Trader Joe’s Just Leaked Info on 6 New Groceries Coming Soon
If you are an avid Trader Joe’s shopper and don’t already listen to the store’s podcast, Insider Trader Joe’s, you really should. The podcast features TJ’s VP of Marketing Product, Matt Sloan, and Marketing Director, Tara Miller, and the two almost always disclose some sort of top-secret info. The newest episode, which just came out today, has the two usual hosts hanging out (in front of a live audience) and talking about all sorts of things — most importantly, six new products that are due to come out soon!
For those of you who don’t listen to the podcast (or can’t really listen to them at work), we’ve done that part for you. And we wrote up this post, detailing those six new products!
Here’s what’s on the docket and what the TJ’s execs had to say about each one.
1. Chocolate Lava Gnocchi
Trader Joe’s VP of Product Innovation, Lori Latta, says she had seen chocolate gnocchi when she was at Harrod’s in London and she asked their gnocchi supplier if they could make something similar — but better. “This was originally designed to be dessert, but I think that there are some people who might make a dinner out of it,” she says. “They’re really easy to prepare because you just put them in a sauté pan with a little bit of ghee or butter and brown them. I think it takes no more than the cauliflower gnocchi, so 6 to 7 minutes.”
2. A Meatless Burger
“This comes from countless emails that we’ve gotten asking why we don’t have an Impossible Burger or a Beyond Burger, so this is our version,” says a VP of Merchandising, Marcy Kopelman. It might not be for everyone, she warns: “This is going after a meat-eating customer and, as a vegetarian, I can tell you that this is not going after me because it really emulates meat. You see the interior is nice and pink and it smells like meat; it tastes like meat.” Trader Joe’s version doesn’t bleed like other versions and will retail for $4.99. Marcy adds that she thinks this will launch a meatless hot dog, sausage, and other similar items.
3. An Advent Calendar for Cats
“Last year, we came out with a dog advent calendar, which seemed pretty odd until we got it out into the stores and there was quite a following for it,” says VP of Merchandising, Colin Fields. “And we heard from our feline-loving customers that we should have something for their cats, so we found it.” What’s inside? “Magical treats made of salmon and seaweed.”
4. Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls
“While this is pretty much an appetizer, you can have [some] alongside a salad,” Lori says, adding that they’re super satisfying and filling. “The idea of this came from a meal that we had in Tokyo, where we had something similar to it that was in a soup and then some that were fried and the fried ones were incredible.” They asked someone to make an even better (read: more flavorful) version and this is what they got. It has mochi on the outside and a really spicy kung pao chicken filling on the inside. To cook them, just put them in a toaster oven for 12 to 14 minutes. “They get really crisp on the outside, then there’s a chewy layer and then there’s the interior and it’s pretty wonderful,” Lori adds.
5. Organic Chickpea and Red Lentil Rizoni
To be fair, it seemed like the team made up the name for this (is Rizoni a word?). Marcy says it’s just two ingredients: organic chickpea flour and organic red lentil flour. “It has 10 grams of protein versus 3 in a normal rice and you’re really using it as a rice substitution,” she explains, adding that they’re hoping it will have success that matches the cauliflower rice. “You prepare it like a rice, so in 14 minutes it’s ready to go.”
6. Pumpkin Spice Face Masks
The folks at Trader Joe’s finally did it: They put pumpkin spice in a face mask. “It’s a super-cool product, actually,” Colin says. “We carry a regular face mask, a hydrating face mask, and this one happens to be made out of biocellulose, which I won’t go into all the details, but it’s better material.” He adds that, when he was testing this product, he got a lot of compliments on how great his skin looked and smelled.
Which one of these are you most excited for?