Grocery Staples, Ranked From Worst To Best

The best and worst ketchup, peanut butter, salsa, tortilla chips, frozen waffles, and more.

Whenever you stroll through the grocery store, you might be wondering if the brands you typically buy really are the best that the aisles have to offer. Is there something secretly more delicious that you're missing out on? That would be a tragedy—so we did the testing for you.

What follows are our definitive rankings of the leading brands of several grocery products, from chips to waffles to peanut butter. Take a look through each one and see if your favorite brands made the cut. If not, it might be time to try something new.

Tortilla Chips, Ranked From Worst to Best

Gone are the days when classic Tostitos were the only grocery store tortilla chips worth their salt. Today, there's a proliferation of excellent tortilla chips, each of which carries a passionate fanbase. And while each chip possesses its own strengths, others are such weak efforts that they might as well be an afterthought. Read on for our tortilla chip rankings. — Danny Palumbo Read More

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Peanut Butter, Ranked from Worst to Best

Whether spread on bread and paired with jelly, stirred into a Thai curry, or just licked off a spoon as a late-night snack, there are few products as ubiquitous in the American kitchen as peanut butter. Crunchy, creamy, sweet, or salty, the beloved paste takes many forms, so here are the rankings, from worst to best. — Shaan Merchant Read More 

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6 Cheddar Popcorn Brands, Ranked

Popcorn is, hands down, one of the greatest mostly air foods of all time—the right amount of salt and fluff. And apart from the movie theater stuff, pre-bagged cheese popcorn from the grocery store will always be the most exciting variety. Here are the leading brands, ranked. — Laura Wheatman Hill Read More

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Every Chef Boyardee Product, Ranked

It's been nearly 100 years since Italian-American chef Ettore Boiardi opened a Pennsylvania factory to produce ready-to-cook spaghetti kits that included uncooked pasta, pre-portioned cheese, and his signature spaghetti sauce. Since then, Chef Boyardee has grown into a Conagra-owned grocery store staple, and its canned pastas have offered busy Americans a tasty, affordable culinary respite for decades. Well, mostly tasty. We've done the research, and we have thoughts. — Marnie Shure Read More

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10 Milk Chocolate Bars, Ranked From Worst to Best

What makes a great milk chocolate bar? Nothing too surprising: It's that perfect marriage of flavor and texture. Strong notes of cocoa should always be more prominent than the taste of sugar, and each bite should feel silky, without a hint of crumbling. If you love snacking on chocolate (and I'm sure this applies to pretty much everyone), you deserve a top-notch bar to avoid a taste bud trainwreck. Here are 10 leading bars, ranked. — Oona O'Brien Read More

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The Top 7 Sparkling Waters, Ranked

I've been drinking plain seltzer at an unreasonable pace for years, and I've come to the surprising conclusion that some unflavored versions somehow taste better than others. Read on for a ranking of seven of the most widely available brands of fizzy water, along with a breakdown of their relative cost per can. — Josh Wussow Read More

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Chili Crisps, Ranked From Worst to Best

Chili crisp is the condiment of the moment. The combination of fried garlic and chili peppers steeped in oil has existed across many cultures for centuries, but thanks to the wave of content creators repping it on TikTok, this condiment has burst into the American mainstream in recent years. Thank goodness for that. It's hard to imagine a better enhancement to fried rice, cheesy pasta, yolky eggs, or even vanilla ice cream than this crispy, spicy, oily complement. Here are the best brands. — Shaan Merchant Read More

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Cheese Crackers, Ranked From Worst to Best

There is no wrong way to consume cheese. But perhaps no form is better for snacking than cheese crackers, whether it's a baggie of Goldfish in the suburban minivan or a box of Cheez-Its from under your dorm room bed. They're crispy, cheesy, and crushable in virtually every scenario. Here are the best brands. — Shaan Merchant Read More

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Greek and European-Style Yogurts, Ranked From Worst to Best

Greek yogurt became ubiquitous virtually overnight. Between 10 and 15 years ago, seemingly everyone awakened to the product all at once, and ever since it has been stationed alongside the tubs of Dannon and Yoplait traditionally preferred by Americans, steadily growing its market share and diehard customer base. Which brands are best? — Shaan Merchant Read More

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Plain Yogurts, Ranked From Worst to Best

Yes, this is about plain yogurt. I know, that sounds boring. But it's a product that has all kinds of uses, and it's worth buying the very best brand you can. — Shaan Merchant Read More

‘Healthy’ Cereals, Ranked Worst to Best

If you're a parent in the 21st century, you're well aware of all the occasions upon which sugar consumption is at its peak. A nice way to offset the sugar rush is to feed your young ones better, healthier cereals at the start of each day. But what exactly are "healthy" cereals, anyway? And which ones are best? — Hoang Samuelson Read More

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Canned Chili, Ranked Worst to Best

While looking for a last-minute dinner idea last week, I rummaged through my pantry and discovered several cans of chili that had been sitting pretty for the past two years. Would my kids like it? I heated some up on the stove and served it with avocado, chips, sour cream, and shredded cheese on top, holding my breath as I awaited their reaction. Turns out, they loved it. Perhaps canned chili has more redeeming qualities than I gave it credit for. So now it's time to find the best ones. — Hoang Samuelson Read More 

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Frozen Waffles, Ranked From Worst to Best

Frozen waffles have an interesting backstory, and while Eggo has long held an apparent monopoly on the frozen breakfast aisle, there are plenty of other contenders on the shelves. I tried out ten different brands of store-bought frozen waffles to find the best ones. — Hoang Samuelson Read More

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Breakfast Sausages, Ranked From Worst to Best

Breakfast sausages, like Lunchables, are somewhat of a monopoly; only a small number of brands tend to be available at each grocery store. Nevertheless, we judged ten different brands of sausages on the following qualities: color, flavor, texture, and nutrition. Here's how ten breakfast sausages fared in our taste test, ranked from worst to best. — Hoang Samuelson Read More

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Ketchups, Ranked From Worst to Best

There's something uniquely American about ketchup. The sticky-sweet tomato condiment is part of the nation's cultural identity, squired on fries or streamed across a hot dog. Here are 11 brands ranked by cravability. — Shaan Merchant Read More

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Frozen French Fries, Ranked From Worst to Best

There are few things better than a good french fry. From the salty mess you pull from a greasy fast food bag to the crisp wedge you gleefully order instead of a side salad, french fried potatoes have an unparalleled ability to brighten a day and satisfy a craving. But this godly potential also makes a bad fry all the more disappointing. So, to help you avoid the calamity that is a bad fry experience, I tasted a bunch of frozen fries to find the best brand. — Shaan Merchant Read More 

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10 Supermarket Frozen Pizzas, Ranked From Worst to Best

These days, we're living a frozen pizza renaissance. There's no shortage of brands, styles, and flavors, ranging from "healthy" cauliflower pizza to the gooey, stuffed crust kinds, all vying for your attention in the freezer aisle. With so many choices, how do you know what tastes good versus what's simply marketed well? — Hoang Samuelson Read More

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Grocery Store Red Salsas, Ranked From Worst to Best

Red salsa is the ultimate consensus builder, whether it's the squeeze bottle at your favorite taqueria that brightens the al pastor or the free vat served up at a Tex-Mex dive where you and your friends gossip and sip on oversized margaritas. Because of its culinary importance, I wanted to see which red salsa at the grocery store is the best one for gathering around. — Shaan Merchant Read More 

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Grocery Store Salsa Verde, Ranked From Worst to Best

Salsa verde takes many forms, from the savior of your Super Bowl party's too-dry nachos to a special family recipe perfected over years of roasting and squashing, seeding and blending. While there are thousands of recipes online (I like this one from Rick Martinez) and plenty of local markets and restaurants to source from, if the situation calls for a glass jar from your nearest grocery store, I've got you covered. — Shaan Merchant Read More

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