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Saturday, April 13, 2024

A review of holiday items at Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s snacks to get you through finals and into the holiday spirit


By LORENA ALVAREZ — arts@theaggie.org


With finals just around the corner, many students turn to the holidays as a way to push through the end of the quarter. Although it may be a stressful time, there are many ways to ease one’s anxiety. Some turn to shopping and procrastination, while others rely on their favorite comfort foods. Luckily, Trader Joe’s has stocked their shelves with their classic and new holiday treats just in time for finals season. The following is an overview of items returning and debuting this season.  

Jingle Jangle fans will be happy to hear that they have added Astounding Multi-flavor Mini Pretzels to the collection. This item features coffee candy, peanut butter candy, dark chocolate and milk chocolate pretzels — a wide variety of flavors that are sure to check off every sweets lover’s wish list. This is the perfect snack to decoratively place on a dish for any holiday event or to enjoy while studying for finals.

For those who wish they could indulge in this beautifully crafted treat but cannot because of a nut allergy, Butter Toffee Pretzels are the next best option. These pretzels take sweet and salty to another level. Despite their addictive flavor, the pretzels are surprisingly harder than one would expect. However, they are missing that “crunch factor” and don’t clearly iterate that on the label. While they are not a new item, these pretzels are a classic that will have you running to Trader Joe’s for a second bag.

To put you in the holiday spirit, Iced Gingerbread Squares are an excellent lemony treat for anyone who enjoys gingerbread cookies. With a snowflake-covered festive box, this new item is the perfect alternative to regular gingerbread cookies. They are made with butter, brown sugar and ground ginger. While alluring, I mistakenly put this dessert back on the shelf in exchange for the Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream sandwiches.

The Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream in an ideal world would be the perfect snack to get you back on your feet with finals coming up. The coffee aroma smells appealing but reveals a lot more than you would expect. While bewitching, the brownie tastes like an espresso puck. Out of all of the snacks I have tried from Trader Joe’s, this one will not be making an appearance in my freezer anytime soon.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Stars are distinguishable because of their star shape and the box’s festive look: a blue box with star cut-outs revealing the delicious cookies inside. These stars are sure to shine to those who adore dark chocolate and shortbread cookies. That said, personally, these cookies did not hold up their reputation. While cute, the dark chocolate was overpowering and resembled a stone more than a cookie when bitten into. Although they are not a terrible snack if you can get past the density, Trader Joe’s has a lot of alternatives to select from. 

And of course, we cannot forget the comfort food that never fails to lift our spirits, even during this chilly season: the Mini Hold the Cone ice cream cones. Their seasonal peppermint-flavored ice cream is elegantly paired with a chocolate coat and a chocolate-infused cone, an excellent counterbalance to the peppermint flavor. Not only do the flavors balance each other to perfection, but they are also the perfect size for a small pick-me-up.

The perfect pairing to Trader Joe’s vast cookie selection is their Cookie Mug Hangers. These cookies are designed to hang over the edge of mugs and add a cute and delicious touch to your choice of beverage. Not only are they sweet and crunchy, but when paired with a warm drink like hot chocolate, are the epitome of sitting by a fireplace watching holiday movies under a warm blanket. You can brighten your mood this finals season with a cute movie night paired with an adorable cup of hot chocolate and this cinnamon-spiced treat.

These are just a few of the snacks available – Trader Joe’s is constantly restocking their shelves with new items, making sure there’s something for everyone. Even if you do not celebrate the holidays or turn to comfort food during finals, their snacks are worth trying because of their affordability and the vast selection to choose from. 


Written by: Lorena Alvarez — arts@theaggie.org


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