Grocery

17 New Trader Joe’s Products to Stock Up on ASAP

Plus, some old favorites make a triumphant return.

November 18, 2020
Photo by PHOTO BY BOBBI LIN. FOOD STYLIST: ANNA BILLINGSKOG. PROP STYLIST: BROOKE DEONARINE.

Every time I go to the Trader Joe’s in my neighborhood, there’s a line out the door (even pre-pandemic!). That’s got to mean everyone waiting is onto something. The grocery store, of course, is known for its indefatigable ability to launch crowd-favorite products seemingly all the time, and this year has proved no difference. When it comes to the best Trader Joe’s products of 2020, there’s plenty to choose from—and I’m not just talking about this year’s hottest purchases, toilet paper and yeast. If you’re looking for something new to pop in your cart the next time you find yourself at Trader Joe’s, these are some of the best.

Note: While every product on this list has been spotted at a Trader Joe’s location in 2020, we can’t guarantee that they’ll be at your local store.


17 Best Trader Joe’s Products of 2020

Everything But the Leftovers Turkey Seasoning

This blend of dried rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, onion, and celery seed has a secret ingredient for a bit of umami-cheesiness: yeast extract! The spice mix is obviously great on turkey, but I’m more interested in showering it on popcorn, carrots and fennel before a long roast, and pre-seared chicken thighs.

Photo by Trader Joe's

Gluten Free Panettone

Ah, Panettone, the gift no one wants but always receives… and then, when left alone with the giant bread-cake, accidentally nibbles away half the thing. We’ve all been there, right? Anyway, now you can gift one to your gluten-intolerant and celiac friends, because TJ’s launched a version made with rice starch, cornstarch, psyllium husk, and Xanthan gum instead of flour.

Non-Dairy Mint & Chip Bon Bons

I’m not vegan, but I still know it’d be extremely possible for me to finish an entire package of these minty, chocolatey, frozen non-dairy ice cream bites.

Mini Peanut-Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets

While peanut butter and pretzel is not a singular food, I still know that the combination is my favorite flavor (sweet, salty, nutty—come on!). Just try to name a better snack to keep in your bag or desk drawer.

Lucy Glo Apples

Some snacks you eat for the flavor, some you eat for the Instagram; pretty-in-pink Lucy Glo apples let you have both (check out this review.) Like your favorite tie-dyed sweatshirt, these apples don’t even need a slather of nut butter. Well. Maybe I’ll still go for it.

Spicy Chakri Mix

I love a snack mix something furious, so please feel free to send me several packages of this Chakri Mix, a spicy blend of turmeric-cumin-coriander-dusted chickpea and rice flour crispy-crunchies. Shout-out to the addition of fried curry leaves and roasted peanuts.

Chile Garlic Cashews

Eating roasted cashews makes me feel fancy, like I don’t even care how expensive they are in the bulk bin—I simply eat what I love, thank you so much. This TJ’s offering is no different, if perhaps even more luxe thanks to the fact that they ensure my cashews are pre-seasoned before I shovel them into my mouth.

Spicy Cashew Butter Dressing

If you’re wondering how I feel about cashews, please see above. Now, you can catch me free-pouring this dressing over roasted sweet potatoes and squash. And salad. And soba noodles. And a spoon.

Mini Cornbread Biscotti

All the sweet, buttery flavors of cornbread packed into a crispy biscotti? Yes please. I’ll take five with my morning coffee… and another big handful to snack on with some cheese and wine later. (Recommended by Courtney Kassel.)

Photo by Trader Joe's

Vanilla Bean Paste

Vanilla extract is so last year. Well, it’s still available, but why would you bother when there’s vanilla bean paste on the shelf. The thick, vanilla bean-flecked paste brings way more vanilla flavor, so it lasts even longer than a bottle of extract. (Recommended by Billy Green.)

Cold Brew Black Tea Concentrate

If cold brew coffee exists, why not tea? Trader Joe’s agrees! This black tea concentrate can be mixed with hot or cold water and other accoutrements (lemon, milk, honey, and such) for your preferred tea experience. (Recommended by Justine Lee)

Maple Butter

Forget nut butter or Speculoos—maple butter exists and is readily available. Made with just one ingredient (maple syrup), it’s essentially maple candy before it turns hard: the boiled syrup is immediately flash-cooled and jarred, where it takes on a spreadable consistency. “I’ve added the maple butter to caramel and also used it as a schmear on the bottom of a galette,” says pie whisperer-slash-genius Ellen Gray.

The following items were launched in earlier years, but have been re-released and spotted at TJ’s locations in 2020:

Chocolate Orange

A chocolate orange was one of my favorite holiday treats as a kid. It sounds like an odd snack, but opening that ball of citrusy chocolate and breaking off wedges is a true delight.

Photo by Trader Joe's

Organic Italian Nocellara Olives

Green olives are my snack plate kryptonite. These are actually quite mild when it comes to that classic briny “olive” flavor, more rich and fruity and salty and tangy.

Nuts About Rosemary Mix

DIY nut snack mixes are genuinely easy, but does that mean I make them all the time? Nope. Thankfully, mixes like this, toasted almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews are dusted with a salty rosemary herb mix and just a little bit of sugar, so it’s truly impossible to stop snacking.

Cornbread Bites

If arancini, tamales, jalapeno poppers, and cornbread did a big brainstorm session, this is probably what they’d end up with. The sweet and spicy balls are easy to reheat in the oven, which makes them an easy choice for an afternoon snack.

Green Goddess Dip

Speaking of snacks you have the technology to DIY but rarely do: green goddess dip. So thank you, Trader Joe’s, for doing the work. A creamy blend of sour cream, mayo, avocado, garlic, herbs—just hand me some sliced radishes and leave me to dunk.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“My favorite holiday treat from TJs earth the chocolate mint shortbread stars. they have plenty of mint. So many mint items forget the mint. ”
— judy
Comment

Did we call out your favorite? What’d we miss? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. Her writing has appeared in TASTE, The Strategist, Eater, and Bon Appetit's Healthyish and Basically. She contributed recipes and words to the book "Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day." Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl. You can follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.

5 Comments

pattyposy November 27, 2020
Vanilla Paste is a great idea but impossible to locate at our local TJ. Manager keeps a "waiting list".
 
SueS November 26, 2020
Gee, just need to add hot water to tea concentrate to get a cup of TEA!
I add tea leaves (or a tea bag) to hot water to get a cup of TEA!
Seems silly, and likely overpriced.
 
judy November 20, 2020
Well, I tried the rosemary and olive mix. Unfortunately the overwhelming taste is sweet. They have added far too much sweet. The balance is of. I would also die more olives in the mix. Basically a good idea, not well executed, at least to my palette. My favorite holiday treat from TJs earth the chocolate mint shortbread stars. they have plenty of mint. So many mint items forget the mint.
 
Erika H. November 20, 2020
did you mean to link to traderjoeslist?
 
Annie C. November 20, 2020
All I do is pray and pray (and email TJ HQ) for the shrimp nugs to come back. Please!!