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Original photo by Brooke Sagun
Experiences

10 Trader Joe’s Holiday Products You Have To Try

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

What the people want, they get! Trader Joe’s is not only a place to shop, it is a way of life. They have so many useful and iconic products that we have all come to know and love. The items that you can get all year long are oldies and goodies, but with each season, new products are draped across shelves near you. It can get overwhelming sometimes to see all of these new treats and get the must-haves. Luckily for you, I’m willing to take one for the team and navigate these holiday favorites!

As I was walking through the TJ’s in my hometown picking my favorite products, I realized that not everyone has the same taste. This inspired me to get a different perspective from a few employees (who are notoriously friendly, by the way) on what their favorite products were and what the most popular ones have been so far. Without further ado and in no particular order…here is this season’s “it list”:

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix
A picture of gluten-free pumpkin pancake mix
Original photo by Brooke Sagun

This is a personal favorite of mine. What’s better than an inclusive treat that all of your friends can have? A delicious seasonal one! Don’t be discouraged by the “gluten-free” title — this is well-known for being so great that people without gluten intolerance actually like it. I have to confess though, this product isn’t brand new, but it only graces the shelves during fall and ALWAYS sells out. If we’re being completely honest here, I have two boxes in my cabinet right now, and I’m pretty sure my mom has four. My favorite way to dress these pancakes up just a bit is with TJ’s semi-sweet chocolate chips inside and 100% maple syrup on top.

Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Joe-Joes

This Trader Joe’s version of the Oreo is honestly better than the real thing, but when the winter holidays come around…watch out. These things are so incredibly addicting that you’ll miss them when they’re gone. I am a big fan of these cookies but one of their employees, Mary, is an even bigger fan. When I asked if she could choose one product out of the entirety of the store, she chose these. They’re super rich and filling, so eating just a couple should cure your sweet tooth!

Pumpkin Spice Espresso Beans

I don’t know what they put in this. They are the perfect size for bringing to class and a good energy boost. They normally have chocolate-covered espresso beans, but these are honestly much better. The sweetness of the pumpkin spice covering and the bitterness of the beans make for a delicious treat. If you enjoy coffee or even the flavor, I highly recommend. Plus, these are exactly what I would want to receive for a little present coming up on the holidays.

Salted Caramel Flavored Hot Cocoa

If Starbucks and Trader Joe’s had a child, this is it. The taste — immaculate. The smell — don’t get me started. Pro tip: use your choice of milk instead of water. Something I really enjoy about this product is that you can choose how much mix you want because it doesn’t come in single-serving packets. It comes in a big container with a scooper so you can share it with your friends and make insanely big mugs of cocoa.

EggNog Greek YOGURT

I’ve gotten these almost every time I’ve gone to Trader Joe’s since they were released. Hear me out, I know eggnog isn’t necessarily everyone’s favorite (unless alcohol is involved), but this is pretty great. Yogurt, in general, is really good for you, but it can be not the best tasting sometimes so this one is a must. They come in single-serving containers, which can be good if you want to bring them on the go. This will give you a super festive start to your day.

Trader Joe\'S
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon
Vegan Gingerbread Loaf

For all you vegans or vegan food enthusiasts, here is the holy grail according to Karen! She put this in her employee compartment without hesitation and explained why it’s her favorite. Again, how can you go wrong with something delicious and inclusive? Honestly, I don’t think you can.

Mini Peppermint Meringues

These bring back childhood memories for me. I used to eat the bigger plain meringues, but trying these gave me the same feel without the hassle of the crumbs falling everywhere. I am automatically a fan of anything miniature because of the convenience. Just an idea, but you could put these in a holiday trail mix type of thing or even dip them in chocolate.

Maple And Sea Salt Kettle Corn
trader joes maple flavored kettle corn
Original photo by Eva Kaganovsky

Are you looking for a light, sweet and salty snack? Look no further. This kettle corn is delicious and I have not met someone who doesn’t like it yet. If you’re more into Fall than Winter flavors, this might be your favorite popcorn (and dare I say snack) at TJ’s.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Jerry assured me that you all would like this. If you like pumpkin-flavored anything, this is for you. You really can’t go wrong with any ice cream at Trader Joe’s, but this baby is a keeper. Unfortunately, like everything else on this list, this item is only around during Fall so get it while it lasts!

Red Fruits in the Forest-Scented Candle

This is by far the most popular pick of the season according to Trader Joe’s employees. This item has been completely sold out at some locations already, so if you think you’d like it, make sure to pick it up soon. To be clear, this is a house candle — it’s huge! Those little ones in tin cans smell absolutely amazing and I can’t get enough, but this one will last much longer. Not to mention this scent will always be in style, even though it is a holiday item.

Whether you’re a big fan of Trader Joe’s or just a newcomer, there is something for everyone. I really appreciate the attention to detail that they put into every new item. I urge you to check out their new stuff or even ask an employee what their fav is and give it a try! After all ,they know what the best items are and are honestly really nice people.

Kailey is an English major at UCLA and is focusing on journalism. She is an active writer and adventurer! She strives to inspire people to be authentic and get out of their shell and is most passionate about covering events along with lifestyle and wellness writing.