2022 Editors' Picks: Featured Winners

Albertsons Companies, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Southeastern Grocers and Topco Associates each introduced several innovative private label products this year that earned the praise of the Store Brands editorial team.

After more than two years of living through a global pandemic, a larger number of consumers today are focused on their health and wellness. From the food they eat, to the beverages they drink and the products they use in their daily personal care regimens, consumers are on the hunt for products that will play a major role in helping them live a healthy life.

This growing demand, which is not expected to wane anytime soon, has been met by retailers and private label product suppliers across numerous categories. Where once wellness was seen as a segment for specialty retailers, today the shelves and webpages of resellers ranging from dollar stores to general merchandise chains and grocery stores are stocked with products designed with this trend in mind.

Store Brands’ Editors’ Picks 2022 includes a broad range of items that are positioned at consumers seeking healthy alternatives. For the complete list of winners, see the July/August issue of Store Brands.

Here are the featured winners of the annual award program:

Albertsons Signature Select Kiwi Strawberry Water

Albertsons Companies


Signature Select Ice Sparkling Water Kiwi Strawberry (Bronze)
The Signature Select Ice is a Kiwi Strawberry flavored thirst quencher, made with sparkling water and natural flavors. It contains no sugar, and features vitamins including the antioxidant vitamin A.

Albertsons Lucerne Ghost Pepper Slices

Lucerne Ghost Pepper Slices (Gold)

Consumers are always looking for new ways to give food extra heat. With the Ghost Pepper Slices from Albertsons Companies’ Lucerne private dairy brand, adventurous shoppers can add one of the hottest flavor profiles to their everyday foods.

Albertsons Signature Select Riced Vegetables

Signature Select Riced Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrots (Gold)

This frozen veggie blend from one of Albertsons Companies’ private
brands can be enjoyed in a recipe or on its own. The low-carb meal is a great vegetarian option, and can be an ideal substitute for rice in a meal. The vegetable blend is bagged, making for a convenient addition to any meal.

Albertsons Signature Reserve Mushroom and Truffle Ravioli

Signature Reserve Ravioli with Porcini Mushroom and Truffle (Silver)

This authentic private label ravioli item from Albertsons Companies is a product of Italy, and elevates the retailer’s offerings in the pasta section. The ravioli with porcini mushroom and truffle is the first private label entry into the fresh pasta category, and is made with ricotta and grated cheeses, summer truffle, sauteed mushrooms and dried porcini mushroom.

Open Nature Plant Based Cheese

Open Nature Plant-Based Cheese (Bronze)

The Open Nature line of non-dairy cheeses is Albertsons’ first entry
into plant-based cheeses, and so far, sales are outperforming expectations. Coming in slices and shreds, the products melt just like regular cheese. The retailer said that a plant-based spreading cheese is debuting under Open Nature later this year.

Albertsons sauces

Signature Reserve Pasta Sauce Mascarpone Vodka, Signature Reserve Pasta Sauce Porcini Truffle Arrabbiata (tie) (Bronze)

In a tie comes two sauces from Albertsons Companies’ premium brand Signature Reserve. The mascarpone vodka and porcini truffle arrabbiata sauce are each made with restaurant-quality ingredients for a gourmet taste that will leave shoppers wanting more.

Best Choice Chicken Sandwich Sauce

Associated Wholesale Grocers


Best Choice Superior Selections Chicken Sandwich Sauce (Gold)
Associated Wholesale Grocers’ private label chicken sandwich sauce gives shoppers the ability to cook chicken sandwiches at home topped with the signature tangy sauce. The retailer said distribution of the sauce doubled in its first three months.

Best Choice Orange Chicken

Best Choice Superior Selections Orange Chicken (Gold)

This frozen food meal solution found at Associated Wholesale Grocers brings one of the most popular Chinese restaurant items to the freezer aisle. The combination of white meat chicken breast, rice, broccoli, peppers and a sweet orange sauce gives shoppers an international flavor to spice up dinner with.

Best Choice Garlic Parmesan Wing Seasoning

Best Choice Garlic Parmesan Wing Seasoning (Gold)

Associated Wholesale Grocers brings the wing restaurant to its grocery stores with this private brand seasoning blend. The seasoning allows for customers to recreate the highly popular wing flavor on their chicken dishes at homes, as the seasoning isn’t limited to wing use.

Best Choice Lavender Baby Powder

Best Choice Lavender Baby Powder (Silver)

With quality ingredients such as aloe and vitamin E, this product is a great alternative to the national brand and to the basic baby powder scent. The soothing scent of lavender is gentle and designed for use with sensitive baby skin.

Prestige Sweet Onion Bacon Vinaigrette Dressing

Southeastern Grocers


Prestige Sweet Onion Bacon Vinaigrette (Bronze)

Made with hardwood smoked bacon, dijon mustard, spices and onions, the dressing from the retailer’s Prestige brand offers a sweet and smokey combination ideal for salads.

Southeastern Grocers Prestige desserts

Prestige Two Apple Berry Blossoms Crafted Desserts, Prestige Two Butter Toffee Sticky Cakes Crafted Desserts (tie) (Bronze)

In a tie for the Bronze award, Southeastern Grocers introduced two frozen desserts products this year. The Apple Berry Blossoms feature Northern Spy apples and wild blueberries, blackberries and raspberries wrapped in flaky pastry, perfect for fruit lovers. The Two Butter Toffee Sticky Cakes offer moist brown sugar cakes topped with chopped dates and covered in a rich butter toffee sauce.

Southeastern Grocers Naturally Better chicken sausage

Naturally Better Green Onion Chicken Sausage, Naturally Better Cajun Chicken Sausage (tie) (Gold)

Two new items from one of Southeastern Grocers’ private brands are adding unique flavors to the meat category that can take summer grilling up a notch. The Naturally Better cajun and green onion chicken sausages offer flavorful spins on chicken sausages for those who may be looking to eat less red meat.

Southeastern Grocers MCT oil

Naturally Better MCT (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) Oil (Gold)

This new oil from Southeastern Grocers is a dietary product aimed at meeting customers’ specific dietary needs. MCTs are a fat source for people who cannot tolerate other types of fats, and a common supplement for those on ketogenic diets.

Southeastern Grocers Prestige chili olive oil

Prestige Organic Chili Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Silver)

With more consumers looking for spices and flavors in everyday products, this product gives shoppers a spicy olive oil they can cook with, put in sauces, and more. The versatility of the chili flavored extra virgin olive oil has been a hit with customers.

Southeastern Grocers Prestige basil olive oil

Prestige Organic Basil Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Bronze)

Perfect for adding flavor to dishes such as Italian food, the basil flavored extra virgin olive oil makes cooking easier, adding basil flavor without having to purchase the fresh herb.

Southeastern Grocers quinoa

Naturally Better Organic Tri-Color Quinoa (Bronze)

This quinoa product gives customers a healthy grain option at a great value. The organic product is a good source of iron and fiber, and can be substituted for rice for something new in home-cooked meals.

SE Grocers Nashville Hot Chicken seasoning

SE Grocers Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning (Bronze)

This SE Grocers seasoning blend is worthy of praise. This private label item brings the restaurant flavor of Nashville hot chicken to the buyer’s home. Able to be used on baked, fried and grilled chicken, this blend from SE Grocers adds to the retailer’s variety of spices.

Topco Wide Awake Cold Brew

Topco Associates


Wide Awake Medium Roast Cold Brew Coffee (Gold)

Wide Awake has added Medium Roast Cold Brew Coffee to its cold coffee line-up and was the brand’s first foray into the refrigerated space.

Topco Food club white cheddar slices

Food Club Sharp White Cheddar Cheese (Bronze)

Topco Associates’ Food Club Sharp White Cheddar Cheese offers a bold cheese flavor that is growing in popularity. Like the Gold and Silver winners, this product gives consumers a cheese slice that is not typically found in private label assortments.

Crav'n Flavor Sandwich Cookies

Crav’n Flavor Limited-Time Double Stuffed Sandwich Crème Cookies (Gold)

For the summer, the private brand offered the cookies in a Lemonade flavor with a lemon crème. In the fall, a S’mores flavor is available, highlighted by a marshmallow crème between one chocolate and one graham cracker flavored cookie.

Crav'n Flavor Mini Muffins

Crav’n Flavor Mini Muffins (Bronze)

Each packet of four muffins makes for a quick and easy snack for on-the-go. The muffins come in party cake, chocolate chip, and blueberry flavors, offering a tasty own brand solution for a category that is typically dominated by national brands.

Crav'n Flavor Twice Baked Potatoes

Crav’n Flavor Twice Baked Potatoes (Bronze)

Coming in two flavors, Four Cheese and Bacon Cheddar, the Twice Baked Potatoes from Topco Associates’ Crav’n Flavor brand give member stores a unique private label offering. This frozen item contains two potatoes and is ideal for a side dish or meal solution.

Crav'n Flavor Breakfast Sandwiches

Crav’n Flavor Breakfast Sandwiches (Bronze)

At only $2.99, Crav’n Flavor Breakfast Sandwiches come in bacon, egg and cheese croissant and sausage, egg and cheese biscuit varieties, offering shoppers a protein-packed breakfast option.

Full Circle plant-based pasta sauce

Full Circle Market Italian Style Plant-Based Pasta Sauce (Gold)

This private label pasta sauce comes in two varieties, Sausage Style and Bolognese Style. These vegan sauces have no sugar added and are proof that the plant-based category continues to grow, with these sauces from Topco Associates making an impact on the shelves.

Topco Tippy Toes infant formula

Tippy Toes Hypoallergenic Infant Formula (Gold)

Tippy Toes Hypoallergenic Infant Formula is clinically proven for babies with an acute cow’s milk allergy and includes probiotics to help support baby’s digestive health, DHA for brain support and is free from GMO and artificial growth hormones.

Topco Simply Done Reclosable Freezer and Storage Bags Multipack

Simply Done Reclosable Freezer and Storage Bags Multipack (Gold)

With 38 quart freezer bags, 90 sandwich bags, 48 quart storage bags and 100 snack bags, the multipack combines the right amount of everyday essentials together in a four box own brand variety pack.

Topco TopCare plant-based vanilla protein powder

TopCare Vanilla Plant Protein Powder Blend (Silver)

The TopCare Vanilla Plant Protein Powder Blend is a plant-derived protein powder, made from spinach, broccoli and kale greens, delivers flavorful vanilla taste, gluten free probiotics and 20 grams of plant-based protein per serving.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds