Are you even a celebrity these days without a brand collab or entrepreneurial venture? Sure, George Clooney, Jessica Alba, and Rihanna are famous for their movies, TV shows, and albums, but their fortunes mostly stem from business, not entertainment. Acquisition sure pays a lot more than streaming residuals. Savvy celebs are fronting clothing lines, skincare companies, and—with increasing frequency, if the inboxes of Bon Appétit editors are any indication—food and beverage brands. Some endeavors make total sense (of course Bon Jovi is hawking a rosé called Hampton Water) while others feel more left-field (Gal Gadot eats boxed mac and cheese?). But sensical or not, the question remains: Which celebrity-backed food and bev brands are actually good? We’ll be the judge of that.
There’s been drama around Delola, Jennifer Lopez’s new line of flavored alcoholic spritzes: Some fans have had trouble squaring it with the actress’s generally soberish persona. “I haven’t been a big drinker my whole life. For a long time, I didn’t drink at all,” Lopez told Food and Wine. “But I’m very particular, and I wanted [Delola] to be something that’s easy to pour over ice and drink.” I have no qualms with JLo getting her bag, but I did wonder if, given her ambivalence towards alcohol, the spritzes would be any good.
Delola comes in three prettily bottled flavors: Paloma Rosa (tequila, grapefruit, elderflower), Bella Berry (vodka, berries, hibiscus), and L’Orange (amaro, orange, passionfruit). The good: Paloma Rosa is light, fizzy, and floral, and unlike a lot of spritzes, not too sweet at all. The grapefruit is subtly bitter. The whole thing, chilled over ice, goes down easy peasy. A sunny picnic hit. The okay: L’Orange—forgettably orangey; I kept sipping to find the passionfruit but came up empty. Now, the bad: The Bella Berry gave me flashbacks to the cherry-flavored cough medicine my mom used to chase me around the house with and force between my teeth. It’s cloying and overwhelmingly sugary, and although the entire line declares itself free of artificial ingredients, the Bella Berry tastes like a Capri Sun that’s lost God. I am sorry, JLo, but that’s my honest review! Thank you for the Paloma Rosa; please return Bella Berry to the lab. —Karen Yuan, culture editor
While many Jonas Brothers fans express their devotion for Nick, Joe, and Kevin by filling arenas and stadiums, I’ve chosen to show my support by eating Rob’s Backstage Popcorn, the brothers’ popcorn brand, on my couch. Rob is a longtime family friend and won the trio over with his popcorn recipe, which quickly became a go-to backstage snack. The brand teamed up with singer Kelly Clarkson to create Kelly’s Classic BBQ, and their latest flavor, Priyanka’s Mumbai Nights, is made in collaboration with actress, model, and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra Jonas (also the wife of youngest brother Nick). Chopra Jonas chose to flavor the mix with Indian spices like turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and coriander, plus a hint of sugar to sweeten the deal. I immediately noticed the vibrant yellow color of the popped kernels, which carried a fluffy yet crunchy bite, and a savory profile that is warm and just the right amount of spicy. My best recommendation: Sit back, turn on Camp Rock or Chopra Jonas’s latest Love Again, and let the popcorn eating begin. —Kate Kassin, editorial operations associate
Okay, Barbie may not be a “real” “person,” but she’s basically a celebrity, and the zeitgeist of Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated movie has held me in a pliant chokehold ever since Margot Robbie’s impeccable foot stepped out of her pink stilettos. This is my Joker. Which is why I responded in all caps (with many emojis) when my editor asked if I wanted to try out Swoon’s limited edition Barbie pink lemonade. Swoon is a beverage brand that prides itself on not using sugar, instead sweetening its beverages with monk fruit. I’d tried and liked their sweet teas, so my expectations were as high as Barbie’s arches. But I was disappointed as soon as I cracked the can. The drink itself isn’t even pink (it’s clear), and the flavor lacks much of the characteristic luster of Barbie—neither refreshingly tart nor playfully sweet, just meh. Once I get my Barbie fix in July, it’s not something I’ll reach for again. —Megan Wahn, associate commerce editor
Fashion designer Ji Won Choi has partnered with brands like Adidas and been featured in the pages of Vogue, but her latest collab is potentially her best yet—a gochujang with Asian American sauce company Bowlcut. Food and fashion have been intertwined in my mind ever since I saw the Lady Gaga meat dress, so I was immediately there for this saucy crossover (sauce-over?). According to Bowlcut, the gochujang is meant as a tribute to Choi’s mother and the food she ate as a child. So far, I’ve used Bowlcut’s gochujang to make deputy food editor Hana Asbrink’s Sloppy Joes along with this classic Slow-Roast Gochujang Chicken, and I’m happy to report it’s garlicky and sweet, with all of the punch and fermented flavor I like in a gochujang paste. The sauce is a bit runnier than other brands I’ve tried, which makes using it as a marinade especially easy. I’d consider keeping this stylish jar in my fridge as a pantry staple for all seasons. —Alma Avalle, digital operations associate