Deck the halls with boughs of holly? More like stock the pantry with all of TJ’s new truffle products. Because according to the latest episode of “Inside Trader Joe’s, a Podcast,” the immensely popular grocery store really upped the ante this year, stocking its shelves with even more holiday products; and it by the sound of it, Trader Joe’s is all about truffles this year.
On Episode 19 of the Trader Joe’s podcast, hosts Tara Miller, director of “Words and Phrases and Clauses” at Trader Joe’s, and Matt Sloan, the “Marketing Products guy,” revealed that last year, the store carried a whopping 472 holiday products; but this year, they’ve increased to 484 products, 84 of which are brand-new.
“A walk through Trader Joe’s this holiday season is going to reveal all kinds of savory truffles, umami truffles, the kind that you got to dig under the ground for,” Miller says.
Returning this year, are Candy Cane Joe Joe’s Ice Cream, Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti, Blue Cheese Roasted Pecan Dip, and Jingle Jangle Ice Cream. As for what’s new, Miller and Sloan — and a few other TJ’s employees — gave listeners a preview of 13 new holiday products arriving at TJ stores this year.
“This year at Trader Joe’s, just for the holidays, watch us as we go, truffle all the way. With a truffle butter spread, and a truffle sauce that’s just right, try truffle brie with toasty bread or truffle cheesy bites. Oh, winter’s on, so we’ve gone, truffle all the way. Our truffle zest will make the best of your savory entrée, yay! Don’t you skip, this truffle dip, for your winter time soiree. For truffles go to Trader Joe’s, for the holidays,” employee David sings to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”
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Available now, wherever you get your #podcasts • Click the link in our bio to listen 🎧 — The #holidays are finally here! On this episode of our official #podcast, we’ll introduce you to some of the new holiday products that you’ll find in your neighborhood #TraderJoes this year. We’ll also learn about some of our Crew’s #holiday traditions, get some table-scaping advice from our resident plants & flowers expert, and share some original songs (yes, songs) in the spirit of the season. Tune in today! 📻🌟 #InsideTraderJoes
Oven-baked cheese bites with black summer truffles
According to Miller, the new oven-baked cheese bites are “REALLY truffle.”
Black truffle & Italian mushroom sauce
“This is an unctuous thick rich sauce. It’s intense,” Sloan says. “And you’ll notice when you see it, it’s not that giant jumbo pasta sauce jar size. It’s smaller because this packs a punch.”
Truffle powder seasoning
“It’s a dry seasoning powder,” Sloan says, adding that it goes really well with risotto. “Even if you dusted macaroni and cheese with this, it would take it from, ‘Hey, mac ‘n’ cheese’ to ‘fancy-pants mac ‘n’ cheese.”
Snowman hot chocolate
This marshmallow-topped white and milk chocolate drink is like a “‘melting snowman in your mug’ hot chocolate situation,” Miller describes.
“It looks like a decorated confection, like a candy snowman. But what you do with this guy, is you actually drop him into a mug of piping hot milk and he melts and it’s sort of terrifying and fascinating to watch this happen,” Sloan adds. “And then when he melts, he lets loose, as it were, a bunch of marshmallows. There’s a different way to say that, but that’s what’s happening. … To me, you’ve also watched the demise of Frosty the Snowman.”
Ornament cookie kit
“They’re cookies shaped like Christmas tree ornaments, and you decorate them and you can hang them on your tree or you could choose to eat them,” Miller says.
Christmas tree kit
The kit includes a hollow Christmas tree, icing, and chocolate gems that you can “glue” onto the tree. “It’s a pretty neat thing to do, and it’s actually relatively easy. Some of these kits can be challenging. This one’s easy,” Sloan says.
Hot chocolate hot cocoa cream liqueur
“It’s that comforting, wintry drink, spiked with alcohol,” Miller describes.
Cedar balsam pine cones
“People just love the cinnamon broom,” says Maggie, category manager for TJ’s flowers and plants business. “I thought there was a kind of a cool opportunity to bring in the cedar balsam pine cone so that if you do have a silk tree, you can put these pine cones in your house and you have a little bit of that aroma.”
Hold the Corn!
A riff on TJ’s mini ice cream cones, Hold the Corn! “literally inside has corn and seasonings,” Miller says.
“It’s a very crowd-friendly flavor, for sure,” Sloan adds.
Pimento cheese puffs
These puff pastries burst with pimento cheese, caramelized onion, and bacon. “I think your desire for pimento cheese to have a wider audience may really hit,” Miller says to Sloan.
Crispy rice salmon bites
“I’m excited about this,” Sloan says. “Picture, if you will, things that you might get at a Japanese restaurant: yaki onigiri or grilled rice, almost like a rice cake or a rice patty, maybe with some dynamite sauce, like a spicy aioli mayo type of thing with some salmon on top.”
Cheesecake cones & cheesecake bites
Because, like Miller says, “no holiday meal is complete without dessert, right?”
We expect to see at least some of these items in stores after Thanksgiving. We’ll also be reviewing and ranking Trader Joe’s best holiday products as soon as they hit store shelves so make sure to check back!