Trader Joe’s 10 Best New Groceries for Winter
It seems there’s always something new hitting the shelves at Trader Joe’s. Recently the store unleashed a new collection of cookies, a couple of intensely chocolate-y desserts, and spice cakes so cheap it’s almost a crime to pass them up. In addition to the sugar, there are also new chips and dips, and some flavorful spice blends to perk up our palates.
Here’s what we’re drooling over this season. But stay tuned — company reps told us that the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast will reveal even more new products hitting stores this year, and we’ll be sure to cover those too!
1. TJ’s Organic Chili Seasoning Blend, $2.29 for 2.1 ounces
The shelf tag reads: “You asked, here it is.” So, apparently chili powder has been a common request. Considering how much seasoning it takes to flavor a big pot of chili, we can understand why. No one wants to drive to another store just for that. The jar contains a classic blend of spices, including organic chili pepper, organic cumin powder, organic garlic powder, and organic oregano. There’s no salt, so you can add as much as you want without worrying about a sodium overload.
2. TJ’s Beyond Your Basic Seasoning Set, $9.99 for 4 jars
This set came out in time for holiday gifting, but there’s no reason you can’t grab one for your own spice cabinet before they’re gone. The Italian-Style Soffrito is essentially Italian seasoning, but with larger herb flakes and pieces of dried tomato. Open Sesame has a blend of both white and black sesame seeds, ginger, molasses powder, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Fiery Honey Mustard offers the sweet heat of honey mustard but in powdered, shake-able form. And Roadhouse is a steakhouse-style blend.
3. TJ’s Black Bean Dip, $2.99 for 10 ounces
New to the refrigerated section are tubs of this black bean dip sporting three kinds of peppers: serrano, jalapeño, and habanero. Even so, it’s not that spicy. You can use it as a dip on its own, of course, or layer it into a homemade seven-layer dip. Or use it to fill tacos or burritos, or as an alternative to hummus.
4. TJ’s Buffalo Chicken Dip, $ 4.99 for 12 ounces
Spicy wing fans, take note: You can now get your fix in dip form. This one is made with shredded chicken, spicy cayenne sauce, Jack cheese, and a rich base of cream cheese and sour cream. Maybe I’m weird, but I could see this being really good on a baked potato.
5. TJ’s Dark Russet Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips, $2.99 for 7 ounces
How about some new chips for those new dips? These robust potato chips are cooked a bit longer than usual, resulting in a deeper, roastier potato flavor. As a huge fan of all things well-browned (the Extra Toasty Cheez-Its are my fave), this is an exciting addition to the chip aisle.
6. TJ’s Organic Açaí Bowl, $3.99 for a 10 ounce bowl
Some mornings can be so rough, simply blending up your own açaí bowl can seem daunting. So in addition to the packets of frozen açaí juice in the TJ’s freezer section, the store now has prepared bowls that you can briefly nuke to defrost, or tuck in the fridge the night before. They even come with a packet of ancient grains granola to sprinkle on top.
7. TJ’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, Molasses Cookies, and Pearl Sugar Cookies, $3.99 for 14 ounces
Trader Joe’s has plenty of options when it comes to crunchy cookies, but was always a bit lacking in the soft-baked cookie department. This month, though, TJ’s unleashed three flavors of generously sized, bakery-style cookies: chocolate chip, molasses, and pearl sugar. Look for them near all the bread.
8. TJ’s I Dream of Chocolate Cake, $6.99 for 16 ounces
Yes, indeed, we do dream of chocolate cake, and this one looks particularly dreamy. It’s comprised of two layers of chocolate cake filled with a chocolate pudding-like filling, then topped with chocolate cake cubes and drizzled in melted chocolate. It’s tucked in the frozen aisle and all you have to do is allow it to defrost before eating.
9. TJ’s Chocolate Lava Gnocchi, $2.99 for 12 ounnces
If memory serves, dessert pastas like chocolate fettuccine and ravioli were quite trendy in the ’90s. And since scrunchies and chokers are back en vogue, these chocolate gnocchi are really on trend. But before you get upset because these are actual gnocchi (i.e., potato dumplings) not faux “gnocchi” (i.e., made without potatoes) consider this: Chocolate mashed potato cakes have been beloved for generations, so the combo isn’t as weird as it might seem. As a bonus, these chocolatey dumplings are filled with molten chocolate, so they’re like tiny, bite-sized molten chocolate cakes.
10. TJ’s Rustic Spice Cake, $3.99 for 32 ounces
We did a double-take when we spotted this frosted layer cake sitting next to the muffins in the bread aisle. Only four bucks for a two-pound, three-layer frosted cake? That’s quite a steal. And we’re suckers for anything covered in cream cheese frosting — especially when it’s spiked with cinnamon. Other worthy contenders we found nearby include the Pomander Orange Cake ($4.99 for 16 ounces), which is a spiced loaf cake with clove and orange flavors, and the duo of individual, free-form Apple Cranberry Tarts (4.49 for 2 tarts).
Which of these are you most excited for?