Unboxed: 22 pickle products Peter Piper might have picked

Pickled vegetables and dill-related snacks are increasingly popular, especially as they fuse with trending spicy flavors. See more in the gallery.

Victoria A.F. Camron, Digital content specialist

April 18, 2024

22 Slides

It’s not your imagination: Pickled vegetables—cucumbers, jalapeños, onions and more—are everywhere. GrubHub saw pickle orders increase to more than 6.9 million in 2023, nearly twice the quantity purchased in 2022, Business Insider reported in December.

Pickle flavors, particularly dill, are also showing up in other snack items such as peanuts, nuts, chips—a Google search showed even obscure brands using the flavor—and dips.

Sales of spicy foods is also rising, Newsweek reported in October, citing Nestle USA's 2024 Food Trend Report. The uptick can be seen on restaurant menus, grocery shelves and even the frozen-food cases.

These trends are colliding, as spicy pickled vegetables are easily found online or on shelves. While pickled peppers often used in Latin cuisine, such as jalapeños, have long been popular in some areas of the country, it seems Indian pickles are moving into the space as well.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, as the American population become more diverse. After all, cucumbers are native to India; they hitched a ride to the American continents with Christopher Columbus in the 15th century—long after people began preserving them.

Health benefits vary

Most of the pickles on American grocery shelves aren’t fermented, so they don’t carry the probiotics needed to boost gut health. But those vinegar-infused vegetables often support other health issues.

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Of course, the most popular pickles in the United States are pickled cucumbers. They garnish plates at most delis, sit atop many hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, and add some tang to potato salads and slaws. But any vegetable can be pickled; onions and jalapeños are easily found in grocery stores.

Pickled cucumbers provide beta-carotene, the anti-oxidant that becomes vitamin A, then supports a strong immune system and prevents cell damage, according to “6 health benefits of pickles,” published at SingleCare.com in May 2023. Pickled cucumbers also provide vitamins K, C and E, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, that same article reports.

Of course, all pickled products are high in sodium, which people with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease are generally advised to avoid. However, that high amount of sodium means pickles are high in electrolytes, which could benefit people who are dehydrated, have a fever or are vomiting, Medical News Today reports in the 2019 story, “What are the benefits of pickles?”

A 2010 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that ingesting pickle juice could reduce the duration of muscle cramps when compared with consuming water.

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It’s also possible that eating pickles can help with weight loss, mostly because can be a good source of fiber, which helps people feel full without eating a lot of calories, the SingleCare.com story says.

A very small study, published in 2015 in the Journal of Diabetes Research, tested the blood-glucose levels of men with type 2 diabetes after eating a meal. Among the participants who consumed water after the meal, blood-glucose levels rose higher than the blood-glucose level of those who drank vinegar after the meal.

Click through the gallery to find a variety of pickled and dill-flavored products to consider stocking in your stores.

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About the Author(s)

Victoria A.F. Camron

Digital content specialist, New Hope Network

Victoria A.F. Camron was a freelance writer and editor contracted with New Hope Network from 2015 until April 2022, when she was hired as New Hope Network's digital content specialist—otherwise known as the web editor.

As she continues the work she has done for years—covering the natural products industry for NewHope.com and Natural Foods Merchandiser; writing up earnings calls and other corporate news; and curating roundups of trends and information for the website—she is thrilled to be an official part of the New Hope team. (She doesn't mind having paid holidays and vacations again, though!) Victoria also compiled and edited newsletters, and served as interim content director for Delicious Living in 2016.

Before working as a freelancer, she spent 17 years in community newspapers in Longmont, Colorado, and St. Charles and Wheaton, Illinois. Victoria is a Colorado native and a graduate of Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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