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

published Apr 6, 2024
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A Spring display in Trader Joe's. The sign says "Feeling adventurous? Check out our new items. We search high and low to bring you exciting new products."
Credit: Jaclyn Vernace / Shutterstock

On a trip abroad a few weeks ago, I was tasked with explaining Trader Joe’s to a Danish person (not an easy feat). “Some have said it sells everything and nothing,” is how I started my description (a high compliment, honestly), before describing my favorite out-of-the-box products, the music, and the idiosyncratic interactions I’ve had in stores. Well, it seems that Trader Joe’s not only picked up on my description, but also doubled down on the “everything and nothing” with its new items this month.

Whether you’ve noticed it or not, I love spotting a theme in my shopping choices, and the theme of this month’s haul is something I call “We Didn’t Need This.” Did I need any of these items? Absolutely not. Am I glad they exist? Absolutely. We live in peak “little treat culture,” and there’s certainly a little treat for everyone this month — even if it’s just a tiny smile-inducing sweet to stash in your pocket. Okay, so maybe one does need all of these things? I digress! On to the goods … 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. Salted Caramel Swirl Danish, $3.99 for 10.23 ounces

Breakfast, to me, is typically a meal marked by how well it goes with coffee. (In a pinch, I’ll go for one of these shockingly good instant coffees.) This is crucial because I’ll often make it to 11 a.m. without ingesting anything but coffee, and need to make sure that the caffeine alone doesn’t start to make me feel like I’m on the moon. So this is where something easy and coffee-compatible like a swirly-twirly danish really helps bring me back to earth.

Unlike other danishes I tend to see at the grocery store, these Salted Caramel Swirl Danishes aren’t one-note — far from it! This buttery danish pastry (baked by actual Danish bakers, like from Denmark) is piped with an almond custard that has that cherry-adjacent marzipan-y finish I love and goes super well with the salted caramel that swirls around and around. These danishes aren’t just a match for coffee in the morning, either; pair it with your next afternoon London Fog for a day-brightener like no other. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

2. Mini Chocolate Chip Croissant Swirls, $3.99 for 8.5 ounces

Let me get to the point: I love these silly little swirls. I just popped a single one in my toaster oven to test and the smell from one (ONE!) buttery croissant swirl made me go, “Since when did I move into a French patisserie?” It makes total sense, as a French bakery supplier is who I have to thank for these are-they-breakfast-or-are-they-dessert creations.

No component of these Mini Chocolate Chip Croissant Swirls is lacking. The flaky layers? Light and airy, allowing the supremely rich semi-sweet mini chocolate chips to really shine. They’re buttery and subtly crunchy, yet they have doughy, melty innards — and they’re ready for a dip into some espresso. They’re also maybe one of my favorite sizes ever (the size of a silver dollar pancake). So cute! I have no notes. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

3. Organic 100% Sicilian Lemon Juice, $3.29 for 8.45 ounces

I’m not sure what’s physically going on with me at the moment (trying not to Google it!), but my craving for sour, acidic, bright, tangy foods has been next-level (see: my emergency pack of Sour Patch Kids in my car cup holder). Even when I cook at home, my usual vinegary, citrusy friends could stand to be a bit bolder, so I was so excited to see that Trader Joe’s is now carrying Organic 100% Sicilian Lemon Juice.

I couldn’t help myself once I left the store — I took a swig. And whoa, this lemon juice was strikingly different from the lemons I slice up at home. The juice is still quite sour, yet not packed with too much acid or bite. It’s also incredibly aromatic, almost bergamot-adjacent. It also just tastes very fresh, and sure to be liquid gold in whatever you choose to use it for — maybe a French 75, some lemon bars, or the best lemon granita ever? 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

4. Brown Sugar Boba Mochi, $2.99 for 6.35 ounces

One of the first few things I did after a Trader Joe’s shop was rip into these mochi, pull out my phone, and text a friend a photo of the bag along with the caption, “Oh these are trouble.” My lifelong quest of ranking all the “not-too-sweet” treats of the world has led me to maybe my favorite Trader Joe’s treat of all time.

How did TJ’s do it? Well, imagine a brown sugar boba tea that was shrunken down into a bite-size mochi. That whole experience is basically what the grocer did with these chewy little mochi bites. The texture is unreal: They’re pillowy soft, with a powdery exterior that makes me feel like I’m eating a lightly sweetened mini cake donut. My only gripe is that they are individually wrapped once you break into the main bag, which will definitely slow my roll when it comes to devouring these.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

5. Brown Butter Salted Caramel Mini Biscotti, $4.99 for 9 ounces

Trader Joe’s is clearly going all in on salted-caramelizing as many things as possible (ice cream! Bread pudding! Baking chips!), and this time it’s the newest seasonal mini biscotti. It’s been a real neck-and-neck competition at the Not Too Sweet Awards 2024, but these Brown Butter Salted Caramel Mini Biscotti just might clinch the second-place spot after the Brown Sugar Boba Mochi.

The brown butter taste, I find, is often lost if it’s not in a freshly homemade dish, but these biscotti manage to encapsulate the buttery-toasty notes really nicely. I honestly got more of a brown butter, maple syrup, and pancake flavor combo here (rather than caramel), which I was not mad about. There’s really nothing to criticize about these biscotti — especially after you dunk one in some steamed milk. 

​​Which new Trader Joe’s items are you adding to your cart? Tell us in the comments below.