POPSUGAR Celebrity

Try the Year's Best New Food Products

Dec 31 2013 - 8:15am

Just when you think you've gotten your hands on the latest food item, another tempting one comes along. Instead of trying 'em all — that'd be the good with the bad — we did the work for you. Throughout the year, we taste tested scores of newly released products, from breakfast spreads to chips to crazy liquor inventions. Check out our top picks, and buy them now — the best part is almost all are sold at major stores throughout the country. Sweet!

Lay's Sriracha-Flavored Potato Chips

You may have heard about Lay's funky flavors [1] that came out this year, like Chicken & Waffles, Sriracha, and Cheesy Garlic Bread. But Sriracha easily stood out as the winner of the bunch (and this was before sriracha mania reached a fever pitch [2]). The slightly sweet and fiery chips were touted as addictive, thanks to their perfect amount of spice and salty bite. On first bite, some felt they could be a touch more spicy, that is until the pleasantly tingly after-burn kicked in, helping these crisps live up to their name.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Ambessa Teas by Marcus Samuelsson

At this year's NASFT Fancy Food Show, these flashy tea tins [3] caught our eye, and we learned that these Ambessa teas are a partnership between Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Harney and Sons. Turns out the teas represent a culinary journey through the various places the chef has lived. We love that they're reasonably priced and would be happy to prop these tea tins on our kitchen counters.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Philadelphia Chipotle and Cinnamon Cream Cheeses

After tasting (and falling head over heels for) Spicy Jalapeño, we've come to expect greatness from Philadelphia's line of flavored cream cheeses. Two of the brand's newest additions [4] this year, Cinnamon & Brown Sugar and Chipotle, didn't break from the trend.
If you relish the combination of tangy cream cheese icing and warmly spiced cinnamon buns or the intensely smoky and spicy flavor of chipotle peppers, then either (or both!) of these spreads deserves a place in your fridge.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Unreal Candy

There's no doubt we love classic American candies like M&M's, Snickers, and Reese's, but they're also filled with less-lovely ingredients like corn syrup and preservatives. This year, Unreal Candy — a new candy maker on the market — sought to revolutionize sweets by making them or free of those ingredients. Many of our tasters preferred [5] these chocolate bars to the classic candies, and the great thing is they're priced at about $1 per package and sold in large chains around the country like Target.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Starbucks Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade

Over the Summer, Starbucks released a new menu item called Shaken Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade [6]. It was just like an Arnold Palmer, except with a small but significant green tea and peach syrup swap for the standard sweetened black tea. The light, bright, peachy-keen option was sharp and balanced, just how we like it.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Yopa! Strawberry Greek Yogurt

New brands of Greek yogurt sprouted left and right this year, and one of them was Yopa!, by the makers of YoCrunch. It was billed as "authentic Greek nonfat yogurt," and we tasted three fruity classics [7] — strawberry, blueberry, and black cherry — complete with an essential, crunchy granola to see how Yopa! fared. Out of the three flavors, strawberry was the sure favorite. Between the fruity chunks, tangy finish, and crunchy granola, tasters declared this cup had the perfect combination of texture and crunch.

Photo: Emily Bibb

Tostitos Cantina-Style Chips and Salsa

Few pairings work better than crisp corn chips and fiery salsa, but this Mexican-restaurant starter rarely translates well to supermarket offerings. This year, Tostitos aimed to change this with a line of restaurant-style chips and salsa. It didn't disappoint, and we especially loved [8] its the cantina traditional tortilla chips and Chipotle salsa combo.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Lake Champlain's Newest Chocolate Bars

Doesn't it seem that many organic sweets fall short on the flavor front where it counts most? Not with the year's four new varieties of organic chocolate [9] bars from one of our favorite confectioners, Lake Champlain Chocolates. Whether you prefer Peanut Butter, Crunchy Granola, Salted Caramel, or Creamy Coconut, each one of these flavors was simply divine, and we just couldn't put them down.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Dreyer's Grand German Chocolate Cake Spectacular

It didn't take much for us to dig into a new lineup of limited edition flavors [10] from Dreyer's (known as Edy's east of the Rockies) back in May. We hoped the new additions to the supermarket ice cream section, which ranged from cake batter to salted caramel with pretzel, could live up their promise. Turns out they did and then some, but our favorite was the take on the classic chocolate-coconut cake. Rich and chocolaty with an authentic, prominent coconut flavor and a hefty dose of caramel, it was so good that one taster uttered an excited string of expletives on first bite.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Tres Agaves Organic Margarita Mix

Remember drinking the neon-green margarita mix at college parties? It's hard to know exactly what scary sweeteners and artificial flavors filled those plastic bottles! Thankfully, there's been a bumper crop of newer options [11] made with lime juice and real sugar, like Tres Agaves Organic Margarita Mix. This one wowed us with its fresh-tasting lime flavor, thick agave texture, and mellow finish. Several tasters said they were impressed by how natural it looked and tasted and appreciated the fact that the mix wasn't too sweet and didn't overpower the tequila in the glass.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

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