12 Canned Foods You Should Never Buy From Walmart

If you have ever binged zombie apocalypse movies, then you might know that a common trait — no matter the main characters or where they're camped out — is a large stash of canned food. Thanks to the format, most canned food has a much longer shelf life than other consumable products. Canned foods are also super convenient when you don't have the energy to prepare and cook an entire meal from scratch. The variety of options is large too, including vegetables, ravioli, and even canned bread.

One of the greatest attributes of canned food is that most products are inexpensive. According to Fox News, shelf-live varies with acidity, so high acid foods like tomatoes last about 18 months, while low acid foods can be stored up to five years. No matter what grocery store you go to, you'll find a wide range of cheap canned products to purchase, and Walmart is no different. As one of the largest store chains in the world, it is only natural they have a huge offering of canned foods, many of them delicious to serve at any meal. However, with all of the excellent options, there are bound to be some not-so-great outliers. To help you out, we're highlighting 12 canned foods you should avoid the next time you go to Walmart.

1. Great Value Chili with Beans

When something has the words Great Value in the title, the assumption is that you are getting something great for an even greater price. When you add chili to that title, the excitement is palpable. There are numerous brands that offer canned chili, so it should come as no surprise that Walmart carries Great Value Chili with Beans from their own budget line. While you can get canned beans and chili separately, this product combines both foods into one convenient can. However, while you might think that the price is cheap, unfortunately, the same can be said about the taste.

This chili with beans is too spicy and the proportion of beans to beef is inconsistent, with too much bean and not enough beef. Like many of the canned foods on this list, this product can also be likened to dog food. While some people enjoy it, many more don't, and Walmart reviewers write that it is "The worst chili I have ever eaten from a can. It was super bland and the meat looked like it was broken off from a baking sheet of dry ground beef." Poor tasting chili isn't something you should settle for, so do yourself a favor and don't buy this product

2. Great Value French Style Green Beans

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without some green vegetables, and green beans make a perfect pairing with turkey and mac and cheese. If you were hoping to serve canned green beans, steer clear of Great Value French Style Green Beans from Walmart. Once again, this is another Great Value canned product that should be avoided. While this item is certainly cheap at only fifty cents on the store website, even the color of the labeling on the can is off-putting enough to push someone away from these green beans.

There is a lot we can say about this can of greens, and not only that it makes us feel green ourselves. The product is a paler green color than fresh products, which is somewhat understandable, but the fact that there is no added salt is also a turn-off. While lots of canned products are too salty, the lack of salt makes the beans flavorless. One Walmart reviewer writes that "These unfortunately are not consistent on taste or texture." If you want great green beans, then Great Value's canned beans are to be avoided.

3. Great Value Pear Halves

Poached, peeled, or picked right from a tree, pears are a sweet and juicy fruit that is perfect for desserts, salads, or just as a snack. While not as popular as an apple, this fruit is much softer and milder yet just as good. Pears are also healthy and contain vitamin A, niacin, and folate, which are useful for skin health, cellular function, and energy production, according to Healthline. This product, however, proves that pears aren't always perfect — especially when they come from a can.

Great Value Pear Halves from Walmart are skinned pears that look a little like raw chicken at first glance. The fruit is covered in a heavy syrup, which only adds more sugar to the already sweet fruit. While some people enjoy these pear halves as dessert, other buyers claim that the pears are extremely hard, and more like an apple. One buyer even compares the product's hardness to a rock, while another reviewer on the Walmart website writes, "At least two halves were so hard that I could not cut them. Had to toss them!" There are other canned pear offerings at Walmart with much higher ratings, such as a product by Del Monte. If you're looking for a healthy fruit snack, you're better off buying fresh pears than purchasing this product.

4. Great Value Extra Noodle in Chicken Broth Condensed Soup

A warm bowl of broth is comforting and filling, and when that bowl contains thin noodles in chicken broth, it can bring a lot of people back to their childhood and less-complicated times. That is, if the broth and noodles taste good. This was not the case for a number of reviewers after trying Great Value Extra Noodle in Chicken Broth Condensed Soup. This affordable and convenient soup has a number of reviews complaining about a bad taste or an aftertaste, which one reviewer blamed on added sugar.

A lack of actual chicken was the subject of other reviews, although to be fair, Walmart's name for the broth and its ingredients do not list solid chicken at all; only chicken broth is mentioned. One other complaint really isn't Walmart's fault, either: Someone had picky grandkids who didn't like the carrots in the broth. The noodles didn't escape scrutiny, although complaints about these were not common. One reviewer thought they were too small, and a four-star review mentioned the can contents were more like "noodles with broth coating." Hmm.

5. Great Value Clam Chowder Soup

Maybe you're someone who loves trying different types of clam chowder and comparing recipes, or maybe you prefer to quote "The Good Place" and call clam chowder "a savory latte with bugs in it." Either way, you might want to hold off buying Great Value Clam Chowder Soup, a product that had reviewers divided. While there were some positive reviews, many negative ones focused on how watered-down the soup seemed or how few solids there were in what was basically cream soup. One three-star reviewer even called the soup "pretend milk."

Complaints focused on both taste and texture, but it was the taste that really got people writing. The soup was either too bland or much too salty, with many reviewers complaining that the salt was excessive. As of 2022, one 18.8-ounce can of the soup contained 780 mg of sodium per serving, with two servings per can. That's 33% of the daily value for sodium based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day and over 50% of the American Heart Association's "ideal limit" of 1,500 mg per day. For customers trying to cut their sodium intake, this soup would be a no-go even if the taste weren't overly salty.

6. Great Value Chicken Noodle Soup

If Walmart's condensed chicken broth with extra noodles was a disappointment for some due to a lack of actual chicken, a non-condensed option with all the solid food they crave could be Great Value Chicken Noodle Soup. Or so it looks at first. The picture on the can seems promising, with chunks of chicken nestled among twisty egg noodles and cubed carrots. However, the reviews show that even this soup doesn't have that much actual chicken in it, at least not in every can. In fact, a number of reviews complain about little chicken, watery broth, a cardboard-like taste, and both an aftertaste and a bad smell that one reviewer labeled as "chemical."

A number of star ratings had no reviews attached, so keep that in mind as you look for chicken soup to buy. There weren't really any complaints about the soup being too salty, but don't let that make you think the soup is acceptable for a low-sodium diet. The nutrition label as of 2022 shows that one 18.6-ounce can contains two servings of soup with 690 mg of sodium per serving. That's nearly 1,380 mg of sodium if you're eating the entire can's contents in one sitting. When it comes to canned chicken noodle soup, there are simply better options out there. 

7. Great Value French Onion With Beef Stock Condensed Soup

Reviewers often are the first to sound the alarm about issues with products that could create problems for certain consumers. With Great Value French Onion With Beef Stock Condensed Soup, that issue is gluten. On Walmart's website (this is as of June 2022), the description for this soup calls it gluten-free. However, the ingredients list contains soy sauce, which itself contains wheat. For people who do not have celiac disease or other conditions that require avoiding gluten, this may seem like a small deal. But for people with celiac disease and other gluten-avoiding conditions, this is a big concern.

As Healthline notes, soy sauce is going to have gluten in it from its wheat content. Tamari is a form of soy sauce that is good for those who can't have gluten, but that is not what's listed on the beef stock's label. This means anyone who needs to avoid gluten needs to avoid this soup, at least until Walmart changes its ingredients. Given that there's no way to predict whether the company will do that on its own, it's best if consumers who really want this stock contact the company about the description and label discrepancy.

The soup has other issues than gluten though. Reviewers reported finding inedible onion skins in the soup and that the product had an unappetizing look to it, with one person reporting "growths." The soup is also high in sodium and low in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

8. Great Value Grilled Chicken & Sausage Gumbo Soup

Sometimes reviews may seem to be all over the place when they're actually not. This is the case with Great Value Grilled Chicken & Sausage Gumbo Soup, which has a number of complaints about how there's clumpy rice, mushy rice, or even no rice. Those sound different at first, but all focus on one ingredient: the rice. So, clearly there's something up with the rice, and consumers seeking a quick bowl of gumbo might not get what they expected.

Texture and contents are the other two issues that stood out to reviewers. The ratio of solids to broth varied wildly, according to reviews, with some complaints about too much tomato. The texture of the chicken and sausage was deemed overly chewy and tough, even "dried out." And the flavor was described as too bland and absolutely lacking in spice. Given that you can make gumbo with about 10 minutes of prep time (and about an hour of cooking), it may be better to make a large pot of your own to freeze for future meals, if you have the cooking and storage space.

9. Great Value Minestrone Soup

Minestrone's a classic vegetable-and-bean soup that typically offers pasta and chunks of vegetables in a savory tomato-based broth. Walmart's Great Value Minestrone Soup looks like it will fulfill that expectation from the picture on the can, but as one reviewer found, at least some cans contain way too many pieces of celery and uncooked peas.

This soup is a bit of a mystery as it gets only a 2.8 rating (as of June 2022) but has only six reviews. More of these are negative than positive, although a three-star rating offers a glowing review that seems above and beyond its middling rating. As Big Commerce notes, potential consumers want to see a lot of reviews for a product as having many reviews that mention similar compliments or complaints carry more weight than just a few reviews, so take those positive reviews with a grain of salt, of which there are quite a few in this soup. Even without a lot of reviews, this is a product worth avoiding for its high sodium content; a low-sodium version would be a better buy. Hint, hint, Walmart. 

10. Great Value Healthy Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup Family Size

Walmart has a "healthy" line of soups with lower sodium, so you do not have to give up shopping for affordable cans of soup at the store if you want to lower your sodium intake. However, that lower amount of sodium doesn't always translate into soup that reviewers like. Great Value Healthy Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup (the Family Size) gets some disappointing reviews that focus mainly on taste and texture. The soup is watery, thin, and bland, according to the reviews.

This is another product that has some reviews with star ratings but no comment; in fact, many of the four- and five-star reviews have no comment, making the 3.6 rating look potentially too high given the comments that actually were left. More confusing is the fact that one of the bad reviews has to do with shipping and shopping issues and not the product. The reviewer wanted regular cream of mushroom soup but was given this condensed version instead. While a poor rating due to shipping shenanigans can be appropriate in some cases, as discussed in this Reddit thread, it doesn't help people determine the quality of the product, especially when faced with a bunch of no-text ratings that are supposedly positive.

11. Great Value 5-7 Large Artichoke Hearts

Some of Walmart's canned vegetables are better left on the shelf. Great Value 5-7 Large Artichoke Hearts have a problem with texture if the reviews are any indication. This is mainly excessive stringiness that wouldn't go away even after the artichoke hearts were pureed in a blender. Be aware that as of June 2022, all the four- and five-star ratings for this product had no reviews attached, meaning there's no indication of what's actually good about this product.

Two negative reviews focused on shipping problems, but this time, these are issues anyone ordering this product online would need to know about. One person received dented cans, while another received cans that had an expiration date of one day past when they left their review. While the USDA says that canned goods are often safe to eat well past their best-by date, it's still disturbing to get cans that may have been sitting around in a warehouse for several months.

12. Great Value Cut Green Beans

Great Value Cut Green Beans have a number of unfavorable reviews for a few different problems, including stringiness. While many people liked the product (including people adding the green beans to dog food), a lot of people had problems with shipping and receiving the wrong product. Complaints included getting the wrong size of can, receiving dented cans, and receiving cans without a pull tab. While it's easy to dismiss complaints like these as people not paying attention to what they were ordering, two people did receive smaller cans than they had ordered, and dented cans are no joke. As for the pull tab, this is not a small thing to people with hand and arm conditions that make it hard to use a can opener, or, in the case of the reviewer, if they had moved and didn't have a can opener; sometimes that pull tab is necessary. At the time of this writing, however, the picture of the can on the website does not show a pull tab.

One person found "rust" spots on the beans and was understandably upset. Tasting Table says a few brown spots on fresh beans may indicate only that the beans are getting old, but the Extension Foundation says if the spots look rusty, those could be a sign of a fungus, which you should not eat. This was in only one review, however, which implies that one can was an exception and that most of the beans are not going to have rust spots.