4 Not-to-Be-Missed Trader Joe’s Groceries That Just Hit Stores, According to a Former Employee

published Feb 3, 2023
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New Items sign at Trader Joe's
Credit: Lauren Masur

I have this theory that part of the appeal of Trader Joe’s is that blink-and-you-miss-it experience with new products. Come on a Tuesday afternoon and the shelves might have sprouted with Valentine’s Day chocolate, fresh bags of ground coffee, and new dog treats. Two days later? Gone! But then you spot a new hummus, a cheeky little tulip bulb, and can’t forget to pick up the cookie butter …

Shopping at Trader Joe’s is definitely all about that IYKYK (if you know you know) feeling. Which is why we make it a weekly routine to scour the shelves for all the new items that have hit stores before they become a thing of the past. So what is new this week? I spied with my little eyes a new salad topper, a couple of snack options, as well as my dinner tonight, and I think you’ll definitely want to check them all out this week.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. Sweet Picanté Peppers, $4.99 for 10.75 ounces

When I can’t manage a transatlantic vacation, dinnertime is where I engage most of my wanderlust. And serving up these Sweet Picanté Peppers makes me feel like it’s tapas hour in Spain. 

Also known as peppadew peppers, these Picanté peppers are delightfully crisp and perfectly briny, with a subtle burn of heat. The creamy cheese cuts through the sweet heat of the peppers, and has me daydreaming about loading these onto my next pizza or even skewering them onto my next cocktail

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

2. Apple Chip Duo, $2.49 for 2 ounces

Have you ever noticed that some of the best-kept secrets at Trader Joe’s are hidden in the dried fruit and nut section? It’s often my first stop on my weekly shops, so I was beyond jazzed to find a new addition to the shelves: the Apple Chip Duo. Containing crinkle cuts of both red and green apples, the Apple Chip Duo has a surprise in each sweet (or tart!) bite. 

While I’ve loved dipping these into Trader Joe’s cannoli dip and fleur de sel caramel sauce, I have some savory ideas in store for my bag of apple chips, too. Don’t you think they’d be pretty damn good pressed into a melty turkey-Brie sandwich, too? These apple chips just might be the ticket for my long-standing quest of recreating the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad from Panera Bread, so wish me luck!

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

3. Squiggly Knife Cut Style Noodles, 4.99 for 13.4 ounces

This box had me at the words “squiggly” and “noodles.” Say no more! In the cart you go, squiggly noodles! When my weekly meals start feeling a bit stale, the first thing I do is introduce a new noodle shape into my rotation, and these squiggly noodles are quite the day-brightener.

Supremely ruffly and air-fried, these noodles are chewy and hefty, and even come with their own little pack of soy and sesame sauce for tossing with your favorite toppings (I like a jammy soy-sauce egg, edamame, and plenty of green onions). These squiggly dinnertime heroes are also ideal for riffing, too. Tonight will find me dressing up these noodles carbonara-style, topped with a fried egg.

4. Hot Cocoa Heart Melts, $3.99 for 5.64 ounces

I’m a sucker for anything heart-shaped. Heart-shaped panettone? It’s a need, not a want. Heart-shaped donuts? I’ll take a baker’s dozen. So you know I’m going to be vehemently slam-dunking a bag of these heart-shaped hot cocoa melts in my hand basket on my next run. One of the newest Valentine’s Day products to hit TJ’s shelves this year, these Hot Cocoa Heart Melts are studded with mini marshmallows, and have a caramel cream center that’s enrobed in milk chocolate. 

Full disclosure: I have yet to track them down at my local store, but how can you go wrong with that combo? I see many, many mocha coffees and hot chocolates in my near future (or just many handfuls eaten straight from the bag). And apparently it just takes three melts per hot drink to do the trick (and will likely make your heart grow a few sizes bigger). 

Spot anything you’re excited about at Trader Joe’s recently? Tell us in the comments below!