Among my friend group, I’m the Trader Joe’s friend. It was my first job ever and I cannot stress enough how much I wanted to work there - no it wasn’t because of the free samples, but that was a perk! Sure, I may have only worked there for a semester and the hours may have been brutal, but it was still the best first job a girl could ask for. I can spend hours at Trader Joe’s, it’s my happy place, and during quarantine it was my form of relief - I looked forward to grocery shopping and it became my favorite part of the week.
As a cashier, I quickly learned what products people couldn’t leave without. Customers would frequently strike up conversations about my opinions on products, specifically asking for hidden gems. To answer that question, I present to you my top five most underrated Trader Joe’s items; the items shoppers tend to overlook when scanning the shelves, but definitely deserve all the love.
This Coconut Brings Chocolate On A Date Bars
Dates are an acquired taste, so if you’re not the biggest fan maybe this isn’t for you. Or maybe you’re looking to get into dates, and if you are then this is the perfect snack for you! I am a huge fan of their date bars, but this is hands down the best one. My first thought was that they would be too sweet but wow was I wrong; the chocolate is somewhat bitter balancing the sweetness of the dates. It has the perfect consistency: not overly chewy, and there’s coconut flakes mixed in too. I’m a firm believer in having some kind of snack in your bag at all times, and this is my new bag snack. To put it lightly, I’m obsessed.
Blueberry Lavender Flavored Almond Beverage
Dairy-free friends this one’s for you! This is definitely one of their stranger products; during my grocery trips I’ve had other cashiers ask me if it’s actually good. It is. I was stunned by how good this milk is and how few people have tried it. Honestly, I’m not even a fan of blueberries, but this almond milk is incredibly light, creamy, and smooth. I tend to use it for overnight oats; the oats absorb the milk’s flavor nicely and when topped with blueberries, you’ve got a great filling breakfast!
Hands down the MOST underrated item on this list. Everyone opts for the white cheddar puffs as their form of chips, but a bag of spud crunchies is by far superior. When you go through Trader Joe’s orientation they have you sample items, and this was the first product I tried. Life forever changed - you can always find a bag in my cabinet. These babies are crispy on the out, airy on the in, and have the perfect level of saltiness, making them totally addicting. Bonus: they’re gluten free! It’s a crime to leave Trader Joe’s without these.
Is anything pumpkin flavored underrated? No, but I had to include one pumpkin item on this list and this is the most underrated of the line. I had one and I was HOOKED. I love snacking on biscottis, but I find that some of them are just too hard (Starbucks’ for example). Trader Joe’s has mastered the level of crunch, so when I bite into it I don’t feel like I’ve just cracked a tooth. It’s even better when dunked in a coffee or chai latte. This biscotti makes me want to sit by the fire, in a cable knit sweater, and watch the leaves fall.
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
If we’re talking about ready-to-eat foods, you have to try the chicken pesto sandwich. Recommended to me by a former coworker, this sandwich is perfect hot or cold. I personally enjoy heating it up so the mozzarella melts and I can have a proper cheese pull moment. It’s filling, and the perfect size for a lunch break in between zoom classes.
Honestly, if reading this doesn’t make you want to take an unnecessary Trader Joe’s run then I don’t know what will. Happy shopping!