an entire shelf and nearly has its own aisle. Target seemingly carries every pouch of Starkist Tuna Creations known to man, including Hot Buffalo, Herb & Garlic, and Thai Chili. There's also lots of cheap Good & Gather brand tuna, too. This tuna is a tad bit more expensive than Walmart's Great Value brand, but guess what? Walmart's Great Value tuna severely lacks. It's clumpy, salty, and somehow very dry. Good & Gather clearly is the better choice of the two. It's flaky, clean, and compatible with all the ingredients in a proper tuna salad.

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Chocolate bars

Most grocery stores carry the chocolate bar basics like Hershey's, Ghiardelli, and Lindt, but I really appreciate that Target carries multiple flavors of both Tony's Chocolonely and Hu. Also, you'll likely find Ritter Sport, a German chocolate that's deliciously smooth, bitter, and reasonably priced. Beyond carrying name-brand chocolate bars, Target tends to stock up on said brands' various flavors and formats, like this Hu crunchy mint dark chocolate bar or this Tony's variety pack.

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Rao's products

You're probably aware that Rao's makes awesome jarred marinara sauce, but the restaurant-turned-grocery brand also produces an assortment of frozen items including chicken parmesan, pizza, meatballs, and lasagna. As far as frozen lasagna goes, I'm a Stouffer's vegetable man, but if you love that deliciously smooth Rao's marinara sauce taste, Target is a one-stop shop for a ton of Rao's products. These are all Rao's items I don't regularly see while inspecting the frozen food aisle at other grocery stores, and it's never a bad idea to have some meatballs at the ready in your freezer.

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Gluten-free frozen pastas

Dried gluten-free pasta is mostly unnaceptable, but GF pasta often works when it's sold cooked and frozen rather than dry. Good & Gather frozen cauliflower gnocchi is a great option for anyone with gluten intolerance. Both cauliflower gnocchi and potato gnocchi freeze really well, and the resulting product is much preferred to buying the dry storage versions, which end up gummy and mealy when cooked. Also of note: Target sells zucchini spaghetti with brown butter, and $6.99 is a damn good price for a decent gluten-free pasta product that you can heat and eat within minutes.

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Lunch meat

In my twenties, I used to shop at Target exclusively for cheap, processed deli meat sold in plastic containers. That's not my entire shopping list anymore, but it's still incredibly useful to have on hand, and its shelf life is pretty darn nifty. While not anything super special, Good & Gather brand deli meats are inexpensive and of better quality than some of their more pricey counterparts. While Walmart is by and large a much cheaper option for groceries, one analysis conducted in 2019 found that Target actually sells cheaper packaged meat. It's not butcher-quality stuff, but I find a lot packaged lunch meat to be disappointing anyway. Sometimes you just have to get a pack of sodium-filled, factory-farmed turkey cold cuts because it's practical, you know?

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