Years ago, Trader Joe’s was just a mystery to me. My friends in bigger cities raved about it, but the only options close to me were standard grocery stores. It almost became a tourist attraction whenever I happened to visit someone — but, “can we stop at Trader Joe’s?” is a weird request for the person who already does most of their shopping there.
The company is popular for a bunch of reasons, and not just exclusivity. According to Trader Joe’s themselves, they have 488 stores but continue to grow, meaning that one day, “I dreamed of shopping primarily at Trader Joe’s” might sound as goofy as “What’s Starbucks?” The company has its own private label, which means they avoid a lot of middle-man costs. Since that means that groceries are cheaper, it’s a win-win situation for both the company and the customer.
But even though Trader Joe’s is one of the most beloved companies out there, it doesn’t mean that every single product is a winner. Most of them, yes. But not all of them. According to Bustle, a bunch of new products have graced the shelves for Summer 2019, and they just seem like products any other grocery store might add.
It may be harsh, but never forget. Trader Joe’s brought us Everything But The Bagel, which spices up any bread (or fish, or…anything, really) you have in the house.
Now, compare that to their new item, called Strawberry Greek Frozen Yogurt. This product came out in July and is part of their summer lineup.
The concept is interesting. Trader Joe’s admitted that it was looking for a “breakfast popsicle,” and who could go wrong with that?
It’s just that from the outside, it looks like a standard popsicle. It’s a good addition to the store, but it’s not all that exciting.
And on the topic of “not too exciting,” let’s chat about the Everything Ciabatta Rolls. Bread is wonderful in all forms.
But when it comes to bread, rolls are a little low on the priority list. That, and you can easily make these yourself, with the aforementioned Everything Bagel spice.
Everything ciabatta rolls available now at Trader Joe’s #NotSponsored— X (@jazz_cowboy) August 4, 2019
It’s almost like these should have been announced around the same time. Perhaps one would promote the other.
Next up in the summer lineup is their Mac and Cheese bites. Which will be eaten at any party you bring these to, don’t get me wrong.
The problem is that a lot of people have embraced the mac and cheese bite by now. Trader Joe’s could have easily made a version of them that was unique and unlike anything you could get anywhere else. Trader Joe’s supposedly had them before but discontinued them.
These Trader Joe's Mac and Cheese bites blew. Life is so tough.— Alison Doorbell 🖤💜 (@oddbutadorable) May 28, 2015
Now, let’s chat about a few of the Trader Joe’s drinks. This is when things get a little more bonkers.
currently drinking trader joe’s power of 7 juice with apple cider vinegar in it.......do i hate or love myself— bratty b (@crissangel2007) May 20, 2019
The all-star lineup item is probably their Sparkling Apple Cider Drinking Vinegars. Some people take a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar in the morning to help balance their system, so is this in any way comparable?
These came out in late July, and come in two cool flavors — Cucumber & Mint and Strawberry & Basil.
Their claim to fame is the fact that instead of using cane sugar to help sweeten their vinegar beverages, they’re using organic honey.
They’ve also recently released a Turmeric Ginger Coconut Beverage for their summer lineup. Here’s what we know.
Enjoyed either hot or cold, their mix includes honey, ginger juice, cinnamon, turmeric powder, and a little bit of black pepper. It’s also gluten free, lactose free, and dairy free, meaning that people who have specific allergies can easily enjoy it.
Rounding out the summer offerings? Bacon.
Now, bacon in all forms is good. But when you think of summer, you don’t necessarily think of bacon — unless it’s a bacon wrapped hot dog cooking out on the grill.
Released in mid-July, this no sugar, dry-rubbed, uncured bacon is a much healthier choice than some of the other kinds of bacon out there. But, it lacks a little pizzaz, especially since it’s not the first bacon that Trader Joe’s has released.
Speaking of pizzaz, there is one other summer item that Trader Joe’s should be extremely proud of. For a limited time, they have Ube ice cream. Even looking at it is like a work of art.
When ice cream that supposedly tastes like a mix of vanilla, coconut, and pistachio, you can see why Greek Frozen Yogurt seems dull by comparison. As a note, they’ve got a lot of good things going on — but, when we shop at Trader Joe’s, we don’t just look for food. We also look for innovative products that change the way we view food.