We sampled 95 different snacks to find the ones that deserve a spot in your shopping cart.
Life is better with snacks.
But sadly, not all snacks are made equally. Some are too salty. Some are too sweet. Some are as bland as can be. Finding the needle in the grocery store haystack isn’t easy, but luckily, the PEOPLE editors are here to help. As part of the first annual PEOPLE Food Awards, 53 testers in our offices made it their mission to find the best snacks on supermarket shelves, sampling their way through 95 different products released in the past year.
After four months of testing, we came away with the six best snacks worth spending your hard earned money on, from potato chips to kettle-cooked nuts to chocolatey granola bars. Whether you have a hankering for salty or sweet, creamy or crunchy, you’ll find a treat on this list to crush all the cravings.
WINNER: BEST POTATO CHIPS
Cape Cod Waves Sea Salt
Salty, crunchy and sturdy enough for dipping, this is the classic chip at its best. “I could polish off a bag in one sitting,” said one staffer. Perfect for purists, these wavy potato chips were hard for us to put down—and we think you’ll feel the same.
Buy It! $3.79 for 7.5 oz.; target.com
WINNER: BEST POPCORN
SkinnyPop Sweet & Salty Kettle Popcorn
Every fluffy kernel is lightly sweet, slightly salty and super-crunchy, just like you would get at the county fair (or dare we say better?). Feel free to gobble this popcorn up by the handful—it clocks in at only 140 calories for a 2½ cup serving.
Buy It! $4.29 for 5.3 oz.; shop.skinnypop.com
WINNER: BEST TORTILLA CHIPS
Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho
The classic Doritos taste you know and love, but with a kick you won’t soon forget. They start with a subtle nacho flavor but follow with a heat that continues to build, leaving our testers reaching for water and coming back to crunch some more.
Buy It! $4.29 for 9.75 oz.; walmart.com
WINNER: BEST CRACKERS
Stacy’s Cheese Petites: Romano with Garlic & Pepper
Baked with real cheese, these bite-size crackers are perfectly salty, crispy and poppable. Delicious paired with cheese and meat or simply eaten on their own, these seasoned snacks are a good source of calcium and contain six grams of protein per serving.
Buy It! $5 for 4 oz.; walmart.com
WINNER: BEST SNACK BAR
KIND Dark Chocolate Almond & Coconut
Both crunchy and chewy, each bar is full of roasted almonds and chunky coconut chips and drizzled with dark chocolate. They’re gluten free, dairy free, trans fat free and low in sodium, but you could also be tricked into thinking they’re chocolate bars.
Buy It! $15 for 12 bars; kindsnacks.com
WINNER: BEST NUTS
Whole Foods Market Kettle-Cooked Cacao Nib Cashews
“They taste like candy!” a tester raved about these plump, candied nuts studded with bitter, chocolatey nibs. Pop a baggie in your purse for a healthy snack on the go, or in your kid’s lunchbox for a chocolatey treat that you can feel good about.
Buy It! $6 for 8 oz.; wholefoodsmarket.com