The 2018 Food Essentials Awards

There may be no happier and more contented people at Taste for Life headquarters than there are when the entries for our annual Food Essentials Awards contest start arriving. After much nibbling, sampling, sipping, and feasting, we are pleased to announce this year’s winning entries.

Our wide-ranging product selection has something for everyone—finicky eaters, heat-seeking palates, and even pets!

Bone Broth

If you follow a paleo or keto diet program, you’ll love the eminently sippable organic chicken bone broth from the Osso Good Co.


Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Flax Sprouted Whole Grain Bread is healthy, wholesome, and nutritious.


Good Health Avocado Oil Jalapeño Kettle Chips satisfy those who like their snacks with a hot and spicy kick. Certified gluten free.


Crunchmaster Vegetable Cheese Crisps are delightful whole-grain, gluten-free snack crackers baked with cheese and seven veggies (spinach, kale, carrot, red bell pepper, pumpkin, beet, and onion).

Dipping & Wing Sauce

Our taste testers wholeheartedly recommend any of these Noble Made by The New Primal Dipping & Wing Sauces, thanks to their amazing flavors.

Gluten-Free Bread

Gillian’s Wheat & Gluten Free Onion Rolls are soft, flavorful rolls perfect for those with food intolerances and allergies. Made without wheat, dairy, soy, nuts, and gluten.

Fermented Food

Torn between whether to buy sauerkraut or kimchi to satisfy your fermented food craving? Dilemma solved with Eden Foods Kimchi Sauerkraut Organic. Sauerkraut plus the zingy spiciness of kimchi is a winning combo!


Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey KFactor 16 delivers antibacterial properties along with a wonderful taste. KFactor 16 indicates 75 percent of the pollen in the honey is guaranteed to contain pollen grains specific to New Zealand’s manuka flower.

Chocolate Treats

Alter Eco Organic Dark Chocolate Coconut Clusters achieve just the right ratio of crispy and tender, thanks to the 70 percent dark chocolate enveloping the lightly toasted coconut flakes.

Verified low glycemic, Blissfully Better Crunchy Quinoa Organic Toffee Thins, made with coconut nectar and dark chocolate, offer a deep, rich taste

Enjoy Life Chocolate Protein Bites Sunseed Butter provide a vegan protein lift for midday munchies. Allergy friendly, gluten free, and addicting.

Flavabar Espresso Ground Coffee Dark Chocolate Bar combines some of the best things in life. Java junkies will appreciate the taste (as well as the beneficial cocoa flavanols and antioxidants)!

Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are mind-blowingly good! This USDA organic snack is made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa and sustainably sourced palm fruit oil.

Frozen Food

Avoid the gluten and empty calories of pizza dough and inhale more flavor, protein, fiber, and vitamins with Caulipower Veggie Pizza, which has a thin crust made of cauliflower, topped with hearty vegetables.

Deep Foods Tandoor Chef Chicken Tikka Masala Kati Pockets won raves for its authentic North Indian flavor. No need to pay restaurant prices with this in the freezer!


Whether you pour a bowl for breakfast, eat by the handful, or sprinkle over yogurt, New England Natural Bakers Organic Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Granola Clusters will become your go-to!

Our testers couldn’t get enough of Bakery on Main Bunches of Crunches Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Superfood GRAINola. Gluten-free, whole-grain clusters are made from oats, amaranth, millet, chia seeds, and cacao.

Whirlybird Granola will win you over with its fantastic flavor, perfectly crunchy texture, and wholesome ingredients, including extra-virgin olive oil—never canola. Made with gluten-free rolled oats.

Mac & Cheese

Get your comfort food fix without a carb coma with Modern Table Mac & Cheese Complete Protein Jalapeño Cheddar, which uses elbow pasta made of lentils for 16 grams of complete protein.

Meat Sticks

Vermont Smoke & Cure Minis Uncured Pepperoni Turkey Sticks offer 8 grams of protein from turkeys raised with vegetarian feed and no antibiotics or added hormones. Gluten free.


Earnest Eats Coconut Warrior Protein + Probiotic Oatmeal provides a flavorful, powerhouse breakfast with 15 grams of grass-fed whey protein plus probiotic cultures.

Pasta Sauce

Newman’s Own Sockarooni Pasta Sauce is a great sauce for the whole family. It’s spicy enough to satisfy adults who like a peppery kick but mild enough for finicky young eaters too!

Pizza Sauce

Now that’s Italian! Cucina Antica la Pizza Cooking Sauce delivers a light, slightly chunky, no-sugar-added sauce made from tomatoes sourced from Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza!


PopCorners Spicy Queso Popped-Corn Snack “pops” with flavor, thanks to red and black peppercorns. At 120 calories and 3 grams of sugar per serving, this is a guilt-free snack.

Protein Shake

Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Chocolate combines organic green superfoods with 20 grams of complete vegan protein in a satisfying nutrition shake mix.


A. Vogel Herbamare Spicy Sea Salt contains a blend of organic herbs and vegetables with an extra kick from chili powder, black pepper, and horseradish. It peps up Mexican, Italian, and grilled food. No MSG.


If seaweed’s your jam, try GimMe Organic Wasabi Premium Roasted Seaweed, which combines intense flavor and a pinch of sea salt with organic crispy seaweed.


NOW Foods Organic Monk Fruit Zero-Calorie Liquid Sweetener is a sweet, low-glycemic alternative to sugar and synthetic sweeteners. No bitterness or aftertaste.


Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna delivers a clean taste packed with 1,062 milligrams of EPA and DHA omega 3s per serving. This sustainable pole and line-caught tuna comes in pouches with no extra liquids, just a hint of sea salt.


Hälsa Organic Oatgurt is dairy-free, plant-based yogurt with the freshest flavor imaginable, literally bursting with the clean taste of organic fruit. Contains prebiotics, probiotics, and no added sugar.


The flavor of Snikiddy Organic Grilled Cheese Baked Puffs will win over young snackers—and the USDA Organic and gluten free certifications will win over their parents.

Here’s a twist: Vegan Rob’s Probiotic Cauliflower Puffs satisfy a craving for crunch while delivering probiotics. Made with gluten-free, whole-grain sorghum flour.

Snack Bars

Honey Stinger Organic Cracker N’ Nut Butter Snack Bar packs a delightful assortment of tastes and textures, including almond butter and honey, between multigrain crackers with a sprinkle of sea salt, all topped off with dark chocolate.

Luna Whole Nutrition Sea Salt Caramel fits beautifully into a busy day. Made with organic cashews and oats, this gluten-free snack provides 8 grams of protein and is crazy delicious.


BOS Organic Rooibos Yuzu Iced Tea uses the yuzu citrus fruit from Japan to infuse the light earthy flavor of green rooibos tea with a hint of refreshing tartness.

If you liked Red Hots as a kid, you’ll love Harney & Sons Fine Teas’ Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea, a bold black tea brewed with cloves, orange peel, and cinnamon bark. Bottled for summer enjoyment.

Mushroom Wisdom Mai Green Tea blends premium tencha, a delicately flavored Japanese green tea, with maitake mushrooms, for smooth sipping!

Special Pet Section

Our furry friends love eating too! Here are some surefire hits, beloved by our staff members' dogs.

Lord Jameson Dog Patisserie Gourmet Organic Dog Treats use fine, organic ingredients, including fruit, veggies, and gluten-free grains, to pamper pups!

Portland Pet Food Company uses sustainable food sourced and made in the United States. Its Bacon Brew Biscuits ingeniously repurpose spent grains from breweries (no worries, these products contain no alcohol) for treats dogs love!