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Allrecipes' Golden Cart Awards: The 10 Best Grocery Finds of 2024

From the best dairy discovery to the condiment that you should put on everything, our Allrecipes Allstars share the grocery products they can't leave the store without.

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker / Animation by Sarah Maiden</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker / Animation by Sarah Maiden

What you choose to spend your money on at the grocery store is no small thing. Even though there are some signs of grocery prices cooling down, let's be real, things are still expensive. So, when you're standing in front of the pantry aisle at the grocery store trying to decide which flour to buy for your kid's birthday cake, what do you reach for? And what do you stock your freezer with for dinner when you come home from work and you just....need something easy to make? Whatever you end up buying, you want to make sure it's worth it—and we want that for you, too.

For the 2024 iteration of Allrecipes' annual grocery awards, we changed things up and gave our Allrecipes Allstars the mic. In case you're not familiar, our Allstars are a group of 100+ brand ambassadors and they're all enthusiastic home cooks—just like you. They also lead busy lives, need to stick to a budget, have big families to feed, and find a lot of satisfaction in a great meal.

In years past for our grocery awards, we had 60+ category winners to peruse from, but for 2024 we slimmed it down to just 10. Instead of the best cereal or bacon, we have the best breakfast find—period. Not all of the Allstar picks are going to be the cheapest option at the grocery store, but you can feel confident that they're worth picking up.

Ariel Knutson, Senior Editorial Director

How We Determined The Winners

The winners of Allrecipes' Golden Cart Awards for 2024 were chosen based on voluntary responses from Allrecipes' Allstars. There were two phases in the voting process: First, the Allstars were asked to write in their favorite products in 10 categories—including their favorite pantry staple and the best frozen dinner find. Then, our editors compiled and reviewed the answers before asking the Allstars to vote again on the top six products in each category. The winning products (below!) received the most votes in their respective categories.

Ready to fill your carts? It's time to introduce the winners!

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best Dinner Freezer Find: Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken

On the nights when you need something easy for dinner, the freezer aisle is your friend. And the one thing our Allstars grab time and time again is Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken. Super fans of this grocery store would agree—the Mandarin Orange Chicken was the overall favorite of Trader Joe's annual Customer Choice Awards for multiple years in a row, and was even inducted into the "product hall of fame" in 2023.

Not only is this entrée affordable at $4.99, it's also super versatile and of course delicious. "Unlike a lot of other frozen entrees, the sauce is bright and flavorful, and the texture is fantastic," explains Allrecipes Allstar Brenda Venable. "It's easy to keep on hand in the freezer, and it's ready in a flash! I can make my own rice and stir fry some veggies, and the meal is healthy, delicious, and DONE!"

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best Fix for Your Sweet Tooth: Ghirardelli Premium Brownie Mix, Ultimate Chocolate

In almost every single taste test for brownies across the internet (including our own!), Ghirardelli reigns supreme. So it should come as no surprise that the Allrecipes Allstars chose Ghirardelli Premium Brownie Mix, Ultimate Chocolate for their top dessert of 2024. This particular brownie mix from Ghiradelli has chocolate chips and syrup throughout the batter, resulting in a brownie that's supremely rich and gooey. Allstar Kimberly Sorenson loves how customizable this mix is, too. "You can easily change it up by adding your favorite stir-ins," she explains.

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best Condiment for Everything: Bachan's Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce

In 2024 the Allrecipes Allstars aren't reaching for ketchup or hot sauce to douse on everything—they're reaching for Bachan’s Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce. Based on a family recipe, this bold, rich sauce is great on just about everything. Allstar Danielle Stadelman—who has been using this sauce every week since 2019—says "it's great drizzled on scrambled eggs, pizza, noodles, tossed with roasted veggies and makes a killer marinade on meat, seafood, and tofu." She also notes that the sauce has "just the right amount of sweetness and has a thick texture."

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best Pantry Staple: King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour

Whether you're making tender cinnamon rolls for Sunday breakfast with your family, or a special birthday cake for your friend, there's one ingredient you need to pick up at the grocery store according to the Allrecipes Allstars: King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour.

"I thought flour didn't matter until I baked with King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour," explains Allstar Renee Pajestka. "There is a real difference, it just can't be beat." King Arthur's All Purpose Flour is milled from American wheat, and it doesn't contain bleach or bromates. And for Pajestka, this makes a big difference. "Their milling process allows me to make baked goods at home with great flavor and success," she explains.

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best Dairy Discovery: Kerrygold Unsalted Butter

Kerrygold butter beat out all cheese, ice cream, and milk to take the crown for "best dairy" in the 2024 Golden Cart Awards. So yeah, it's a big deal. And it makes a lot of sense! Kerrygold Unsalted Butter is made almost exclusively from grass-fed cows in Ireland. It has a higher unsaturated fat content than grain-fed butter, which means it has a super creamy texture and rich flavor. It's great for cooking, baking, and slathering on toast (so basically everything).

"I've tried other Irish and grass-fed butter, and Kerrygold unsalted is always my favorite," says Allrecipes Allstar Bryan Tario. "I've used it in many different recipes and even for clarifying to make hollandaise, sautéing fish, or when dipping some lobster or crab. You can't have a Golden Cart Award with the Kerrygold—gold is in the name!"

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best Snacky Snack When You Need a Crunch: Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted

There are two types of people in the world: those that enjoy a good crunchy snack, and those who don't know what they're missing out on. The Allrecipes Allstars? They're big fans of crunch. And in the huge, wide landscape of crunchy snacks—chips, vegetables, pretzels, and so much more—the Allstars are currently crushing on Wonderful Pistachios' Roasted Salted Pistachios. These pistachios come de-shelled which means there's less work standing between you and your salty, protein-packed snack. They also come in a variety of flavors, but you can't go wrong with the plain.

"For me, the appeal of Wonderful Pistachios Salted No Shells snack compared to other crunchy snacks is the combination of flavor, texture, nutritional benefits, and convenience," explains Allrecipes Allstar Traci Eshleman. "These pistachios have a unique, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor that sets them apart from other crunchy snacks."

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best Restaurant-to-Table Drop: Olive Garden Signature Italian Salad Dressing

From national fast food chains to smaller local eateries, more and more restaurants are coming out with products that you can pick up at the grocery store. So what's worth grabbing next time you shop? According to the Allrecipes Allstars you should make a beeline to Olive Garden Signature Italian Salad Dressing.

According to Allstar Vicki Lanzendorf, this salad dressing is not only great on salads, but in other dishes too. She says the dressing has "bold flavors that enhance the vegetables in a salad," and that she loves using it in chicken marinades, pasta salads, and chicken salad for sandwiches.

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best Sparkling Sip: LaCroix Lime

In the past decade, we've seen an influx of sparkling beverage options at the grocery store—from new sparkling waters to functional sodas. So it's telling that our Allstars chose LaCroix Lime as the best of them all. LaCroix isn't a new player in this space—in fact, it's been around since 1980. And even though the brand has come out with dozens of flavors, our Allstars chose the classic lime flavor as their standby pick. "The fresh lime flavor is super thirst-quenching, and it doesn’t have any imitation flavors. It’s great by itself or as a mixer!" Explains Allstar Carol Miller.

<p>Allrecipes / Photo By Fred Hard / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo By Fred Hard / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best Breakfast Revelation: Thomas' Everything Bagel Thins

Looking for an inspired way to start your day? According to our Allstars, you should pick up Thomas’ Everything Bagel Thins the next time you hit the grocery store. This breakfast winner is a thinner, low-carb alternative to your favorite everything bagel. The bagels come pre-sliced for maximum ease, and there are eight bagels in a pack. In addition to everything bagels, Thomas also sells plain bagel thins.

Our Allstars love this breakfast because it's so versatile. “I love these toasted with cream cheese and lox," says Allstar Sarah Stone. "They satisfy a carb craving with fewer calories." Allstar Traci Eshleman agrees, adding that "the everything seasoning pairs well with a wide range of toppings and spreads from cream cheese to avocado to deli meats."

<p>Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker</p>

Allrecipes / Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop and Product Styling by Katherine Tucker

The Best WILD CARD Our Allstars Love: Duke's Real Mayonnaise

For our wild card category, we asked the Allstars to shout out the product—literally any grocery product—that they're currently obsessed with. It didn't matter if it fell into one of the other categories, or if it was something completely different. Their resounding answer? Duke's Real Mayonnaise. Duke's mayonnaise is known for its smooth and creamy consistency, and that subtle tang that makes it taste homemade.

“Duke’s Real Mayonnaise is the perfect mayo on tomato sandwiches—and that’s super dang important in the South. Just get the classic and go to town. There’s no other option. It has to be Duke’s," explains Allstar Jamie Yost. "I'm not sure what they put in it (I think it's love) but it's hands down the only mayo I use!"

Read the original article on All Recipes.