The Gourmet Retailer - Editors' Picks 2015

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

The Gourmet Retailer - Editors' Picks 2015

08/01/2015

In The Gourmet Retailer's Fourth Annual Editors' Picks Awards, we pay tribute to 60 of the most original, engaging and downright fun specialty food items introduced at retail over the past year. Our October/November issue will feature the year's best housewares/non-food items.

Walk around any tradeshow or market, and you'll hear a common question: What's new? That's because innovation is the lifeblood of consumer packaged goods companies as they constantly strive to attract new buyers and bolster their connection with existing purchasers of their products.

As in previous years, we put out a call for new products, and we received hundreds of entries across all categories. To help us winnow down the field, we sought the input of both our non-editorial colleagues and the staff of our sister publications in our Jersey City, N.J., offices.

Thanks to the group participation, we were able to make the final call on which products made the cut as 2015 Editors' Picks, based on a three-pronged criterion of innovation, taste/functionality and value.

Along the way, products that made it into what we came to think of as the "Gold Circle" – they earned across-the-board accolades, even from our pickiest participants – included such crowd-pleasers as: DB Miller Strother's Brewed Cold Coffee Juice, Genuine Grub Mint & Dill 'Cukes, Mediterranean Snacks BBQ Bean Stalks, Natalie's Freshly Handcrafted Orange Beet Juice, Nature's Path Qi'a Superfood Oatmeal Creamy Coconut, and Noosa Pumpkin Yoghurt.

So read on. And look for our housewares and non-food winners in the October/November issue.

Alo Comfort Pulp Free Watermelon + Peach beverage
SRP: $2.49
Phone: 800-223-4438
Website: www.alodrink.com
We picked it because: We love the refreshing combination of aloe, watermelon and peach in a convenient ready-to-drink (RTD) format. And the pulp-free option was a crowd pleaser amongst our tasters. And like all of the company's RTDs, Alo Comfort Pulp Free Watermelon + Peach is Non-GMO Project Verified and is free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.
Among Friends Darcy's Delish Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
SRP: $5.99
Phone: 734-997-9720
Website: www.amongfriendsbakingmixes.com
We picked it because: Free-from doesn't have to be void of flavor. This baking mix was one of several great-tasting free-from products that we're honoring in this year's Editors' Picks. The not-so-secret ingredient of this gluten-free cookie mix? Premium Callebaut chocolate chips.
Back to the Roots Organic Stoneground Flakes
SRP: $4.99
Phone: 510-922-9758
Website: www.backtotheroots.com
We picked it because: Simple never tasted go good! This cereal is made from organic 100 percent stoneground whole wheat from California, lightly sweetened with organic cane sugar from Florida. The unique packaging is easy to open and pour and offers a 9-month shelf life.
Barnie's Coffee- Kitchen Brewsticks
SRP: $6.99
Phone: 407-854-6612
Website: www.barniescoffee.com
We picked it because: Cold-brewed coffee is one of the hottest beverage trends that we wholeheartedly support. What we love about Brewsticks is that Barnie's has found a way to make a cold-brewed coffee convenient – an instant liquid coffee – while maintaining the robust, smooth flavor that coffee drinkers love.
Better4U Gluten Free Sprouted Ancient Grains Pizzas – Mediterranean
SRP: $7.99
Phone: 561-314-9642
Website: www.better4ufoods.com
We picked it because: Good pizza starts with a great crust. Period. Now we can hold gluten-free pizzas to the same high standard. Better4U's is made with gluten-free sprouted ancient grains – quinoa, millet, brown rice and chia – and bakes beautifully. Our favorite was the Mediterranean, topped with roasted red peppers, artichokes, roasted red onions, Kalamata olives, spinach, oregano and feta.
Big Spoon Roasters Chai Spice Nut Butter
SRP: $10.95
Phone: 919-309-9100
Website: www.bigspoonroasters.com
We picked it because: We're nuts about Big Spoon Roasters. This company handcrafts their nut butters in small batches from scratch in Durham, N.C., and sweetens them with wildflower honeys that are sourced from local farmers. Our favorite is Chai Spice, which starts with fresh roasted and milled peanuts and almonds, local wildflower honey and sea salt. This delectable blend is made even better with a spice mixture of cardamom, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and black pepper. Delicious accompaniment to a cup of chai tea, on toast or a biscuit, but do as one of our tasters did; try a dollop in a bowl of plain oatmeal.
Biena Habanero Chickpea Snacks
SRP: $2.99
Phone: 617-202-5210
Website: www.bienafoods.com
We picked it because: Healthy snacks that actually taste good? Yes, please! Our tasters love chickpea snacks and found Biena's latest flavor, dusted with habanero chili with a hint of lemon, a zesty but not overpowering heat. Addictive.
Blue Diamond Honey Cinnamon Nut-Thins
SRP: $3.09
Phone: 800-987-2329
Website: www.bluediamond.com
We picked it because: Crispy, crunchy and sweet in one. Honey Cinnamon Nut-Thins combine the best of good taste and smart nutrition. They're made with real almonds and a touch of honey – and they're wheat- and gluten-free. Perfecto!
Cassandra's Gourmet Classics Island Treasures Gourmet Rum Cake Chocolate Chocolate Chip
SRP: $5.99
Phone: 703-590-7900 
Website: www.cassandrasgourmet.com
We picked it because: Personal-sized desserts are on trend, thanks to the increase in single-person households and the overall awareness of healthy eating and portion control. These mini cakes are a perfect indulgence for one or two. This chocolate rum cake is studded with chocolate chips that will make chocoholics swoon. Thanks to special packaging, these cakes are shelf-stable at ambient temperature for nine months or can be frozen for up to a year. We're willing to bet they'll be devoured long before.
Castillo de Canena Biodynamic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Imported by Culinary Collective
SRP: $39
Phone: 425-398-9761
Website: www.culinarycollective.com
We picked it because: We can never have too many varieties of olive oil. This is the first Spanish extra virgin olive oil with Demeter biodynamic certification, ensuring an agricultural process that is fully integrated with the local ecosystem. Made from Picual olives, it's fresh and lively with full flavors of artichoke and olive leaf, and hints of fresh fruits, tomato, green banana and ripe apple.
Celebrity Garlic & Herb Goat Cheese
Imported by Atalanta Corp.
SRP: $4.99
Phone: 908-351-8000
Website: www.celebritygoat.com
We picked it because: We love goat cheese, we love garlic and we love herbs. Creamy and tangy, Celebrity Garlic & Herb Goat Cheese is made from 100 percent pure Ontario goat's milk. We want to eat it morning, noon and night.
Chosen Foods Mango Bites with Chia
SRP: $1.50
Phone: 877-674-2244
Website: www.chosen-foods.com
We picked it because: Chosen Foods Mango Bites with Chia are the perfect grab-and-go superfood snack. Each bite is naturally gluten-free and made up of organic chia seeds, nuts, dried fruit and a dash of organic cane sugar for a delicious healthy treat. Non-GMO Project Verified.
Clif Family Kitchen Lemon Ginger Almonds
SRP: $8
Phone: 707-968-0625
Website: www.cliffamilywinery.com
We picked it because: We're always looking for a tasty and healthy snack. These are an earthy blend of roasted almonds, ginger, lemon and Herbs de Provence. A perfect balance of sweet and savory deliciousness.
DB Miller Strother's Brewed Cold Coffee Juice
SRP: $2.79
Phone: 502-939-8901
Website: www.coffeejuice.com
We picked it because: Cold-brewed coffee is all the rage, and while our tasters are fans of the flavor, we prefer coffee a tad sweeter. Our tasters were thrilled to discover this lightly sweetened RTD coffee drink that's made with juiced blueberries and cane sugar. Try it ice cold or use it as a mixer in a cocktail. Non-GMO Project Verified.
Del Destino Ready To Eat Quinoa with Green Asparagus and Piquillo Pepper
Imported by Atalanta Corp.
SRP: $14.99 for trays of 5, $4.99 for cups
Phone: 908-372-6049
Website: www.atalantacorp.com
We picked it because: Eating healthy on the go has always been a challenge until now. Del Destino's ready-to-eat, shelf stable quinoa has one BPA-free container for the pre-cooked quinoa, another for the asparagus and pepper. Best of all, it comes with a spoon for mixing and eating. A perfect addition to a lunch bag or a camping trip. This product also received a 2015 Food & Beverage Innovations Award by the National Restaurant Association.
Del Monte Pure Earth 100% Pineapple Blueberry Blackberry Juice
SRP: $2.69
Phone: 800-950-3683
Website: www.freshdelmonte.com
We picked it because: We love fresh-squeezed juice, but some days we don't have time to fire up the juicer. When we're looking for a grab-and-go but don't want to sacrifice the fresh-from-the-juicer taste, we like the convenience of Pure Earth 100% Pineapple Blueberry Blackberry juice. It starts with juice from Del Monte Gold premium pineapples that's flash pasteurized to maintain the optimal flavor and nutritional benefits.
Del Sol Food Co. Briannas Italian Vinaigrette Dressing
SRP: $3.50
Phone: 979-836-5978
Website: www.briannassaladdressing.com
We picked it because: We've long been fans of the Briannas line, and their latest introduction, Briannas Italian Vinaigrette Dressing, is a classic blend of herbs, chopped Sicilian olives and Romano cheese. Think outside the garden salad bowl and try it as a marinade or on pasta salad. One taster loves it as a healthy topper for a baked potato. And best of all, there's no high fructose corn syrup or trans fats and it's gluten-free.
Divino Black Diamond Plum Gelato-filled Dessert
SRP: $3.99
Phone: 347-593-8874
Website: www.lovedivino.com
We picked it because: It was love at first sight. The simply elegant packaging and the Italian handcrafted gelato-filled fruit made this a winner. The line includes five decidedly Italian flavors: Amalfi Lemon, Ciaculli Tangerine, Roman Kiwi, Apulian Peach and our favorite Black Diamond Plum – all made with fruits sourced from within 150 miles. Vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified, and 100 calories per serving. Molto bene!
Enjoy Life Foods Pizza Crust Mix
SRP: $8.49
Phone: 847-260-0300
Website: www.enjoylifefoods.com
We picked it because: Who doesn't love pizza? Enjoy Life Foods' new Pizza Crust Mix with ancient grains makes a delicious crust with a traditional flavor profile. It's 100 percent Certified Gluten-Free, free-from the top eight food allergens, Non-GMO Project Verified, certified kosher and halal. Made with petite teff grains, a gluten-free superfood that's hand-harvested in Ethiopia.
Genuine Grub Mint & Dill 'Cukes
SRP: $9.99
Phone: 408-807-7820
Website: www.genuinegrub.com
We picked it because: Pickles rule! Mint & Dill 'Cukes are reduced-sodium pickles that don't use a brine in the curing or packing process. Give the jar a good shake before opening in order to distribute the contents. When the jar is opened, the lid may pop and there could be some fizzing. That's a good thing – proof the pickles are alive and filled with probiotics. Naturally fermented, naturally probiotic, raw, vegan, paleo, fat-free, low-cal, low-carb, no added sugars, no additives or preservatives, no cholesterol, non-GMO and wheat-free. How can something so healthy taste so good?
Ginnybakes Ginger Crisp Love
SRP: $5.99
Phone: 305-638-5103
Website: www.ginnybakes.com
We picked it because: This gluten-free twist on the spicy gingersnap is a perfect combination of organic ginger, allspice and molasses. A perfect addition to afternoon tea time. USDA Certified Organic and kosher.
Gold Mine Natural Ohsawa White Nama Shoyu
SRP: $9.99
Phone: 858-537-9830
Website: www.goldminenaturalfoods.com
We picked it because: White Shoyu is also known as golden tamari because of its stunning honey color. One taster thinks of it as "a yummy soy sauce without the soy." Its fruity aroma and slightly sweet salty-yet-delicate flavor make it a great dipping and finishing sauce. Ohsawa White Nama Shoyu is handcrafted in Aichi, Japan, with locally grown ingredients and natural mineral water and brewed with twice the wheat of regular white shoyu, resulting in thicker, tastier sauce that's aged in cedar kegs. Loaded with umami and naturally occurring probiotics, Ohsawa White Nama Shoyu brings out the flavor in food without darkening its color. A perfect condiment for seafood, vegetables and more.
Golden West Specialty Foods Lazy Kettle All Natural Hickory Liquid Smoke
SRP: $3.99
Phone: 415-657-0123
Website: www.gwsfoods.com
We picked it because: We love to smoke – with charcoal, that is. We love the flavors imparted by a charcoal grill and a smoker, but sometimes we don't have the time or the energy to fire it up. Enter this wonder condiment: Lazy Kettle All Natural Hickory Liquid Smoke. It's made in such a way as to concentrate the flavors of smoke. Use it to add a dash of that fresh-off-the-grill flavor to roasts, chilis and more. A little drop will do, as this is extra-concentrated.
Kaldi Kefte All-Natural Greek Spice Blend
SRP: $4.99 for a 5-pack
Phone: 571-449-7512
Website: www.kalditastes.com
We picked it because: The right herbs and spices are essential to cooking ethnic delights. Kaldi makes Greek cuisine accessible with its authentic spice blends. Kefte combines sweet mint, earthy cumin and peppery parsley with other pure spices and no added salt or sugar, to make it easy to whip up authentic Greek burgers or meatballs.
La Terra Fina Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
SRP: $ $4.99-$5.99
Phone: 510-404-5888
Website: www.laterrafina.com
We picked it because: You can never have too much hummus. La Terra Fina's new USDA Certified Organic, omega-3-rich Roasted Red Pepper Hummus adds zing to everything from vegetables and chips to salads and wraps. It combines bold flavor with nutrient-rich, organic ingredients.
Litehouse Foods Simply Artisan Reserve Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles 6-ounce Pouch
SRP: $4.50-$4.99
Phone: 800-669-3169
Website: www.litehousefoods.com
We picked it because: Sometimes we're just too lazy to crumble cheese ourselves. Simply Artisan Reserve Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles is sweet and soft, with a richly aged, creamy flavor. It's rBST-free and the stand-up pouch makes it easy to reach the large crumbles.
Lundberg Family Farms Sweet Corn & Bell Pepper Sprouted Risotto
SRP: $3.49
Phone: 530-538-3500
Website: www.lundberg.com
We picked it because: Making risotto for dinner should be easy – and delicious. Sprouted grains are essentially whole grains that are on the verge of "sprouting" or turning from a seed into a new plant. In order for a shoot to grow, it digests some of the starch inside the seed and uses it as fuel to break through the grain's outer shell. Since sprouted grain is lower in starch, it has higher proportions of other nutrients, like protein, vitamins and minerals. This also reduces their cooking time, which is how it can achieve the creaminess of traditional risotto while maintaining the benefits of sprouted grains.
Made In Nature Italian Espresso Organic Toasted Coconut Chips
SRP: $3.99
Phone: 877-852-6189
Website: www.madeinnature.com
We picked it because: Coffee-flavored coconut – yum! Made In Nature's Organic Toasted Coconut Chips are made from pure organic ingredients with no refined sugars or artificial flavors, so they're healthy as well as delicious. They have a sweet, gentle hint of organic maple syrup mixed with a rich, dark coffee flavor and a crisp, caramelized crunch.
Maple Hill Creamery 100% Grass-Fed Whole Milk Plain Yogurt
SRP: $2.49 - $2.99
Phone: 518-758-7777
Website: www.maplehillcreamery.com
We picked it because: Greek yogurt goes upscale. Maple Hill's yogurt is the only organic, whole milk, third-party certified, 100 percent grass-fed Greek yogurt on the U.S. market. The plain yogurt tastes tart and fresh and it has a buttery smooth mouthfeel. What is doesn't have are added colors, "natural" flavorings or preservatives.
Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Duck Leg Confit
SRP: $11.99
Phone: 800-348-2812
Website: www.mapleleaffarms.com
We picked it because: Duck confit is one of life's great indulgences, but who has the time or the inclination to make it? Maple Leaf Farms Duck Confit is a duck leg seasoned and cooked slowly in its own fat. The result is tender, delicious meat that can be added to anything the imagination can conjure. The ducks are raised on independent, family-owned farms certified for animal well-being and fed an all-natural diet of corn, soy and wheat. Two legs come in each package so there's enough to share.
Masala Mama Chana Masala Organic Spice Kit
SRP: $5.39
Phone: 646-820-6790
Website: www.masalamamaspice.com
We picked it because: Indian food is soaring in popularity and not everyone has access to a good restaurant. Chana Masala is a classic dish of chickpeas in an addictively piquant sauce. The spice kit is added to canned (or cooked dry) chickpeas to produce an authentic Punjabi dish made with tea and whole spices and flavored with a blend of aromatic spices and pomegranate seeds. It's medium spicy and easy to prepare. The kit's sachets of pure organic spice blends – 100 percent organic and imported from India – are added at different stages during cooking, exactly how authentic Indian food is prepared.
Mediterranean Snacks BBQ Bean Stalks
SRP: $2.99
Phone: 973-402-2644
Website: mediterraneansnackfoods.com
We picked it because: One taster devoured all three flavors – Sea Salt, Cheddar, and BBQ – before he realized the No. 1 ingredient is beans. (Our favorite was the BBQ.) This better-for-you, plant-based crunchy treat that will satisfy any snack attack, and best of all, they're gluten-free, non-GMO and free of trans fats.
Mooney Farms Bella Sun Luci Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sun Dried Tomato Snacks
SRP: $2.99
Phone: 530-899-2661
Website: www.mooneyfarms.com
We picked it because: It was hard not to eat the whole bag. Offering a double-dose of sweet and spicy, this new favorite combines premium California sun-dried tomatoes and special spices. Fat-free, lycopene-rich and just 35 calories a serving. We sense a new addiction on the horizon.
Musco Family Olive Co. Pearls Specialties Pitted Medley Greek Olives
SRP: $4.49
Phone: 209-836-4600
Website: www.olives.com
We picked it because: Olives go with almost everything savory. Pair this herby medley of pitted green, black, blond and Kalamata olives with cheese and a loaf of fresh bread for an instant appetizer. Infused with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and a hint of red pepper, the tangy brine can be used as a dipping sauce for bread or as a light salad dressing. We can't wait to find more ways to use them.
Natalie's Freshly Hand-crafted Orange Beet Juice
SRP: $3.99
Phone: 772-465-1122
Website: www.oijc.com
We picked it because: The best of both worlds! The health benefits of beets combined with the palatability of orange juice. Natalie's Orange Beet juice is handcrafted from local Florida oranges, fresh beet purée and without any added sugars.
Nature's Path Qi'a Superfood Oatmeal Creamy Coconut
SRP: $5.49
Phone: 866-880-7284
Website: www.naturespath.com
We picked it because: Qi'a, which means energy, is loaded with superfoods to help power you through the day. Chia, hemp and buckwheat are combined with gluten-free rolled oats, seeds and grains. Our favorite, Creamy Coconut, has a naturally sweet flavor thanks to the coconut.
Nazqiz Qancha corn snack
SRP: $1.99
Phone: 415-312-9105
Website: www.nazqiz.com
We picked it because: Peruvian is hot, hot, hot. Qancha (pronounced kahn-shah) is an American version of a popular Peruvian corn snack. Qancha uses only three ingredients – raw heirloom corn kernels, imported from the Andes of Peru; premium avocado oil that coats the kernels but is never heated; and sea salt. What you get is a crunchy, high-fiber, high-protein snack with no trans fat. It's naturally non-GMO and gluten-, wheat-, egg-, dairy-, nut- and soy-free. It has no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
Noosa Finest Yoghurt Pumpkin Noosa Yoghurt
SRP: $2.49
Phone: 970-493-0949
Website: www.noosayoghurt.com
We picked it because: Pumpkin's not just for fall anymore. Noosa Yoghurt fans can now enjoy this iconic seasonal flavor all year long. Every batch of pumpkin Noosa weaves together rich spices with fresh pumpkin purée and a touch of clover alfalfa honey. It tastes like a spoonful of pumpkin pie filling. It's made with all-natural whole milk from happy cows on local Colorado farms, crafted daily in small batches and free of artificial ingredients. We can't decide whether to have it for breakfast, lunch, snack or dessert.
Numi Organic Three Roots Turmeric Tea
SRP: $7.99
Phone: 510-534-6864
Website: www.numitea.com
We picked it because: Three Roots combines turmeric, ginger and sweet licorice into a complex brew that has notes of rose. And there's a great story behind this delicious brew: The organic turmeric farmers in Madagascar are working towards Fair Trade Certification and use their premiums to improve the drinking water infrastructure in their community. We'll drink to that!
Pickled Pink Foods Spiced Watermelon Pickles
SRP: $13.99
Phone: 256-679-0055
Website: www.pickledpinkfoods.com
We picked it because: Watermelon pickles exemplify the adage, everything old is new again. Spiced Watermelon Pickle is as Southern as it gets. Fresh cut watermelon rind is seasoned with cloves, ginger, allspice, and cinnamon. Great with barbecue – ribs, pork tenderloin, burgers and dogs. We're thinking about adding some to summer cobbler toppings.
Planglow USA Gastro Packaging
SRP: na
Phone: 800-774-0536
Website: www.planglow-usa.com
We picked it because: This fully compostable 12-piece packaging and labelling collection features chalk-on-slate design for a premium deli presentation. Our judges appreciated the large viewing window to showcase the product. Home Compost certified, meaning it can be disposed of in a home compost pile.
Crazy Hot Popchips
SRP: $2.99 for a 3.5-ounce bag
Phone: 310-862-5800
Website: www.popchips.com
We picked it because: The brand's spiciest product to-date burned up the competition. The newest flavor of Popchips is made with lip-tingling peppers that are counterbalanced with a cheesy note. Also available in 1-ounce bags. SRP: $1.49.
RW Garcia 3 Seed Sweet Potato Crackers
SRP: $5.49
Phone: 408-287-4616
Website: www.rwgarcia.com
We picked it because: Great tasting can be good for you. RW Garcia 3 Seed Sweet Potato Crackers are delicious with any topping or on their own. The non-GMO, gluten-, trans fat- and cholesterol-free ingredients include naturally sweet North Carolina Beauregard Sweet Potatoes, stone-ground yellow corn, flaxseeds, black sesame seeds and chia seeds.
Safe Catch Elite and Albacore canned tuna
SRP: $3.50 - $4.50
Phone: 916-531-1544
Website: www.safecatch.com
We picked it because: Every fish is individually tested for mercury levels. The limit for the Elite tuna is 10 times stricter than the FDA limit and the Albacore is 3 1/2 times stricter. Safe Catch is the only brand of canned tuna that meets Consumer Reports "Low Mercury" criteria for pregnant women and children. The tuna is packed and cooked just once to seal in all the nutrients. No additives, fillers, soy, GMOs, pyrophosphates or BPA. And it has up to five times more omega-3s than brands that pre-cook. The tuna is dolphin safe, sustainably caught from managed fish stocks, and fully traceable from boat to table. Oh yes, and it tastes great.
Saffron Road Vegetable Pad Thai
SRP: $5.49
Phone: 877-425-2587
Website: www.saffronroadfood.com
We picked it because: It's pad Thai and it's delicious! This vegetable version of Thailand's national dish has authentic Thai rice noodles topped with organic firm tofu, carrots and scallions in an exotic peanut sauce.
Simply Organic Spice Right Everyday Blends
SRP: $5.99
Phone: 800-437-3301
Website: www.simplyorganic.com
We picked it because: Spice blends that are both organic and delicious are not easy to find. Available in five flavors: Cinnamon Sugar Trio contains three spicy, sweet organic cinnamons – Ceylon, Korintje and Vietnamese; add it to oatmeal, coffee, sweet potatoes or yogurt. Garlic Herb adds flavor and zest to poultry, beef, tofu, pasta and veggies. All-Purpose Salt-Free is a perfect pairing for salads, sides and main dishes. Peppercorn Ranch is a must for veggies, potatoes or popcorn. Pepper and More – a bold mix of pepper, chilies, garlic, onion and sea salt – enhances veggies, meats and eggs.
Sir Kensington's Dijonnaise
SRP: $5.99
Phone: 646-450-5735
Website: www.sirkensingtons.com
We picked it because: Who can resist tangy and creamy together? Dijonnaise blends Sir Kensington's award-winning Classic Mayonnaise with a combination of Dijon and whole grain mustards. Perfect as a sandwich spread or to add creamy zest to seafood. We're making lists of foods to add it to.
Smart Flour Foods Tuscan Inspired Uncured Two Meat Pizza
SRP: $6.99-$7.99
Phone: 512-706-1775 ext. 109
Website: www smartflourfoods.com
We picked it because: A gluten-free pizza that's made with the ancient grains – sorghum, amaranth and teff. The crust is then topped with real mozzarella and provolone cheese, pepperoni and genoa salami that's seasoned with wine, garlic and sugar. Frozen pizza has never tasted so good.
Sprouts Farmers Market Sriracha Lime Organic Kale Chips
SRP: $4.99
Phone: 888-577-7688
Website: www.sprouts.com
We picked it because: How much more on-trend can you get than sriracha, lime, kale, raw and organic? These better-for-you chips are USDA Certified Organic and Certified Gluten-Free. They contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Raw foods have higher nutrient values than cooked foods. The chips are heated to 106 degrees; keeping foods at a temperature less than 118 means not destroying essential enzymes, vitamins and nutrients found in "living" foods. Each bag is resealable for easy on-the-go snacking.
Steuben Consumer Products Original Banana Water
SRP: $1-$2.49
Phone: 716-440-8693
Website: www.steubenfoods.com/elmhurst-naturals
We picked it because: A new RTD line to go bananas over. Since it is made with banana juice concentrate, Banana Water is packed with potassium, and that other good stuff: electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. In fact, Banana Water has as much potassium as two bananas in a convenient RTD format. Hold the peel, please!
Sunridge Farms Sea Salt & Turbinado Chocolate Almonds
SRP: $11.79
Phone: 831-786-7000
Website: www.sunridgefarms.com
We picked it because: Yum – chocolate and almonds! These almonds are covered in Fair Trade Certified dark chocolate, sea salt and turbinado sugar – the perfect mix of rich chocolate, sweet sugar and savory salt. Fair Trade Certified products have an increased percentage of cacao for a richer, more flavorful and more nutritious chocolate. Fair Trade Certified means shade-tree grown using nutrient rich soils, which supports sustainable farming, enabling farmers to receive fair and sustainable prices.
TH Foods Harvest Stone Cheese Crispy Mix
SRP: $ $3.99 for a 4-ounce package
Phone: 815-636-9500
Website: www.thfoods.com
We picked it because: A healthy snack mix is easy to justify. Harvest Stone Cheese Crispy Mix is certified gluten-, wheat- and cholesterol-free. It combines five unique, crispy-crunchy components, including pretzels, smoky cheddar corn chips with flax, pizza jacks, asiago flatbread mini rounds and cheddar cheese triangles. The Cheese Crispy Mix has 40 percent less fat than regular potato chips and no trans fats. Non-GMO verification is currently in process.
The NoMoo Cookie Co. Almond Oy!
SRP: $1.66 each
Phone: 267-362-5326
Website: www.nomoocookies.com
We picked it because: We're crazy about cookies, and this winner from NoMoo is made with almonds, shredded coconut and dark chocolate. Like all of NoMoo's products, Almond Oy! is dairy-free and kosher.
The Piping Gourmets Chocolate Chocolate Whoopie Pie
SRP: $6.99
Phone: 786-233-8660
Website: www.thepipinggourmets.com
We picked it because: All the flavor of a traditional whoopie pie with none of the junk. The double dose of chocolate that will make chocoholics swoon. Like all their products, the latest delicious creation from The Piping Gourmets is allergen-friendly and crafted specifically for gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher and vegan diets. And they're free of hydrogenated oil and artificial flavors and colorings. In addition to the four-pack, these treats are also available in singles.
The Smoked Olive Darkhorse Chili Smoked Brown Sugar
SRP: $17
Phone: 707-360-5226
Website: www.thesmokedolive.com
We picked it because: It's totally new, unique and delicious. Artisanal cane sugar is naturally wood-smoked with premium New Mexico chilis. It's a spicy, irresistible addition to sweet and savory dishes and to all kinds of beverages.
Virginia Diner Americana Snack Mix
SRP: $17.95
Phone: 757-899-3106
Website: www.vadiner.com
We picked it because: Patriotism meets snack mix. A licensed Norman Rockwell tin is filled with salted Virginia peanuts and evenly mixed with red, white and blue Chocolate Gems. And if the delicious taste weren't enough, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Fisher House Foundation for Military Families.
Wedderspoon 100% Raw Wild Dandelion Honey
SRP: $10.99
Phone: 877-296-8403 
Website: www.wedderspoon.com
We picked it because: Dandelion honey is conversation starter. It has a vibrant, medium sweet taste that is perfect in tea or on fresh fruits, toast, biscuits, wafers and crackers. Wait until you try it with a soft-ripened cheese. Its silky, buttery smooth texture turns hot buttered toast into a gourmet treat.
Wisdom Naturals SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener Raspberry Lemonade Water Drops
SRP: $4.99
Phone: 800-899-9908
Website: www.sweetleaf.com
We picked it because: Chugging eight glasses of water a day can be a chore. These Raspberry Lemonade Water Drops make hydration easy and guilt-free. Adding a squirt to plain or sparkling water for a sweet fruit flavor with zero calories, zero carbs and no artificial ingredients. Our tasters liked the compact size of the unbreakable, squeezable packaging that easily fits into bags or pockets.
Zema's Madhouse Foods Peruvian Sweet Potato Gluten-Free Pancake & Waffle Mix
SRP: $6.99
Phone: 847-910-4512
Website: www.zemasfoods.com
We picked it because: Pancakes vs. waffles? It doesn't matter which one you choose, because with this mix, you'll whip up a winner. This mix is made with a trifecta of superseeds – chia, hemp and flaxmeal, making it rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It's also made with Peruvian sweet potato flour, so it's naturally sweet. Certified Gluten-Free, Certified Vegan, and Non-GMO Project Verified.
Zippy's Spinach Cranberry Salad Bites
SRP: $4.99
Phone: 858-454-5058
Website: www.getzippys.com
We picked it because: Most of our tasters, who are always trying to get more veggies into their diets, are fans of healthy treats. This convenient format and great taste made this veggie cluster salad snack a winner.