Mention Trader Joe’s to an American, and everyone has an opinion on what you have to try from the quirky grocery store. With over 400 stores in the US, Trader Joe’s might not have a social media presence or an online store (they do have a podcast worth checking out), but it definitely has a cult following with products that perform (any product that doesn’t garner stellar reviews gets pulled from the shelves). If you’re after unique gifts or in the market to try something new, we highly recommend you connect with a US Boxer and start shopping!
We chat to our US Boxers and get the low-down on the 20 best Trader Joe’s products you need to try. Note that some of these are seasonal and limited edition so ask your US Boxer what the latest offerings are when you’re ready for a Trader Joe’s haul!
Home and Kitchen
- Trader Joe’s Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer, USD8.99, + Add To Wishlist: Fans say this is dupe for La Mer’s famed moisturiser (at a huge fraction of the cost). It contains aloe and green tea extract and is a gel which gives a lovely light consistency which won’t clog pores.
- Trader Joe’s Lavender Dryer Bags, USD4.25, + Add To Wishlist: These bags add a gentle whiff of lavender to your laundry and they double up as a deodorizer as well. Once you’ve used these bags 3-4 times, simply scatter the lavender buds on your floor and vacuum with flair!
- Trader Joe’s Oatmeal Exfoliant Bar, USD2.99, +Add To Wishlist: French milled soap with an almond ginger scent. The packaging is enough to convince us that this would make a luxurious gift.
- Trader Joe’s Lemon Cookie Scented Candle, USD3.99, + Add To Wishlist: If you adore the scent of freshly baked lemon cookies wafting from your oven, you’ll be addicted to this natural soy-wax candle.
Chips, Crisps and Snacks
- Trader Joe’s Patio Potato Chips, USD2.29, +Add To Wishlist: If lazy summer bbqs are your thing, you will love the TJ’s Patio Chips. Each bag contains a medley of 4 flavours (Sea Salt & Vinegar, Delicious Dill, Homestyle Ketchup, and Smokin’ Sweet BBQ) and is so addictive, you will be hard-pressed to share. These aren’t always available, so another TJ’s classic would be the gluten free Trader Joe’s Ketchup Flavored Spud Crunchies.
- Trader Joe’s Banana Date Nut Bread Crisps, USD3.99, +Add To Wishlist: Crispy banana bread? Yes please! These marry the best of two worlds – banana bread and crisps – and include an impressive list of nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans, as well as date pieces to give it a hint of sweetness.
- Trader Joe’s Crunchy Red Dragon Fruit Chips, USD3.99, +Add To Wishlist: These chips are vacuumed dried and are light and crispy. They do not contain oil and make a great topper to salads, cream cheese sandwiches or enjoy them as a guilt-free afternoon snack. These are also seasonal so have a chat to find out what’s in season.
- Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Seedless Grape Slices, USD2.99, +Add To Wishlist: One of our US Boxers swore that her kids are addicted to these. They’re sugar-free as well as sulfur-free and are freeze-dried with their skins left on for that extra goodness.
- Trader Joe’s Tortilla Chips Seasoned with Brussels Sprouts, USD2.69, +Add To Wishlist: Read the store’s description of these tortilla chips and even non brussels sprouts fans will be sold. If these aren’t available, the TJ’s Peanut Butter Pretzels are a classic and highly recommended.
Chocolate, Biscuits and Nuts
- Trader Joe’s Cocoa Almond Crêpe Wafer Cookies, USD2.49, +Add To Wishlist: Ultra thin and crispy buttery wafer cookies that you have to serve with ice cream. We love how how appealing these are, be it visually as well as when consumed.
- Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, USD3.99, +Add To Wishlist: Creamy almond butter encased in fine dark chocolate? Enough said, we’re sold. Ps: These are preservative free and contain no artificial nasties.
- Trader Joes’s Speculoos Cookie and Cocoa Swirl, USD3.99, +Add To Wishlist: The cookie spread that every single tourist has on their must-buy list. There are a few variations of this cookie butter spread, but this one is definitely the most decadent!
- Trader Joes’s Pound Plus Chocolate Bars, USD4.99, +Add To Wishlist: Baking aficionados swear by Trader Joe’s chocolate pound bars. There are a few variations with nuts but the most popular bars are either cacao dark chocolate (72% or 54%) or milk chocolate (33%). These bars are huge, made from the finest Belgium chocolate and contain no preservatives or artificial flavours.
- Trader Joes’s Truffle Marcona Almonds, USD5.99, +Add To Wishlist: Roasted and salted with a tinge of truffle, these Spanish grown almonds are luxurious and were mentioned as a must-try by ALL the Boxers we spoke to.
- Trader Joes’s Mini Meyer Lemon Flavored Biscotti, USD3.99, +Add To Wishlist: Meyer lemons are known to be the most fragrant of all the varieties of lemons out there and this box of mini biscotti will get you salivating from the sheer scent alone. Made with real butter and eggs, this tangy crunchy version elevates TJ’s already dangerously addictive biscotti to a whole new level.
- Trader Joes’s Mochi Cake Mix, USD3.99, +Add To Wishlist: Sweet gooey glutinous rice forms the base of this cake mix. It’s unique and if you like your cakes a little gooey, bouncy and chewy, this one is definitely for you.
Seasonings and Miscellaneous
- Trader Joes’s Honey Pale Ale Mustard, USD1.99, +Add To Wishlist: Alcohol infused food has been making a come-back but TJ’s version of sweet honey, beer and spicy mustard certainly tantalises the taste buds and leaves you wanting more.
- Trader Joes’s Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend, USD2.99, +Add To Wishlist: Kosher salt mixed with porcini and white button mushrooms and infused with onion, thyme, mustard seeds among other ingredients make this seasoning the one that you will put onto everything. From grilled fish to scrambled eggs, this will be your “secret sauce” when it comes to impressing whoever is lucky enough to eat your home cooked meals.
- Trader Joes’s Organic Italian Artisan Striped Garganelli Pasta, USD2.99, +Add To Wishlist: This pretty red and white artisan pasta might have made an appearance during the festive season but we felt it deserved a mention because one of the fun things TJ’s does is create very appropriate pasta for the season. Just look at these snowflake version! Ask your Boxer on what the latest is!
- Trader Joes’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Blend, USD1.99, +Add To Wishlist: We first heard about this classic when we read a story about how a couple made thousands of dollars reselling this seasoning. This blend is made up of sesame seeds, sea salt flakes, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, black sesame seeds and poppy seeds and verified by our US Boxers as the one seasoning they all have in their kitchens.
All image credits: Trader Joe’s
All prices and information accurate as of June 2019