In 2022, we tasted and ranked hundreds of foods, from apple juice to yogurt (sorry, nothing started with a Z). That means we sourced groceries from a lot of stores. Everyone has their regional favorites—Publix if you’re in Florida, HEB if you’re in Texas, Hy-Vee if you’re in Nebraska or Iowa. We know, we know. Your grocery store is the best grocery store, but for the purposes of our first annual Sporked Awards, we wanted to shout out a couple of places with a big national footprint and affordable, tasty private-label products that consistently ranked in our taste tests. Without further ado …
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Walmart is the big-box behemoth and everyone should be suspicious of corporate hegemony in all its forms, but, I digress. Walmart sells Great Value products and Great Value products consistently performed well in our taste tests. And they’re cheap (which of course has its own costs, but, again, I digress). I can’t tell you how many times this year we’ve said, “Great Value really is a great value!” We loved their dijon mustard, their cheese ravioli, their corn dogs, and so much more. We know what tastes good, and Walmart has consistently performed on that front.
Target is more of an incidental grocery store, a place where you pick up your coffee creamer and a bunch of bananas when you happen to stop by to pick up socks or to aimlessly wander around sniffing candles. But as the year went on, we kept tasting more and more Target products we really love, like Market Pantry cranberry sauce, Good & Gather onion dip, and Good & Gather pumpkin spice coffee. But the real heroes are Target’s limited-time seasonal snacks from Favorite Day. We loved the Apple Caramel Crunchy Clusters and the Pumpkin Spice drink bomb they released this fall. All their Christmas stuff is cute and fun, too. Next time you’re at Target, spend some of those candle-sniffing minutes in the grocery section instead.