The Most Exciting New Groceries Hitting Shelves This August

Food manufacturers don’t take the summer off, which means there are dozens of new groceries hitting shelves across the country this month. Some of the products were released a bit ago, but are finally hitting their stride and seeing national distribution. Others are brand-spanking-new and just waiting for you to come and find them. I tried dozens of new items to find out which ones are worth seeking out.

Here’s the best of what I found.

1. Campbell’s Well Yes! Sipping Soups Broccoli & Sweet Potato, $1.79 for 11.2 ounces

When you’re always on the run, it can be hard to find grab-and-go meals that pack in enough servings of the veggies we’re supposed to eat every day. These “sipping soups” from Campbell’s offer 20 percent of your daily serving in a very portable form. The soups are purées, but diluted enough that they’re about as easy to sip as bone broth, and feel similarly warming and restorative. Two new flavors hit stores this month — Broccoli & Sweet Potato and Cauliflower & Roasted Potato — and I gave them a try on afternoons when I had carpool duty. I’d heat a cup in the microwave and then tuck it in my car’s cup holder so I could get my veggies on the road. I loved that they provided a wallop of cruciferous goodness. Look for them at major retailers nationwide.

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2. Lee Kum Kee Lime-Cilantro and Lemongrass-Chili Flavored Hoisin Sauces, $4.59, for 20 ounces

Sweet, tart, and jammy hoisin sauce is a versatile condiment, and these sauces in particular really caught my eye. They offer an extra citrusy zing from limes and lemongrass, plus complexity from cilantro and chiles. I tried them out over the course of a couple of weeks, adding a squirt to my stir-fry sauce for a balancing touch of sweetness, mixing some into a glaze for barbecued pork, blending some into Asian-flavored meatballs, and slathering some on a bun with mayo for our salmon burgers. The flavors were subtle (the lemongrass was my favorite), but definitely a step up from the usual. Look for these new hoisin sauces at Walmart stores nationwide.

3. KIND Bar Breakfast Probiotic Bars, $2.89 for four packs of two bars

There always seems to be a new KIND bar on the shelf, but this month there are two.  The brand’s chubby, soft, and oaty “breakfast” bar now has a boost of probiotics. Each two-bar pack of the Breakfast Probiotic bars offers 500 million CFU probiotic cultures. There are three flavors to choose from: Apple Cinnamon, Orange Cranberry (my fave), and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate.

Also new are the KIND Simple Crunch bars. I’m a sucker for anything crunchy, and these bars really delivered. They’re thinner and more shatteringly crisp than the usual crunchy granola bars, which makes them more delectable. And they’re made with simple ingredients. Choose from Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate and Oats, and Oats and Honey. They’re all great. Look for the new KIND bars at Kroger, Target, Walmart, Wegmans, Whole Foods, and Publix.

4. Medlie Pumpkin Spice Veggie Drink with Collagen,$8 for 12 ounces

On the brink of pumpkin spice season, Medlie rolls out with this healthy alternative to the sugar-laden treats about to descend upon us. There’s no sugar in this drink, and it’s actually packed with real pumpkin, so it’s really more like a pumpkin version of a green smoothie or like a cold winter squash soup spiked with ginger and turmeric. In other words, it’s about as far from a PSL as you can get. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but with every sip it grew on me and, before I knew it, I had polished off a whole bottle — giving me four servings of vegetables and 10 grams of collagen protein. Look for it at Whole Foods.

5. BOU Bouillon and Miso Soup Cubes, $3 for six cubes

The ingredient lists for these bouillon cubes read almost like a recipe, with all recognizable ingredients, like actual dehydrated chicken and leeks. The company makes chicken, beef, and vegetable bouillon cubes; miso soup cubes in ginger and cinnamon-coconut flavors; and an assortment of gravy cubes. They’re flavorful but have much less sodium than traditional soup cubes, so you can salt as you see fit. I made a quick noodle soup with the miso cubes and just needed to add a splash of soy sauce. I pull out the other cubes whenever I need a cup of broth. BOU isn’t new, but this month the products are expanding into hundreds more Kroger and Walmart stores.

6.Lesser Evil Egg White Curls, $5 for four ounces

These puffy, crunchy curls are perfect for those who love to snack but are trying to go grain-free or just want a protein boost. They come in three flavors: Himalayan Pink Salt, Egg and Cheese, and Huevos Rancheros. The salt was my favorite, as it allowed the starchy-sweet cassava flavor to come through, which, in turn, was reminiscent of french fries. The chile-powder spice of the Huevos Rancheros was my second fave, and Egg and Cheese, while still delicious, came in third. Whichever one you choose, the curls are crunchy, organic, and have 6 grams of protein per serving. They officially launched at Whole Foods a few months ago, but are expanding to other stores like Wegmans, Publix, Kroger, and Shoprite this month.

7. Clio Greek Yogurt Mini Bars, $5 for eight

Cheesecake-lovers, take note. These little refrigerated snack bars taste like mini cheesecakes but without all the sugar. The regular size Clio bars came on the scene months ago, giving people a decadent chocolate-dipped treat that happens to have active cultures and 8 grams of protein. But this month, the company released Clio minis that are about half the size and perfect for popping in your mouth when a sweet craving strikes. I found them to be a great afternoon pick-me-up or a post-dinner treat. The minis have 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of sugar, and 60 calories. They come in strawberry and vanilla flavors. Look for them at Walmart, Shaws, and Harris Teeter.

8. Crazy Richard’s WhollyRollies, $5.49 for six ounces

These energy balls are just like homemade, with simple ingredients like peanut butter, oats, dates, and raisins, and no added sugar or oils. They’re great when still frozen or cold from the fridge, kind of like eating cookie dough — just keep in mind you’ll need something to wash them down (they’re mostly peanut butter, after all). I found myself getting into the habit of grabbing one every time I went out for a morning run, and they gave me the energy I needed. They come in three flavors and they’re all good: Cinnamon-Oatmeal, PB and Cacao (which has coconut and cacao nibs), and PB & Strawberry (which has freeze-dried strawberries). Sure, no-bake nut butter energy balls are easy to make so it might seem a little silly to buy them, but that’s true of a lot of things. I figure there’s no shame in buying a healthy snack that’s great for quick, pre- or post-workout energy if it means there’s one less thing on my to-do list.  Look for WhollyRollies at ACME stores and Harmon stores.

9. Hillshire Farm Tajín Smoked Sausage Rope, $4.59 for 12 ounces

U.S. food producers are finally figuring out that Mexico’s super-delicious tajín is worth adding to just about everything. A brilliant blend of dehydrated lime juice, chile peppers, and salt, it’s bright, tangy, spicy, salty, and makes everything taste better. Case in point: Hillshire Farm smoked sausages. A hit of tajín makes these kielbasa-like sausages just a bit more interesting. They’re good just simply grilled, or diced and added to stir-fries or fried rice. The company also released tajín-spiked smaller smoked sausages with mango, as well as cocktail wieners. Look for them at stores like Safeway, Vons, and Kroger.

10. Lustau Vermut Rosé, $20

I love sherry, so I couldn’t wait to give this brand-new pale-pink vermouth a try. It’s made by one of the world’s best-known sherry producers in Spain and blends crisp fino sherry, sweet muscatel, and fruity tintilla de rota red wine with an assortment of botanicals like cardamom, chamomile, and vanilla. I poured it into a wine glass, added ice and sparkling water, and took a sip. It was nutty-sweet, floral, and lightly fizzy. In other words, instant bliss. Look for it at select Whole Foods and Total Wine stores nationwide.

Which of these are you most excited to try?

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