Sporked Awards: The Best Brand Collab We Tasted in 2023

Brand collabs were everywhere you looked in 2023. Eggo waffle-flavored Coffee-mate? Sure. Utz potato chips flavored to taste like Mike’s Hot Honey? They did that shit. Hidden Valley Ranch flavored Van Leeuwen ice cream? Yup, that was a thing for some reason. But a couple of collaborations really stood out as matches made in heaven. Here are the best brand collabs we tried in our taste tests in 2023.

best brand collab hot ones hot pockets 2023

Runner-Up

Hot Ones Spicy Garlic Chicken & Bacon Hot Pockets

Earlier this year, Hot Pocket released a line of four new flavors made with Hot Ones hot sauces: Fiery Hot Pepperoni, Hot Habanero Sausage & Pepperoni, Smoky Green Chile Cheesesteak, and Spicy Garlic Chicken & Bacon. Why did they make two pepperoni Hot Pockets? Couldn’t tell ya. What we can tell you is that the Spicy Garlic Chicken & Bacon Hot Pocket (made with Hot Ones Classic hot sauce) is a dream of a brand collab. As my colleague Jordan Myrick put it, “It’s like if a spicy chicken enchilada and a Costco chicken bake had a baby.” It’s gooey, savory, and spicy but not scorching so you can actually enjoy the tender crust and big pieces of chicken. If you’re a Hot Pocket fan, this is the brand collab for you.

Related: An Honest Review of the Hot Ones Hot Pockets Collaboration

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best brand collab of 2023

Winner

Old Bay Goldfish

Warning: If you don’t want to become addicted to a snack cracker, don’t eat Old Bay Goldfish. These things are outrageously good—savory, zesty, and small enough to eat by the handful. They don’t have as much heat as you might be used to in Old Bay, but that only means you can eat more of them. I wasn’t even a big Old Bay fan, but these crackers made a convert of me. Toss some of these in a bowl of tomato soup or clam chowder? Life changing stuff. Ideally, the best brand collabs create something even better than their source material, and that’s the case here. 

Related: 5 Brand Collabs We Love (and 2 We Like)

Credit: Liv Averett / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

sporked awards 2023

The 2023 Sporked Awards

We ate our way through hundreds of products this year to find the best. Now it’s time to honor the best of the best.


About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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