We Tasted More Than 530 Items for the 2024 Pantry Awards—Here’s How We Chose the Winners

We Tasted More Than 530 Items for the 2024 Pantry Awards—Here’s How We Chose the Winners

Welcome to SELF’s second annual Pantry Awards! We’re so glad you’re here—and hope you came with a hearty appetite.

We created the Pantry Awards with a clear mission: to highlight the packaged foods we not only depend on, but that also bring us joy. Perhaps that joy stems from the way a colorful tin of olive oil brightens up your kitchen counter. Or maybe, for you, it’s a little more practical: You’ve finally found the perfect quick meal after a late night at work (boxed mac and cheese that packs a surprising amount of protein). Food sustains us—physically, yes, but emotionally too—and we want to celebrate it in all of its snackable, delectable crunch and glory.

In this year’s Pantry Awards, you’ll meet 74 winners across three overarching categories: Snacks, Crackers, Chips, and Bites; Sauces, Spreads, Oils, and Condiments; and Pantry Staples, or the items that can serve as a base for any meal. We also have a few new stories to help you put these winners to work, all under the general theme of Make It Easy. In It’s Time to Overcome Your Fear of Tinned Fish, one writer makes a convincing argument for anyone wary of the convenient and nutritious canned good to get on board. In 8 Healthy and Delicious ‘Recipes’ You Can Quickly Throw Together, a registered dietitian created a bunch of simple but creative ways to combine some of our award winners for fast and filling dishes. And finally, in Store-Bought Sauce Is the Secret to Not-Boring, Healthy Weeknight Meals, we share a modest proposal for easy home cooking: Throw a bunch of sauce on it (“it” being absolutely anything at all).

Before you really dive in, we wanted to share a quick behind-the-scenes look at how we landed on our 74 spectacular winners. We spend several months working on the Pantry Awards, and that all starts with opening up submissions to brands. You can read those guidelines, which we publish on self.com, here. We received 533 submissions this year and combed through each one, narrowing down the list by removing items that felt impractical or inaccessible or antithetical to our values. (Are they easy to purchase anywhere in the country? Are they sold at a fair price point—and actually worth what they cost? Are they cloaked in harmful diet culture messaging—or “low-calorie” swaps that are just plain disgusting?) We decided to call in 422 products for testing. Some went directly to people’s homes—we recruited a group of SELF staffers, registered dietitians, chefs, foodies, and home cooks to try out these items in their daily lives—and some came to the SELF office in New York City.

Then, the fun really began: We set up four different taste tests open to anyone at Condé Nast (SELF’s parent company). On those afternoons, writers, editors, art directors, marketing associates, and video producers (just to name a few)—friends of ours from brands like Glamour, Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue, Architectural Digest, and more—filled a conference room to try a variety of snacks we laid out. In total, we had more than 300 people pass through to get a bite of the Pantry Awards, and they completed more than 550 reviews in total.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.