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

published Apr 14, 2023
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trader joes bag with goods on kitchen counter
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Prop Styling; Tom Hoerup

I never thought it would happen, but this week’s shop at Trader Joe’s actually caused my trusty reusable bag to split (RIP). It was all for a good reason, though! I just couldn’t help myself, and kept adding and adding (then quickly befriended one of the managers who then helped me add more… Shout out to Ramona).

Spoiler alert ahead: It’s a great month for all the beverage girlies out there. Trader Joe’s released more than a few new fun drinks I’m planning to keep in my “emotional support water bottle” and cooler as the days get long and I scheme-plan many beach days ahead. If you, like me, always seem to have three beverages on deck, now’s the time to spring clean your drink rotation. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of new food items to eat as well (which will perfectly pair with the drinks, obvi).

So what’s new this month at Trader Joe’s? Could this be your most hydrated month ever? Let’s find out. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. Ube Joe-Joe’s, $3.49 for 6.8 ounces

Ube season is, admittedly, my Pumpkin Spice season. I’ll buy anything flavored with it, not only because of the peppy lavender shade ube imbues to ice cream, cookies, and halo-halo, but also the distinct flavor, one I can merely describe as “if-pistachio-and-vanilla-had-a-baby.” So I was beyond thrilled to see that Trader Joe’s rolled out a new ube-flavored item for me to eat (as I wait for the ube ice cream). 

Each vanilla cookie is sandwiched around an ube-flavored filling that’s then dipped in an ube-yogurt coating. Like the other dipped Joe-Joe’s flavors, these sandwich cookies are dipped in a supremely sweet, rich coating, without being cloying (coming from someone with not a huge sweet tooth). But let it be known — these are decadent. The vanilla and ube flavor are an obvious match, though the vanilla does take the driver’s seat in these a bit. If you’re new to ube, these are a great starting point (and if Trader Joe’s is listening, you could take the ube up to volume eight for me, a self-proclaimed ube fanatic). 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

2. Tangerine Probiotic Sparkling Beverage, $1.99 for 12 ounces

I’m fully in support of having plenty of silly little drinks in the fridge. As I write, I have a horchata iced coffee, a seltzer, and one of these new sparkling tangerine probiotic beverages at the ready. Beverages just make me happy, and these are truly happiness-inducing. On the scale of sparkling beverages, I’d solidly land these right in the middle of a fruit-essenced seltzer and a more juicy kombucha. 

If you like your drinks on the fruity-but-not-too-sweet side, I think you’ll love these easy-drinking sparklers. As someone who essentially grew up in an orange grove, these really nail that unique tangerine flavor, too — refreshing with a juicy concentrated burst of sweetness that’s not as orange-y tart. These are definitely going to be on my summertime rotation as a new favorite mocktail base. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

3. Shrimp Boom Bah, $8.99 for 16 ounces

As fun to say as they are to eat, Shrimp Boom Bah got me at the word “shrimp.” I’m a huge fan (and repeat buyer) of Trader Joe’s Coconut Shrimp and Tempura Shrimp, and I just knew these wouldn’t let me down. Last night for dinner I decided to use these as a topper for a simple, citrusy slaw salad.

After 12 minutes in the air-fryer, each bite-sized, tail-off shrimp was ready for a dive in the dipping sauce (reminiscent of a Bang-Bang style mix of mayo + sweet chili sauce) and then tossed into the salad. The shrimp have a crispy, golden brown coating that’s not too overly-spiced (meaning you can mix and match sauces if you like). The verdict? I nearly ate the entire box, but thankfully I thought of Future Me and how much that version of me would like to eat the rest for lunch the next day. The menu for today? Adding these (sauce and all) to an extra exciting Po’Boy-style sandwich

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

4. Organic Pineapple Probiotic Juice Shot, $1.99 for 2 ounces

Ever wish those spicy ginger shots you see at the store tasted like a pina colada? Well, it exists now and no, you’re not dreaming. Fresh pineapple juice, lemon, and ginger are mixed with coconut water to make these incredibly refreshing shots that just so happen to be packed with probiotics (one billion CFU probiotics, in fact).

I would have casually drank many more of these. Personally, the taste of a drink comes first for me (over any immediate health benefits they might have), and I really hope Trader Joe’s turns this new shot flavor into a full sized version. But for now, I’ll be using these to spice up a carton of more coconut water. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

5. GT’s Synergy Peach Paradise Raw Kombucha, $2.99 for 16 ounces

While not a Trader Joe’s brand exactly, I do feel like Trader Joe’s has a special friendship with the GT’s Synergy kombucha folks when it comes to getting new flavors. A sucker for all their seasonal flavors, I grabbed this peach flavor with the speed of a thousand gazelles. 

One sip confirms this kombucha has earned its name; it’s got that floral-sweet peach flavor down on lock, with a bit of a tropical je ne sais quoi in the background (likely from the guava and kiwi juices). In short, big fan of the stuff and I will buy these all season long (and perhaps mix with tequila for a next-level margarita?! Stay tuned). 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

6. Ginger Lemon Probiotic Sparkling Beverage, $1.99 for 12 ounces

When it rains, it pours (beverages). Yes, another probiotic beverage has stolen my heart and also a bit of fridge space. I might as well be president of the fan club that celebrates Trader Joe’s many, many sparkling drinks (Check out the Sparkling Apple Cider Vinegar Beverages, if you haven’t yet) so these Ginger Lemon Sparkling Probiotic Beverages immediately sparked my interest.

Just like the aforementioned tangerine flavor, I love that these are a bit lighter in the sense that they are less juicy-sweet than the apple cider vinegar drinks or a kombucha. The herbal ginger flavor is way more pronounced in these too, even giving me a bit of a nose-clearing feeling I did not mind this allergy season. These definitely drank like a spicy-tart ginger ale alternative I’d gladly drink on its own (or perhaps even spiked with rum). 

7. Spicy Tempura Seaweed Snack, $3.29 for 2.1 ounces

I often shop with the mindset of “Hmm, I have exactly zero idea what that would taste like. Let’s buy it.” If that’s also you, you’re going to love this snack version of a jack-in-the-box, because you might think you know what’s going to pop out at you, but you really have no idea. With the crunch factor of a Frito mixed with the umami-puffed lightness you might expect from a pork rind, these tempura-fried seaweed sheets are very easy to eat. 

Coated in a togarashi-style seasoned batter, each crispy strip will have you raising your eyebrows, picking up the bag, and wondering what wild magic Trader Joe’s has created here. Your tastebuds will be confused but also very happy, especially if you decide to top your next poke bowl/deconstructed sushi bowl with a handful of these like I’m doing this week.

Which of these newbies are you most excited to try? Sound off in the comments below.