Skip to content

A Dill-ectible Brand Test

As a foodservice marketing agency, we here at IN Food love to stay on top of food-related trends, and rarely do we see a food item more prevalent in this space than the unassuming pickle. This savory treat has inspired flavor innovators to create some of the most delicious and outlandish creations you’re likely to find. From dill pickle pizza to pickle-flavored ice cream, it seems no food product is safe from being pickle-fied.

Naturally, the IN team – filled to the brim with pickle lovers – jumped at the opportunity to dive into the briny depths to see which pickle is best. For this brand test, we collected four of the most prevalent brands of refrigerated classic dill pickle spears and asked our testers to judge them based on flavor, texture, and packaging design.


Nathan’s Famous
Price per ounce: $0.24

Better known for their hotdogs, Nathan’s Famous has been churning out favorites for over 100 years. But does their success with franks translate to a winning pickle? Our team was excited to find out!

Cleveland Kitchen
Price per ounce: $0.21

Cleveland Kitchen focuses on fermented foods with offerings like kraut, kimchi, and salad dressings. As a fresher face in the pickle game, we’re ready to see if their pickle is dill-icious.

Price per ounce: $0.20

Of our options for this test, Claussen is the veteran pickle-purveyor. They’ve been at it for 150 years and counting — so they must be doing something right!

Grillo’s Pickles
Price per ounce: $0.24

Grillo’s Pickles’ self-proclaimed “World’s Best Pickles” have picked up quite the reputation. Made with simple ingredients and without artificial preservatives, you’ll have a tough time finding a cleaner pickle


Flavor: The winner by a slight margin was Claussen, followed by Cleveland Kitchen, then Grillo’s Pickles, with Nathan’s Famous trailing behind with the lowest ranking. Most of our testers praised Claussen’s salty, tamer flavor profile, while a couple thought they were on the boring side. Cleveland Kitchen offered a tangy, slightly salty pickle that had a vinegar-y flavor. Grillo’s Pickles had a sour, garlicky taste that intrigued a few, but put off the majority. Nathan’s Famous pickle was described as the mildest option of the bunch, which contributed to its
lower ranking failed to stand out for the majority.

Texture: This category was more conclusive, with Claussen being the clear favorite. In 2nd place we have Cleveland Kitchen, followed narrowly by Grillo’s Pickles in 3rd, and Nathan’s Famous in 4th place. Our testers were looking for the best crunch and Claussen delivered. The rest of the options trailed behind simply because they had a softer bite.

Packaging design: Grillo’s Pickles took the lead in this category, with our testers describing it as fun, fresh, and classic. In 2nd place, Claussen’s packaging evoked a traditional and simple vibe that resonated with some of our testers. In 3rd, popular opinion was that Nathan’s Famous packaging was distinct, retro, and old-school, while others thought it was a bit busy. The modern vibes of Cleveland Kitchen did not excite the bulk of our testers leading to their 4th-place finish. Grillo’s Pickles and Cleveland Kitchen chose to package in plastic versus the classic glass jar. While this leant their brands a trendy look, it put some testers off, describing the use of plastic as wasteful.

With that, our pickle brand test comes to a close. Although Claussen was voted our favorite pickle overall, any of these options would go delightfully along with a sandwich or as a Bloody Mary garnish. Be sure to try all these options and let us know your top pick(le)!

Back To Top