Best Store-Bought Cranberry Sauce: Top 5 Brands, According To Foodies

Cranberry sauce is a staple at Thanksgiving dinner tables. From jellied to whole berry to relish, there are many different tastes and brands to choose from. But which one should you go for this holiday season? StudyFinds scoured the internet and, thanks to online experts, found the top five best store-bought cranberry sauce.

Not only is cranberry sauce a Thanksgiving favorite, but it is also heart-healthy. A recent study from King’s College London reveals that eating cranberries daily reduces your risk of developing heart disease. Researchers say that consuming 100 grams of cranberries a day leads to stronger cardiovascular function in men.

On top of improving your heart health, cranberries also boost brain health. Eating a handful of cranberries every day helps improve your memory and defends against dementia. According to University of East Anglia scientists, people had better memory after 12 weeks of eating the equivalent of a small bowl of cranberries daily. Study participants also had 9 percent less “bad” cholesterol. So, let’s remember to eat up that cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving!

Are you about to hit the store to prepare for Thanksgiving? StudyFinds has compiled a list of the best store-bought cranberry sauces. Did one of your favorites not make the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Cranberry sauce
Cranberry sauce (Photo by Elena Leya on Unsplash)

The List: Best Store-Bought Cranberry Sauce, According to Experts

 

1. Ocean Spray

Experts’ top recommendation for store-bought cranberry sauce is Ocean Spray. “Ocean Spray has been around since 1930 when three cranberry growers decided to get together and form a co-op to create a delicious product using the fruit they adored. And so they have,” says Tasting Table. “We’ve been enjoying Ocean Spray’s line of cranberry juices since pre-school and couldn’t wait to try its sauces. If you want to add a little nostalgia to your table without giving up on taste, then Ocean Spray is the can to grab on your next shopping trip.”

Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

“This sauce was firm and sweet, and had better texture and more acidity than the other jellied version we tried,” Food Network writes about Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce. “In addition to cranberries and water, the ingredient list consists of two corn-based sweeteners (high-fructose corn syrup and corn syrup). You definitely need some sugar to mellow out the tartness of cranberries, but most other brands we tried have only one added sweetener.”

Another popular Ocean Spray product is its Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce. “If you’d rather a cranberry condiment that almost makes you pucker, Ocean Spray’s Whole Berry sauce is the best option for you,” notes Good Housekeeping. “This luscious sauce, with big chunks of berries, lets the cranberry’s tartness shine without being unpleasantly sour.”

2. Stonewall Kitchen

The second-most favorite store-bought cranberry sauce comes from Stonewall Kitchen. “Stonewall Kitchen’s cranberry sauce isn’t your run-of-the-mill option; it’s for those who enjoy indulging in decadent and unconventional flavors,” says The Daily Meal. “With a focus on ginger and a unique texture, this sauce is an excellent choice for those looking to break the norm and try something different on their holiday table.”

Stonewall Kitchen New England Cranberry Relish
Stonewall Kitchen New England Cranberry Relish

The Kitchn calls Stonewall Kitchen New England Cranberry Relish the best “fancy” cranberry sauce. “While it may say ‘relish,’ this is a cooked, whole berry cranberry sauce — and it tastes just like homemade. If you love ‘fancy’ cranberry sauce but don’t want to make it, opt for this one. The color is gorgeous and festive while the texture is soft and saucy. It’s not overly sweetened, so the tartness of the cranberry really shines. But best of all it’s made with orange juice, orange peel, and spices (the clove is easily detectable), which gives it a more complex, spiced flavor that’s truly holiday worthy.”

PureWow recommends the Stonewall Kitchen Holiday Spiced Cranberry Sauce, calling it the best spiced cranberry sauce. “If you find plain cranberry sauce too blah, this spiced option will bring the festive flavor to your holiday spread. Like Stonewall Kitchen’s traditional cranberry sauce, it has a chunky texture that reminded us of homemade, plus plenty of tart-bitter cranberry notes. Ginger puree, brandy and warm winter spices like anise are the star ingredients that take it over the top.”

3. Trader Joe’s

Another popular cranberry sauce to make for Thanksgiving is Trader Joe’s. “There’s plenty to love about this seasonal item (it’s in stores only during the holidays). Made with cranberries, sugar, water and pectin (a fruit-based jelling agent), it’s sweet and tart, and has great texture,” says Food Network. “Overall, this was the most-user-friendly option for spreading on sandwiches, serving alongside roasted turkey and more.”

Trader Joe's Cranberry Sauce
Trader Joe’s Cranberry Sauce

“We’d run in front of traffic for Joe and his seasonal treats (kidding, kind of), and this shelf-stable, whole cranberry sauce is no exception,” writes PureWow. “You’ll get tart, deep cranberry flavor that isn’t covered up by a ton of sugar. The sauce is made from just four ingredients (cranberries, sugar, water and pectin), so it tastes like homemade, too. In fact, PureWow’s editor in chief, Jillian Quint, says it tastes better than homemade—add orange slices and your guests will think you whipped it up yourself.”

The Kitchn calls Trader Joe’s the best plain whole berry cranberry sauce. “To keep the playing field even, I skipped over TJ’s refrigerated cranberry sauce and fresh relish, and opted for the shelf-stable jar. The color was darker than the other brands and the texture was a bit more dense and firm, but the resulting taste was outstanding. This brand offered the most tart cranberry flavor, and avoided the pitfall of covering it up with too much sweetness. That boldness was an excellent pairing with the turkey (and didn’t make it taste like dessert). If you love deep cranberry flavor, this is a great option. And it’s a bargain too!”

4. Whole Foods

Another popular store-brand cranberry sauce is Whole Foods. “Whole Foods 365 Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce emerges as the top choice on our list, and it’s clear why,” recommends The Daily Meal. “This cranberry sauce perfectly blends a traditional canned congealed texture and a touch of juiciness, offering a balanced experience. But what truly sets this cranberry sauce apart is its wholesome ingredient list, as it boasts the USDA-certified organic label and contains only all-natural components.”

Whole Foods 365 Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Whole Foods 365 Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce

“Despite being lowest in sugar, this variety was plenty sweet and is made with cranberries, sugar, water and lemon juice concentrate,” says Food Network.

PureWow calls it the best organic jelly-style. “Whole Foods’s organic jellied cranberry sauce isn’t quite the smooth, glistening jiggler you grew up with, and that’s not a bad thing. It features some whole cranberries in its jelly for added texture, along with a tangy, crisp flavor that tasters appreciated. Even better, it’s made without high fructose corn syrup.”

5. Woodstock Farms

Rounding out the top five is Woodstock Farms. “Specializing in organic products that are non-GMO, Woodstock Farms likes using simple ingredients that come from sources you can trust,” says Tasting Table. “While these cranberries didn’t make the top of our list, we wouldn’t have a problem serving them at our Thanksgiving table. Like a few other brands on this list, Woodstock also makes both jellied and whole cranberry sauce. The only ingredients listed on the label are organic cranberries, organic sugar, organic lemon juice concentrate, and filtered water though we picked up on strong notes of apples which wasn’t a bad thing.”

Woodstock Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Woodstock Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Woodstock Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce impressively secures the silver medal in our ranking, and it’s easy to see why,” notes The Daily Meal. “This cranberry sauce is health-conscious, boasting USDA organic and non-GMO certifications. The ingredient list is simple, all-natural, and free from artificial additives.”

Good Housekeeping favors the Woodstock Organic Whole Cranberry Sauce. “The short, non-GMO ingredients list, with no corn syrup or artificial colors added, means this cranberry sauce has a delicious, clean flavor that’s true to the fruit.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Matt Higgins

Matt Higgins worked in national and local news for 15 years. He started out as an overnight production assistant at Fox News Radio in 2007 and ended in 2021 as the Digital Managing Editor at CBS Philadelphia. Following his news career, he spent one year in the automotive industry as a Digital Platforms Content Specialist contractor with Subaru of America and is currently a freelance writer and editor for StudyFinds. Matt believes in facts, science and Philadelphia sports teams crushing his soul.

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Comments

  1. Ocean Spray Whole Cranberry Sauce wins hands down in my family. We think it’s better than anyone’s we’ve ever tasted that was “homemade”, including my own homemade attempt. LOL

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