The 10 Best Grocery Products Of 2023

From spicy snacks to instant coffee, these items impressed us most this year.

We've already established that 2023 was an excellent year for fast food, and sit-down restaurants were thriving. But how about grocery stores? What fun new food and drinks did they offer shoppers this year?

Here are the top 10 grocery products that surprised and delighted us in 2023. Some were limited-edition, while some became permanent fixtures on the shelf, but all of them added a boost to the everyday experience of grocery shopping—and for that, they deserve recognition.

Maxwell House Instant Iced Latte

The Maxwell House Instant Iced Latte is one of those products that you almost reflexively roll your eyes at. After all, espresso and foamed milk don't come together in a packet of instant coffee. They require expensive brewing equipment! ...Right?


While the Iced Latte With Foam lacks the deep, robust flavor of a coffee shop latte, it's still an impressive grocery product: The powder rapidly dissolves into the cold water, and milky bubbles immediately form a stable and well-defined foam layer at the top. It's a convenience product that's much more exciting than instant black coffee, and a fun way to break up one's on-the-go caffeine routine. Read our full review here.

Frank’s RedHot Dill Pickle Hot Sauce

"If you love dill pickles and you love hot sauce, this hot sauce will change your world." This was the bold promise of Frank's RedHot Dill Pickle Hot Sauce, released in March, and it did indeed leave us forever changed. The vinegar smack of kosher dills is a natural pairing for the already vinegar-forward profile of Frank's tangy, peppery condiment, so even just a quick glug of this sauce can "pickleify" any food you've ever dreamed of pickling. Hell, we even added this to white rice and called it lunch. It's just that powerful.


Hot Mustard Doritos

Doritos' Tangy Ketchup and Hot Mustard flavors were a summer 2023 exclusive, and it became something of a game to see which one our tasters liked best. Ultimately, we have to hand it to Hot Mustard, because while Doritos could have taken things in a French's-esque yellow mustard direction, the brand instead took the bolder route, opting for something genuinely spicy and complex—more like a hot brown mustard than anything else. It's a flavor you don't often encounter in the American snackosphere, and we appreciated the deviation. Read our full review here.


Tapatío Spicy Ketchup

In April 2023, Heinz released a line of spicy ketchups, and in May, Tapatío followed suit with its own attempt. We tasted them side by side, and while they both have great attributes, Tapatío is the one we're left thinking about when we picture the platonic ideal of hot ketchup. It hits you more upfront with punchy hot sauce flavor, whereas Heinz is a little too concerned with maintaining its fundamental Heinz-ness to produce something truly surprising. On the merits of pure boldness, Tapatío was a standout on grocery shelves this year. Read our full review here.


Hostess Kazbars

In February, Hostess positioned the Kazbar as something of a comeback for the brand: an all-new snack cake sold in various sizes and formats in order to appeal not only to kids, but to their millennial parents as well. This thing is undeniably indulgent, with layers of chocolate cake, crème, candy crunch, caramel, fudge, and chocolate coating in one small but mighty package. After all these decades, Hostess is somehow still finding new ways to cater to our sweet tooth. Watch our taste test here.


Wendy’s Canned Chili

Since Wendy's chili was originally developed as a way to prevent throwing out unused burger meat, we didn't know how to feel about the March 2023 announcement that a canned version of the product would be heading to grocery stores. Could it live up to that fresh, never frozen flavor of the chili produced on-site at Wendy's locations? It turns out that while it isn't a dead ringer for the restaurant variety, it's definitely one of the better canned chilis you'll find at the store, and a product worthy of Wendy's smiling face. Read our full review here.


Cheetos Pretzels

Cheetos has been restlessly experimenting the past few years with everything from mac 'n cheese to fried chicken sandwiches, so its decision to focus in on pretzels felt relatively tame. Still, it's one of those low risk, high reward products, because Cheetos Pretzels, released in October in both Cheddar and Flamin' Hot varieties, are a game changer. The brand even went to the trouble of splitting each pretzel and exposing the rough interior so the flavor powder has more texture to stick to—a surefire sign that we're dealing with true snack genius. Read our full review here.


Smartfood Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavored Popcorn

Much in the same vein as Cheetos Pretzels, Smartfood teamed up with fellow Frito-Lay brand Doritos in October to release its limited-time-only Nacho Cheese flavored popcorn. This grocery product is a true treat, since it takes the already cheesy white cheddar crunch of Smartfood and pairs it with the generously seasoned nacho cheese of Doritos for a snack that's light as a feather but heavy on flavor. If you want to feel like you ate a bag of chips without feeling like you ate a bag of chips (you get it, right?), this is the miracle product you've been waiting for. Thankfully, the brand confirmed that the product will be around until September 2024, so we'll continue stocking up. 


Nissin Breakfast Cup Noodles

A just-add-water meal flavored like pancakes, sausage, and eggs? That sounds like freeze dried military rations more than a fun new addition to the breakfast aisle. Thus, Nissin's Breakfast Cup Noodles were doubly surprising once we tasted them and found that the breakfast flavors were both accurate and tasty. The water transformed the powdery freeze-dried mix into a thick and hearty sauce that coated every noodle for a unique, not-too-sweet bite. Well done, Nissin. Read our full review here.


ALDI Dark Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallow Trees

Part of why people love shopping at ALDI is the element of discovery that comes with it, and this holiday season, the best discovery was this box of Choceur Dark Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallow holiday trees, roughly $2.99 for a 12-count box. Instead of the assertive toothpaste-like mint flavor that can often be found in holiday candies, the mint flavoring here tastes genuinely aromatic, and the dark chocolate eschews the waxiness of lesser brands. Why would we shop anywhere else for our seasonal sweets? Read our full review here.