It’s that time of year again. That time when storefronts are overflowing with mounds of candy canes, hot cocoa, and promises of holiday cheer. Trader Joe’s, our favorite one-stop-shop for seasonal goodies, has already unveiled their holiday lineup. We’re definitely feeling a little stuffed after this one (and not in a stocking type-of-way), but we tried all the TJ’s holiday products, so that you don’t have to.
So, which Trader Joe’s products made the nice list? And, which are naughty? Let’s find out.
1. Jingle Jangle Ice Cream
Creamy, fluffy vanilla ice cream littered with chunks of dark chocolate, Oreos, peanuts, and pretzels? How could you not love this? Ice cream might not sound like the most appealing winter-time treat, but we promise this one is worth the frostbite.
2. Greek Yogurt Egg Nog
So … if you remember our Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice article, the yogurt was a huge hit. However, Greek yogurt and egg nog — not so much. First of all, it’s watery, not creamy. And in terms of taste, think egg nog that was bought last Christmas, and opened this holiday season.
3. Peppermint Bark Popcorn
Caramel popcorn coated in dark chocolate, enrobed in a white chocolate and peppermint candy coating. You can actually taste each delightful layer, and it has the perfect amount of indulgent crunch. This popcorn is the gift that just keeps on giving.
4. Hot Cocoa Dunkers
Don’t be fooled by how incredible these smell. When you crack the lid on these babies, you’re hit with the most decadent milk chocolate smell. However, the appeal ends there. The first bite will have you questioning whether you’re eating an old Hershey’s bar or a stale free cookie sample from the grocery store.
5. Astounding Multi-Flavor Joe-Joe’s
OK, so TJ’s offers a few different holiday twists on their trademark Joe-Joe’s, but this one is definitely the best option. It comes with four (yes, four!) different flavors of lusciously coated cookies: vanilla ginger, peppermint, double chocolate, and peanut butter. I mean, if anything, the vanilla ginger cookies themselves are worth buying the entire box for.
6. Mini Gingerbread Men
The perfect man doesn’t exi-
Just wait until you bite into these. You’ll change your mind.
7. Mini Dark Chocolate Mint Stars
A great accessory for your gingerbread houses, and also dangerously addicting. They’re bite-sized and crispy, making them easy to forget how many you have actually eaten.
8. Hot Cocoa O’s
Effort points for cute packaging, but unfortunately, the taste doesn’t hold up. It’s disappointing, because with marshmallows mixed into their Cheerio look-alike cereal, I was expecting old-school Count Chocula vibes. Instead, they’re bland and stale.
9. Turkey Stuffing Potato Chips
With Lay’s flavors like Bacon Mac and Cheese and Wasabi Ginger, these honestly don’t seem that out there. These Turkey Stuffing Potato Chips taste exactly like a crouton. But, an overly seasoned crouton that you need to start picking out of your salad, because they’re just too much.
10. Chocolate Peppermint Almond Beverage
We love a versatile drink, and that, my friends, is this Chocolate Peppermint Almond Beverage. Just as good on its own as it would be in coffee or even a chocolate martini for the holidays.
11. Peppermint Bark
Generous chunks of buttery white and dark chocolate with crushed peppermint candy. The only thing wrong with this Peppermint Bark is that it’s not available year-round.
12. English Toffee with Nuts
Last year, my best friend and I ate the entire 1.14 pounds of toffee that comes in a container. And then, bought another tub.
It is perfect on any dessert platter, as a hostess gift, as a light (or not-so-light) snack. I mean this is, objectively, the best holiday offering TJ’s has. Do yourself a favor — ask a trusted friend to hide this English Toffee after you break into it.
Rating: Getting an iPad for Christmas-level-nice
13. Triple Ginger Brew
After all that sugar, you may have a stomachache. No need to fear, this Triple Ginger Brew is the cure for all your holiday over-indulgences. A fresh, crisp ginger ale with an extra spicy kick, it’s just what we need. Or, if you’re trying to forget this holiday season all together, try it in this Moscow Mule recipe from the New York Times.
Madison Muller is a senior at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, learning to navigate the contemporary media environment with compassion and candor. She enjoys writing about health, travel, and humanity. You can always find her with a coffee in hand. Madison is a proud supporter of the National Eating Disorders Association.