Every year, Progressive Grocer’s editorial staffers convene to review the hundreds of products sent to us for consideration in our Editors’ Picks program. Although our legendary marathon sampling sessions are now a thing of the past — thanks not only to a worldwide pandemic, but also to a geographically far-flung staff that would make scheduling such an in-person event a logistical headache — we still take our duties as product reviewers seriously.
To that end, we carefully peruse the submissions and evaluate the described products according to innovation, functionality, value and packaging design. As happens every year, we encountered plenty of wonderful items released in the past 12 months, with the daunting task of choosing those products that we feel excel in these areas. The below 82 products, selected from more than 200 submissions, are those that checked all of the boxes for us.
As far as trends go, plant-based and other items positioned as better for you are still going strong, with a particular emphasis on healthy indulgence, since shoppers are increasingly unwilling to sacrifice taste for nutrition. Private label also made a respectable showing once more, with several products being the first own-brand entry in a particular segment, offering comparable quality to their name-brand counterparts, but at a value price. Additional attributes to arise often among the successful entries were clean-label, low-carb/keto, organic, natural and sustainable, this last descriptor a bid to appeal to consumers’ growing desire to improve the state of the planet along with their bodily health.
While not every submission becomes an Editors’ Pick, we are still grateful to all who sent in their products and enabled us to become better acquainted with the wide range of great items available at grocery — many of which we can’t wait to seek out on store shelves. After all, we’re not just editors, but also dedicated grocery shoppers, an all-consuming pastime — or is it a calling? — that we suspect is shared by many of our readers, too.