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Top Honors from Cooking Light’s 2010 Taste Test Awards

Read on for a chance to tell us which products meet your personal taste test and you might win a year’s subscription to Cooking Light. I’ve always been a sucker for store brands, even before I had ever heard of Whole Foods Market. Why pay more for the same thing, I say. The problem is sometimes the store brand doesn’t quite taste as good as the name brand and you have to make the cruel decision between budget and taste. So, when I was introduced to Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value line of products, it was a revelation! I got the best of all worlds—an affordable product with lots of organic options, free of ingredients I try to avoid like hydrogenated fats and high-fructose corn syrup, and best of all they taste just as good (and often better) than similar name brand products. You might think I’m a little biased since I now work here, but I’ve got experts who agree with me. Our exclusive store brands made the cut in six categories of Cooking Light magazine’s 2010 Taste Test Awards. Check out Cooking Light’s October issue for all the winners and take a look at these favorites from Whole Foods Market: 365 Everyday Value Organic Unsalted Butter Whole Foods Market 100% Whole Wheat Bread 365 Everyday Value Organic Diced Tomatoes, No-Salt Added 365 Everyday Value Organic Oat and Honey Granola 365 Everyday Value Mayonnaise GRAND PRIZE WINNER IN THIS CATEGORY! 365 Everyday Value Albacore Tuna in Spring Water Want to win a year of Cooking Light? Tell us which 365 Everyday Value or Whole Foods Market products win your personal taste test awards. On Oct. 12th we’ll pick five reader comments at random to receive a free year-long subscription to Cooking Light magazine.

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259 comments

Comments

Kristen says …

The milk is our family fave.

Martha the Allergic says …

I'm getting gluten, wheat, dairy, and yeast out of my diet and finding lots of things gone that I used to like. But I'm finding new things I never used to eat. The Chicken Taquitos have become a new favorite. One problem: there seems to be an inconsistency in whether the masa harina used has gluten/wheat or not. First two boxes were clear (and so was I) so I bought many for the freezer. Third box gave me a four-day reaction. I can't find mention of Whole Foods Kitchen ingredients on this site, or anyone to ask about it. Any ideas for me?

Erika says …

Love the Whole Foods 365 Organic Soymilk. Love the flavor, love the no GMO soybeans, and love the price!

kathielee says …

I like two- the 100% whole wheat bread and the 365 mayonnaise-I've had to pack a lot of lunch meat sandwiches for work recently, and these two items team up well for me.

Jan says …

Believe it or not, sunflower seeds. The whole foods 365 brand in the resealable zip top bag are very good toasted in a cast iron skillet or just out of the bag.

Amanda says …

365 Everyday Value Almond Butter is amazing! It tastes great and I spread it on everything from fruit to sandwiches to get a little extra protein in my day!

Mary says …

I love the 365 hoisin sauce and teriyaki sauce. They are great for quick week night dinners especially adding flavor to stir-frys.

M C Daugherty says …

365 Classic Pasta Sauce is the only jarred sauce I have not had to add anything to. My Mother is from Sicily and this is as close to her home-made sauce as I've ever tasted! Magnifico!

Leona Ennis says …

I had a heart attack a few years ago and was advised to severely reduce my sodium intake. I found the 365 no salt added products which are super great. I especially love all the no salt added canned beans and the no salt added tomato products. Another favorite is the no salt added tortilla chips. I live about an hour away from my nearest whole foods so I really stock up on all of these product when go to my favorite store, Whole Foods in Sarasota.

Diane Sims says …

I drive 30 miles to Whole Foods especially to buy the 365 brand of balsamic vinegar. The flavor is similar to much more expensive brands of imported balsamic.

Amy says …

Ginger Ale- beats every other brand hands down!

Pam says …

365 organic smooth peanut butter!

Cheryl Thrasher says …

I love the 365 dried cherries they make my oatmeal cookies even more of a treat.

Pallas says …

barbeque chicken pizza! since returning to college full time, it's one of the easiest things to prepare quickly after a long day at work and school.

caridad woltz says …

The 365 Blueberry Cereal Bars are a dream! High in anti-oxidants for half the price of other energy bars, they are a trusted source of nutrition and taste in my children's lunchboxes. Thanks for the help!

Adriana says …

I have several top picks- ginger ale, pasta, the whole wheat bread and frozen fruit . . . haven't come across a loser yet.

Reynaul DeShazor says …

My husband loves all of the 365 brand sodas and I love the pasta, tuna, cereal, cereal bars,....I could go on and on and on!

Marcia Segura says …

Whole Foods 365 brands are great! I have always loved good catsup, but I did not realize how good catsup was until I used your 365 brand. MY husband has always laughed at my wanting to buy organic, until one day he told me how much better your catsup tasted. Hooray, now he understands!

Sheila says …

I love Whole Foods 365 brand of Balsamic Vinaigrette. It's got the perfect blend of two types of oil, two types of vinegar, and spices plus no sugar like the other brands seem to put in salad dressing. I have one in the fridge and two in the pantry so I never run out!

Kate says …

I adore the 365-brand frozen veggies. They're great for stretching between grocery trips or the nights I just don't feel like cleaning/preparing fresh produce. Also great in stir-frys or tossed into sauces for a little extra nutrition.

Jennifer says …

I always get a couple of bags of Whole Foods brand Tater Tots and ketsup. They have only simple ingrediants and taste the best out their. My whole family agrees.

ann-laurie says …

Whole Foods Caesar dressing is the best.

Peach Tracy says …

The 365 Everyday Value Organic Oat and Honey Granola is so wonderful. It's even pictured above! Cereal and milk are one of the best things in life.

Debra Dunham says …

There are so many 365 brands and Whole Foods products that I prefer that I have to make a list of things that I need to be sure to pick up after work on Fridays or right before holidays because the store is not located in my borough (Brooklyn). My favorites are the 365 pasta, the sweet relish, cashews in the bag, and the albacore tuna (umm yummy). You can taste the difference in all their products. Oh, I forgot the sweet butter for baking cakes and cookies.

Mary says …

While I haven't tried many of 365 items yet, I'm working on it though, my favorite items are the organic potatoe chips, pasta and peanut butter. After reading Marcia Segura's message regarding catsup, I am definitely going to try it.

pam (pamcakes and eggs) says …

I use the 365 unsalted butter for all my baking. It's the best butter I've come across that isn't super expensive!

Rita Scarborough says …

Wow.. This is hard but I think I would say that 365 Milk, cereal bars and 356 Marinara Pasta Sauce are must have in our home. The milk is delicious. The cereal bars my family just loves and once there was a showdown for the last bar right there in my kitchen between my son and daughter.. tooo funny. My daughter won only because she promised the next time there was only one her brother could have it. But the one 365 product that is a staple in my house in the Marinara Pasta Sauce. It has all natural ingredients not to acidic and clings well to any pasta. My family can tell the difference between 365 and any other brand. So to keep from being involved in any showdowns I jut keep it stocked in my pantry...LOL

Katey Moroneso says …

I really like 365 tomato pasta sauce and pastas. I also like many of the cheeses- one of my favorites is the sharp cheddar and mozzarella. Yum!

Mona Tsutsui says …

I love the 365 Everyday Value Organic Diced Tomatoes, No-Salt Added product! My mother cooks chicken thighs and string beans in the tomatoes with herbs. It makes the chicken moist and juicy. I also think you could use it curry (especially the type of curry popular in japan). The acid in the tomatoes make the curry refreshing, instead of the usual heavy taste.

Heather House says …

We're very happy with the ice cream!

Eugenie Wu says …

I like to use 365 Everyday Value Organic Diced Tomatoes, No-Salt Added for my sauces.

Howell Lee says …

I like 365 Everyday Value Organic Oat and Honey Granola

sara says …

I lov the 365 brand fruit and granola bars!

Rachel says …

I love the canned diced tomatoes - especially the organic ones with italian seasoning!

Donna says …

The 365 brand ginger ale is really gingery and not too sweet.

Sally Harris says …

I have always loved 365 Everyday Value products, I'm glad they got some recognition! My favorite is the soy milk! Thanks Whole Foods!!!

Kristina says …

I stock up on the organic refried beans- both pinto and black. They are both delicious and a great short cut on tostada night!

ann dougherty says …

365 Vanilla Wafer Cookies! Mmmm...butter. :D

Rhonda says …

I love 365 relish, german mustard- this is really good, mayo, the tongul tuna is way better then the albacore. Also, the maple syrup, the agave,diapers, wipes,the juices, the soy milk, the breads-especially the small batch bread,the graham crackers are really yummy as are the oraganic raisins. My only complaint is that many of the products my youngest can't eat because they are "processed with" her allergens. Quite a few of them she could eat if it weren't for that issue.

Rhonda says …

I love 365 relish, german mustard- this is really good, mayo, the tongul tuna is way better then the albacore. Also, the maple syrup, the agave,diapers, wipes,the juices, the soy milk, the breads-especially the small batch bread,the graham crackers are really yummy as are the oraganic raisins. My only complaint is that many of the products my youngest can't eat because they are "processed with" her allergens. Quite a few of them she could eat if it weren't for that issue. I forgot the canned beans are too, sauces, and other veggies. I don't think I have bought a 365 product that I didn't think was better than the "national brand".

Kylee S. says …

My son loves Whole Foods organic beef and spinach ravioli! I love how affordable they are!! :-)

Ann says …

For years my extended family has mocked me because I do the majority of my shopping at Whole Foods. Because of celiac disease, I buy more "whole" foods and less processes ones so Whole Foods is a logical choice. But, what makes it better and what they don't seem to realize is that many of the 365 brand products are less expensive than the grocery stores where they shop. And, they taste better. I tried the light mayo when it first came out and immediately switched from the brand I had been buying. Tuna, tomatoes, butter, tomato paste, beans--plus many more I'm probably forgetting--are staples in my house.

Monisha Reddy says …

I buy only 365 brand milk even if it means going out of my way to buy it! I also love their 365 organic bread and eggs .

Bonnie Fields says …

It seems like every trip to my local Whole Foods results in another 365 product being added to my shopping cart. I regulary use a number of the canned products such as the low-salt varieties of beans and tomatoes. I really like the refried beans with chili and lime as I use them to make great burritos with veggies and low-fat cheeses. Other favorites are the 365 Soy Milk, peanut butter, fat-free milk, some of the cracker varieties[the sesame rice ones are terrific],extra virgin olive oil,and some of the cereal products. The coupons in the store newsletter do also prompt me to try some items that I might not have otherwise had on my list. I really like the store and find that I'm doing more and more of my shopping there. Keep up the good work-the selection gets better and better.

Courtney says …

I love the Whole Foods brand sun dried tomatoes and tomato paste in a tube--both so flavorful and wonderful! Courtney

Elisa says …

365 Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. Great taste and not overpowering like so many other Balsamic dressings are.

Debbie Flayhart says …

I love the Whole Foods Gluten Free Breads. They are the best I have tried and the MOST like real bread. You can actually eat a sandwich on bread that doen't crumble into 1000 pieces!!!

Kate Fuller says …

Honestly, I couldn't choose just one 365 product. I have liked each product I have purchased, and would choose the 365 product over a name brand. They seem to be fresher and more flavorful as well as saving me a bit of money.

Teresa Daniels says …

A lot of the 365 brand products are staples at my place: seasoning blends (my favorite is the Mediterranean), pastas, canned and frozen veggies, cereal bars (love the berry mix), ketchup and mustard, honey, agave nectar, and breads are the main ones. My younger son and I can make meals on just the pasta, veggies, and sauces.

Kathy says …

Searching my kitchen, I find that we very happily use many 365 non-perishables, like canned beans and tomatoes, as well as your vegetable and chicken broths. We also enjoy the 365 dairy products, like milk and cheese. As I just posted on the Whole Foods Garbanzo Bean Blog, I really love the 365 Organic Vegetable Broth which I use to make Pasta & Chickpea Soup. I'll include the recipe on this blog too as it is worthy of sharing again I think! Pasta and Chickpea Soup Serves 4-6 Ingredients-- 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 small onion, minced 2 carrots, minced 2 celery stalks, minced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 14 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained 14 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed & drained 1 cup pureed tomatoes 1/2 cup water 2 quarts vegetable broth or chicken stock* 1-2 fresh rosemary sprigs 2 cups pasta (orecchiette, spiral or other smallish pasta) salt & pepper grated parmesan cheese as desired * The original recipe called for 1 1/2 quarts of broth, but the 2 extra cups I find handy to re-liquify the soup after it has been sitting even just a little while, as the pasta absorbs the broth.) 1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add the chopped vegetables and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes. 2. Add chickpeas & cannellini beans; stir well to mix & cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and water. Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes. 3. Add 1 quart of the broth, the rosemary sprig, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 4, Pour in 2 additional cups of stock with the pasta and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes or according to pasta package directions, until pasta is al dente. Remove rosemary sprig. Serve with grated parmesan cheese as desired.

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