Whether you are hosting a gathering at home, celebrating New Year’s, partaking in an NFL Sunday or attending a holiday party, it pays to have an equipped kitchen and pantry. However, it is not always easy to keep up with the latest and greatest brands out there on the market.
As a frequent reader of industry trades, a prolific interviewer of brand ambassadors and a follower of key developments within the world of alcohol, I regularly take note of new products. Below are 20 recommended items to consider adding to your kitchen.
Stuffed Puffs are marshmallows with chocolate on the inside. Stuffed Puffs launched in 2,100 Wal-Mart stores just before Memorial Day and were the number-one-sold marshmallow in those stores over the summer. This month the brand is expanding to an additional 4,200 Wal-Mart stores beyond selling via e-commerce.
Its new S’mores Indoors kit features a bag of Stuffed Puffs and two sleeves of graham crackers — no chocolate bars are needed if you pick up this neatly-packed kit. A simultaneously delicious, fun and easy way to make s’mores year-round.
San-J International, Inc. has long been dedicated to making premium Tamari soy sauce and quality Asian-inspired products. San-J recently spiced up its product line with the announcement of its Korean BBQ sauce. Hitting shelves this fall, the certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO and Kosher Korean BBQ cooking sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used as a marinade, stir-fry sauce or even a glaze. Filled with quality-oriented ingredients, San-J’s Korean BBQ has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Expect flavor-enhancing sauce only with little-to-minimal guilt needed.
Yolélé was co-founded by Chef Pierre Thiam to share delicious, vibrant West African ingredients with the world, beginning with fonio. Fonio is a tiny gluten-free ancient grain that has been cultivated and prized by cultures across Africa for over 5,000 years. The brand and its acclaimed products were featured at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show, as presented by Chef Pierre Thiam of the new West African fast-casual restaurant Teranga in Harlem.
Swoon was founded for one simple reason: Sugar is bad yet sweetness is great. Ever since co-founder Jennifer Ross was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a kid, she has looked at nutrition labels in the hopes of finding products that are delicious, natural, and don’t raise her blood sugar. After Ross and co-founder Cristina Ros Blankfein bonded — while discussing sugar and sipping cocktails at Harvard Business School — they embarked on a quest to take down sugar, starting with the margaritas, mojitos, and Moscow mules, that are filled with as much sugar as a Snicker’s candy bar.
In 2015, Ross and Blankfein launched Be Mixed, an all-natural, zero-calorie, sugar-free cocktail mixer, and it took off doubling sales every year. Swoon has followed since then, a liquid sugar substitute that has zero sugar and gets its natural, silky sweetness from monk fruit. It mixes incredibly well in any beverage and creates a consistent taste profile.
Greenerways Organic specializes in chemical-free, skin-soothing, family and pet safe sunscreen, bug repellent and all-purpose cleaner products alike. Greenerways Organic’s products are essential oil-based, Deet-Free, lab-tested, safe for the environment, while also managing to be very affordable. A notable offering on the Greenways website is the “Greenerways Organic Family Camping 5 Pack, Bite-FreeZone, 2-in-1 SFP 30 Sunscreen & Bug Repellent, DEET Free Bug Repellent” set, priced at $45, which is worthwhile for any camping group to pack for the sake of both safety and long-term health.
Keto Krisp is a delicious, well-balanced, Keto-friendly “anytime” snack bar. Its protein bars are uniquely-formulated to combine unrivaled taste with a fun, Krispy texture. Well-balanced and comprised of premium ingredients, they are currently available in three delicious flavors: Almond Butter, Chocolate Mint and Chocolate Raspberry, with additional flavors coming soon. Altogether its bars offer a delicious blend of healthy fat, protein and energy to fuel your day.
Miracle Tree is the world’s only award-winning moringa brand. The company recently showcased three new flavors — Peach & Ginger, Lemon & Ginger, and Lemon & Chamomile — at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York beyond announcing a new distribution partnership with KeHE. For years Miracle Tree has taken pride in spreading the joy and benefits of Moringa to the world through superfood herbal teas, superfood powders, and innovations such as the world’s first super-caffeinated moringa tea infusions.
Kayco is one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of kosher foods out there. Its expanded Kayco Beyond Division sources and distributes new products to the general market beyond kosher foods, meeting the demands of consumers looking for optional products that are healthful, convenient and/or for restricted diets and lifestyles. These brands include Dorot, Absolutely Gluten Free, Beetology, Mighty Sesame, and Tuscanini Foods.
Wonder Melon is the latest thirst-quenching product from the New Jersey-based Kayco, providing a clean and uniquely-flavorful new refreshment option. It’s made from 100 percent organic cold-pressed juice with no added sugar, artificial ingredients, or artificial colorings. It comes in two exciting varieties: Watermelon Cucumber Basil (a delightfully-cool concoction of real watermelon juice, lemon juice, apple juice, cucumber juice, and basil, with only 80 calories per 8.45 oz. bottle) and Watermelon Lemon Cayenne (with real watermelon juice, lemon juice, apple juice, and a dash of cayenne at just 100 calories per 8.45 oz. bottle). Both varieties are non-GMO verified, certified USDA organic, and certified kosher.
Farm Rich was the first appetizer brand available in grocery stores, bringing Mozzarella Sticks to grocery stores in 1982. Since then Farm Rich has helped bring French Toast Sticks and Cheese Curds to the mainstream. In honor of Disney and Pixar’s 2019 hit Toy Story 4, Farm Rich has movie-related Mozzarella Shapes on the market. The treats are made with 100 percent real mozzarella cheese and a whole grain rich coating, and are also a good source of calcium with 14 grams of protein per serving.
Herbalife Nutrition is a global nutrition company whose purpose is reportedly to make the world healthier and happier. Its latest offering is its Herbalife24 BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) powder. It contains branched-chained amino acids (3 grams of Leucine to Valine and Isoline), working together to help build and retain lean muscle, spark muscle growth and support quicker recovery* after exercise.
Each 7.2-ounce container of Herbalife24® BCAAs has 30 servings and a suggested retail price of $60.00. The product is easy to prepare in seconds by simply mixing one scoop (about 7 grams) in 14 fluid ounces of water to be consumed one to two times daily before or during a workout. Like all Herbalife24® products, BCAAs is NSF Certified For Sport and free from athletic banned substances.
O-Yaki’s Standing Skewer Cooking System is a set of nine metal skewers which help you make everything from kebabs to shrimp and even a whole chicken. O-Yaki fits right in the oven on top of a cookie sheet, and inside a grill so long as the dome is more than 8.5 inches tall. Unlike the traditional skewers you have to turn, these skewers stay vertical and cook evenly on all sides. They are made from food-safe stainless steel, store flat in a kitchen drawer, and are dishwasher-safe. As a bonus, they have The Grommet’s seal of approval.
Odds are that you have had Welch’s Fruit Snacks, yes. Made with fruit as the first ingredient, Welch’s Fruit Snacks are low in calories, fat-free, gluten-free, preservative-free, and give you 100 percent of your USDA recommended allotment of Vitamin C; there’s also some Vitamin A and Vitamin E in there for you. If you like Welch’s Fruit Snacks, you will probably also enjoy Welch’s Fruit Rolls (also gluten-free and preservative-free) and Welch’s Fruit ’N Yogurt snacks (available in strawberry, cherry and blueberry).
Back in 2004, Crispy Green emerged onto the snack scene with one goal: to offer a natural, delicious, healthy snacking option to consumers of all ages. It has since become the #1 freeze-dried fruit brand in the country. All of its snacks are Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, dairy-free, vegan, peanut-free and kosher with no sugar added; they also have a 36-month shelf life. The banana and cantaloupe offerings are my favorites from Crispy Green, although all of them were thoroughly enjoyed by yours truly.
Raw and unpasteurized, Cleveland Kraut keeps its crunchy flavor and gives you added nutritional benefits unlike that of sauerkraut in a jar. This brand of kraut has a lot of clout, notably receiving Twitter praise from celebrity chef Michael Symon. Each package contains in-house chopped cabbage that’s rusticly-cut to lock in fresh flavor and crunch. The company has added hand-chopped fresh vegetables and mix it all together with the finest spices and kosher salt for old-world fermentation.
In addition to flavor, this raw, unpasteurized and lacto-fermented sauerkraut is full of natural probiotics and nutrients that’s beneficial to your digestive system. Cleveland Kraut is recommended by name for daily use by top dieticians, nutritionists, and wellness departments across the country including the Cleveland Clinic and Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. Altogether, Cleveland Kraut comes in seven different flavors.
Waterloo’s sparking water stands out in a variety of ways. In terms of ingredients, Waterloo only uses purified carbonated water and natural flavors for its canned products, entirely free of sugar, sweeteners, sodium and other additives. In terms of testing and related quality control, Waterloo is proven to be allergen-free beyond having certifications as a Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, vegan, kosher and Whole30 product. My favorite Waterloo variety of the calorie-free Watermelon, although the Coconut and Strawberry varieties are also very much worth trying.
Enlightened’s ice creams aim to keep both taste and nutrition in mind. Its newly-unveiled Keto Collection makes Enlightened the lowest net-carb ice cream on the market. The Keto Collection is currently available in seven pints — with four bars coming this fall — and contains less than one gram of sugar and only one gram of net carbs per serving. The Keto Collection flavors have been sweetened with monk fruit and erythritol, two zero-calorie natural sweeteners that won’t spike blood sugar, and will be found in over 8,000 stores by the time we hit October 2019. My favorites were the Chocolate Glazed Donut and the Mint Chocolate Chunk flavors.
Cerveza Patagonia is a new premium South American lager inspired by the mountainous region of Patagonia, where it has also gained huge popularity. It is also brewed with purpose, as Cerveza Patagonia has partnered with the National Forest Foundation to become a Tree-Positive brand. In other words, Cerveza Patagonia will plant a tree for each case of beer that is sold.
In addition, to celebrate the brand’s introduction across the Rocky Mountains, Cerveza Patagonia has launched #Cervezas4YourService to recognize and reward those who are dedicated to protecting the outdoors and enabling adventures for everyone for years to come. The first honoree was surprised with a trip to Patagonia. The brand will be recognizing and rewarding others throughout the year (and is currently seeking nominations).
Hugs Wellness was born in Austin, Texas in Spring 2019 with the goal to help consumers reprioritize their daily wellness routines by making self-care as easy and enjoyable as possible. Meanwhile, a percentage of its proceeds commendably go towards providing a bed for a person in recovery at 10,000 Beds.
The brand’s Full Spectrum Tinctures and “Pick Me Up” Drink Mix are the first editions to its wellness line and follow strict third-party lab testing to ensure quality and performance. Grown in Colorado, the tinctures provide a full-plant taste, rid of any bitterness, and offered in raspberry and mango in either 500 mg or 1000 mg bottles. Ingredients include MCT Oil, Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, Organic Mango or Raspberry extract for flavor.
I look forward to trying Hugs Wellness’ all-natural, gluten-free, CBD-infused gummies, which reportedly come in three delicious fruit flavors: orange, lemon, and grape. Each gummy is made with broad-spectrum CBD (10 mg CBD/gummy) with no level of THC detected, while also free of artificial flavorings and colorings.
ChicWrap makers Ian Reed Kaiser and Sean Allen Neiberger invented the Zipsafe Slide Cutter for the food service industry over 20 years ago. They have since taken that pro kitchen food storage essential and prettied it up for every home cook and baker who wants the same simplicity and better safety when doing food wrap-up jobs.
This printed kitchen wrap dispenser — trusted by kitchen pros for decades — is a consistent cut above. Simply unroll the included foil, parchment, or plastic wrap, then use the patented slide cutter for a smooth, perfect cut. You can refill with your choice of rolls for a countertop staple that won’t let you down.
Founder Jessica Levison struggled with getting her kids to eat less ice cream — and more vegetables — which served as inspiration for Peekaboo, a healthy-ish ice cream brand which has hidden veggies in every bite. Peekaboo sneaks in a daily serving of veggies and is enriched with vitamins and minerals. As examples, its Cotton Candy-based flavor includes “Hidden Beets” while the Mint Chocolate Chunk features “Hidden Spinach.” Don’t knock it until you try it as it tastes great to me.