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Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

“Trick or Treat” at Trader Joe’s: Best Fall Items from an Employee

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Fall has to be one of my favorite times of the year here in New England, and for good reason. There’s the beautiful foliage, cozy-sweater weather, and spooky Halloween festivities. Best of all, there’s the delicious fall foods.

Since I started shopping and working at Trader Joe’s, fall food has taken a whole new meaning. The way they take basic fall food favorites and put their own delicious twist on it is what makes the products so unique.

While there are many amazing seasonal items in store during this time, I’ve narrowed it down and included only the favorites from myself and fellow crew members. There are no tricks here — only the best Trader Joe’s treats!

Pumpkin Rolls

These are definitely staple treat! You can’t go wrong with any form of sweet rolls, so for pumpkin fans out there, the Pumpkin Rolls are a must. The cinnamon and pumpkin flavors so well work together, complimenting each other just enough without one overpowering the other. 

They are masterpieces on their own, but try baking the dough in a skillet to create delicious, gooey Skillet Baked Pumpkin Rolls to share among a group of friends — or for yourself, no judgement here.

Apple Cider Fruit Spread

As a jam fanatic, this was one of the first fall items I got hooked on. It’s the perfect mixture of sweet and tart, and literally elevates any plain piece of toast. If you’re a crackers and cheese lover, it would even work as a topping for your next charcuterie board. Or you can stick with the sweet vibe and pair it with some Spiced Cider Pancakes!

Harvest Blend Herbal Tea

This one is for the tea lovers out there!

I heard great things about this tea among other crew members, but being more of a coffee person myself, I’ll admit I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. I’ve never tried a tea that I could see myself drinking regularly — until this one!

Tea lover or not, this item is definitely worth a sip or two. Maybe even three sips.

Don’t worry, if you get hooked on it and it’s out of season, you can always purchase it here! Try pairing it with the Lemon Ginger Echinacea Juice Blend for a delicious Spiced Harvest Tea blend.

Maple Sea Salt Kettle Corn

There’s regular kettle corn, and then there’s Maple & Sea Salt Kettle Corn. This snack is a perfect sweet and salty combination. It might even be a bit on the sweeter side, which makes it perfect for satisfying a late night sweet tooth. It’s definitely a favorite among the crew!

Fall Leaf Tortilla Chips

Yes, they are just regular tortilla chips in the shape of fall leaves. Yes, they are still somehow 10x better than regular tortilla chips.

The first time I bought these, it was for last minute finger food to put out at the party I was hosting at my house. Not one person reached for one without commenting on the cute fall leaf shapes. Taste-wise, I find that they are even slightly saltier and more flavorful than the regular corn tortilla chips, which I like.

Either way, the Fall Leaf Tortilla Chips are definitely an aesthetically pleasing fall staple and would be great for upcoming Thanksgiving parties!

Pumpkin Brioche Bread

My family was actually the one to try this one first. The regular Sliced Brioche Bread is such a hit, so I wasn’t surprised that this one was as well. Brioche makes the perfect french toast, as did this pumpkin version.

Even simply toasted with butter or paired with the Apple Cider Fruit Spread, this is definitely a staple treat. For something a little different, try pairing it with cheese and the Pumpkin Spread shown below for a pumpkin grilled cheese sandwich.

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

I have honestly never tried the Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese myself, but that’s only because it’s wiped from the shelves almost immediately after being stocked!

This had to have been the most common product that customers asked for when fall products first came in, so there must be a good reason for that. Although it’s hard to get a hold of, I’d definitely keep this one in mind for next time — I know I will.

The only trick here is that fall season seems to end as quickly as it arrives, taking Trader Joe’s seasonal items with it. That makes it all the more important to prepare yourself for the next time around, and to go get the first pick of the best treats before they’re all gone again!

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Lauren Saloio

U Mass Amherst '23

Lauren is junior at UMass Amherst and is majoring in English. She loves reading, writing, and spending way too much money in coffee shops and book stores.