The Trader Joe’s podcast, Inside Trader Joe’s, is back after a two-month hiatus — and they’re spilling the deets on the near-dozen new products launching in stores this holiday season. “Wow,” Matt Sloan, TJ’s vice president of marketing product, starts the episode. “There is so much to say about the new products coming soon to Trader Joe’s.”
For starters, Trader Joe’s is launching nine new products, from an innovative coffee and tea-infused beverage to boozy, Chardonnay-soaked Toscano cheese. Oh, and did we mention they’re introducing two new truffle products?
Let’s start with the Maple Espresso Black Tea…
Maple Espresso Black Tea
TJ’s new Maple Espresso Black Tea is a two-in-one, combining a maple-flavored black tea with ground espresso in a teabag. Surprisingly, it isn’t overly caffeinated, either: It’s less than 20 milligrams of caffeine in a cup.
“Our folks have done a really good job with developing seasonally appropriate coffees and teas over the years. But I think this is the first time that they’ve ever developed a seasonally appropriate coffee and tea simultaneously,” says Tara Miller, TJ’s marketing director.
The Spectacled Bear
This fair-trade organic coffee comes from San Ignacio in the Cajamarca region of Peru, which, according to Sloan, is “up in the mountains, part of the Andes.”
“These are beans from about 330 small-hold farmers,” Sloan adds. “About a quarter of them are actually women farmers and they’re running this group to provide these beans. And they’re part of the fair trade program. The beans are also certified organic. They’ve been given sort of a medium roast. A really wonderful cup of coffee. I’m excited for this one.”
Beef en Croute
Found in the frozen foods section, TJ’s new Been en Croute is deliciously described as a beef tenderloin top with mushrooms and wrapped in puff pastry.
“We’re bringing back… a classic dish that people tend to associate with holiday meals, and it’s very much based on a classic Beef Wellington recipe,” Miller explains.
Olive-Stuffed Chicken Bites
This new product is exactly what it sounds like: a breaded chicken meatball stuffed with olives.
“You get that great, briny, olive flavor, chicken meatball. It’s really a great appetizer,” Sloan says. “I think you could make an interesting meatball sandwich with these.”
Truffle Hot Sauce with Black Truffles
Trader Joe’s shoppers love truffles and they love hot sauce. So, why wouldn’t TJ’s combine the two?
“This truffle hot sauce is almost overwhelmingly flavorful,
certainly aromatic,” Sloan says, adding that the hot sauce isn’t terribly expensive either. “It is really a delicious thing.”
Sloan’s recommendation on how to use this hot sauce? “This would be an interesting thing to put on a basic mac and cheese.”
Black Truffle Cashew Pesto Sauce
Made with Grana Padano cheese, TJ’s Black Truffle Cashew Pesto Sauce is described by Miller as having a “wonderful, very rich unctuous pesto” flavor. The truffle is also “very present.”
“I’m looking forward to just simply roasting some Dutch yellow potatoes, and then taking a few heaping tablespoons of this and tossing them while they’re still warm. I think that would be great,” Miller adds.
It’d also be great on pasta.
Chardonnay Toscano Cheese
Fans of the Syrah-soaked Toscano cheese will want to beeline to TJ’s cheese section to pick up this Chardonnay-soaked Toscano cheese.
“The outside of the cheese absorbs more of the flavor than the inside of the cheese,” Miller says. “As you eat through the wedge of this cheese, the outside of the wedge definitely has more of the Chardonnay flavor than the inside of the wedge.”
“It reminds me of Havarti,” Sloan says of TJ’s new Nøkkelost cheese, “of a delicious sort of creamy, bouncy, springy textured Havarti, with the interesting inclusion of cumin
That said, if you aren’t a fan of cumin, you might not like this cheese.
Handcrafted Soap Set
This handcrafted soap set includes three different types of soap: a charcoal and tea tree, a lavender eucalyptus, and a coffee soap.
“These little soaps are a phenomenal value,” Miller says.
See y’all at Trader Joe’s.
Before you go, check out our top foolproof holiday gifts for absolutely everyone on your list: