Should You Buy or Skip These 6 New Kroger Products?

The taste of summer is on its way to Kroger shelves, and we got to try some of the new Kroger foods from their exclusive brands (Kroger Brand, Simple Truth, and Private Selection). That’s right, Kroger sent us another cute box of new grocery products—plus one fan favorite item that’s getting a lot of buzz—to taste and write about as we see fit. So lather on your sunscreen (and deodorant, like good socially conscious citizens living on planet Earth during another record-hot year) and let’s take a look at which new Kroger products you should buy or skip the next time you leave the comfort of your home and its blasting air conditioning. (If you don’t have air conditioning…well, just know you are stronger, braver, and better than I am. Godspeed.)

Private Selection Cacio e Pepe Creamy Macaroni & Cheese

I don’t usually believe in the power of manifestation, but when I was sent a box of Cacio e Pepe Creamy Macaroni & Cheese, well, I knew the universe had something to do with it. And look, normally I wouldn’t urge people to buy cacio e pepe sauce, since it’s really easy to make on your own. But creamy cacio e pepe mac and cheese is a whole other story. The cheese sauce here is super creamy, velvety, and decadent. It’s a mixture of Romano, white cheddar, and the standard cacio e pepe ingredients like parmesan and black pepper. (I personally added a lot more black pepper, but I’ve eaten so much cacio e pepe in my life, I’m immune to the taste.) The noodle itself is a ridged “pipette rigate” (elbow mac, but fancy) that cooks to al dente perfection and holds the thick cheese sauce quite nicely. Of all the Kroger foods I received, this was by far my favorite—and yes, I’m biased. The only pasta I love more than cacio e pepe is its slightly more famous cousin, carbonara, so…when are we getting that as a mac and cheese, Kroger? Hmm? I’ll wait. 

Verdict: Buy

Private Selection Smokehouse Charred Ends BBQ Sauce (Fan Favorite Item) 

This “charred ends” fan favorite BBQ sauce is certainly unique. It’s described as having “notes of burnt brisket ends,” which is highly specific and definitely present in the savory aftertaste. But this is definitely a sweet BBQ sauce, packed with brown sugar, cane sugar, and molasses to really drive the sweetness home. It’s a little spicy, tangy, and pretty smoky, but mostly sweet. I actually think this works great as a chicken tender dip, since it reminds me of certain chicken chain’s polynesian sauce—but normal people will probably really love it on ribs or grilled chicken. Don’t be like me. Be normal!

Verdict: Buy

Carbmaster Hawaiian Hamburger Buns

*Picks up megaphone.* I seriously don’t know how Kroger Carbmaster manages to make keto-friendly bread taste so much like normal bread! Someone explain it to me, please! I beg you! *Puts down megaphone.* These low carb Hawaiian Hamburger buns aren’t bitter or sour in the slightest. They have a bit of sweetness, like every Hawaiian bun should (though I could do with a bit more, I shouldn’t push my luck when it comes to keto-friendly bread). The bun is pillowy and squishy, but still sturdy enough to hold all your burger fixins. I would honestly eat these plain, as buttered rolls—and I’m not even trying to count carbs! 

Verdict: Buy (if you’re carb-conscious!) 

Kroger Pineapple Coconut Flavored Seltzer Water

Look, as the resident LaCroix hater on the Sporked team, take what I say with a grain of salt. Flavored seltzer water has always been pretty “meh” to me, and Kroger’s pineapple coconut seltzer water is no exception. It smells like a piña colada and tastes like someone steeped a slice of pineapple in soda water for about 40 seconds. While I’m not getting much in the way of flavor, I appreciate the level of carbonation here—this little can was hissing for a straight hour. 

Verdict: Skip

Kroger Blue Raspberry Pop! Flavored Seltzer Water

Drinking this made me wish I could just eat a firecracker popsicle instead, and hey, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Again, we’re not dealing with bold flavors here (somehow, these Kroger seltzer waters are less potent than LaCroix), but each sip finishes on a note of crisp blue raspberry. For a Fourth of July party, I could definitely see folks walking around with one of these red, white, and blue cans in their hands. Points for being aesthetic! 

Verdict: Buy (if you feel like being patriotic)

Simple Truth Acai Bowl Granola with Mixed Berries

I’m not sure what the intended use of this “acai-bowl inspired” granola is, but I’m going to assume it’s not strictly for homemade acai bowls. Heavily dusted with acai powder and mixed with freeze dried strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, a handful of this granola makes for a flavorful snack all on its own. Acai-bowl lovers would definitely enjoy this in their yogurt or smoothies. I’m really pleased with the quality of the granola itself; the big clusters have the perfect crunchy chew. (I could do without the dry bits of fruit, though. But A for effort, Kroger.)

Verdict: Buy

About the Author

Ariana Losch

Ariana Losch is a Sporked contributor, webcomic writer, java junkie, and bad TV enthusiast. She only ever feels at peace laying out on a beach like a kebab, roasting in the sun; sadly, she can never move back to Florida, her home state, because there simply isn’t enough good Mediterranean food. You can find her overstaying her welcome at just about every LA coffee shop, working on a screenplay and avoiding all eye contact. (She is embarrassed to be there, please leave her alone.)

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

Your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *