Screenshot from CNBC Make It Video: "Why You Spend So Much Money at Trader Joe's"
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Screenshot from CNBC Make It Video: "Why You Spend So Much Money at Trader Joe's"

Explore new summer flavors and stock up on delicious items at a reasonable price.

If you’re not in the know, Trader Joe’s is a franchise that spans the nation with cute little grocery stores sandwiched in neighborhoods with very tiny parking lots. The stores are chock-full of appetizing finds and delicious treats. Every season, Trader Joe’s introduces new items based on current trends that give shoppers access to new tastes and textures. For the most part, their food is reasonably priced, and shoppers can easily cherry-pick items based on seasonal tastes. Whether you are entertaining some friends or just treating yourself, you can’t go wrong with their seasonal items. Sometimes, new treats are so popular that they are picked up on an annual basis, but many times the items are here for the season and gone for good. Keep reading for some top summer favorites.

For snacking finds, you can’t go wrong with their salsas. Trader Joe’s is famous for combining new flavors and spices that most people might not have heard of before. There are tons to choose from, but for summer 2022, the hot new salsa is Salsa de Cacahuate. It’s advertised as “Mexican inspired” and is made with peanuts and guajillo chiles. As soon as you pop open the jar, your nose will catch the scent of deep, roasted peppers and you can actually smell the peanuts. You can pair it with their ever-popular Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. There’s a little kick of spice immediately off the bat, and soon all the amazing spices fill your taste buds. This is the perfect appetizer for a small gathering or just hanging out playing video games.

Next up is the BBQ and Black Pepper Toscano Chopped Salad. This cabbage-based salad is pre-cut and just needs to be poured into a bowl and tossed with the included packet of BBQ sweet onion dressing. From there, it is topped with cornbread croutons and black pepper Toscano cheese. This can be a small salad for a few people or a big salad just for you! The sweet dressing complements the salty cheese and croutons for a next-level flavor profile. Snackers will find it surprising that veggies can taste so amazing.

To make your salad a complete meal, try the new Organic Breaded Chicken Nuggets. These are found in the refrigerated section and heat in the microwave in under a minute. They’re breaded and pre-seasoned, so you can eat them on your own or pair them with the new Fig Butter, another brand-new addition to the summer lineup. The fig butter is super sweet and cuts right through the saltiness of the nuggets; if you like your nuggets with sweet and sour sauce, the date butter is perfect. Another awesome option is to chop the nuggets and add them to your chopped salad for a complete dinner.

To complement your perfect summer dinner, you’ll need a refreshing drink. During summer, Trader Joe’s sells their Country Peach Juice, a combination of peach and apple purees and five other juices. As soon as you crack the lid, you’ll be overwhelmed by the smell of fresh summer peaches and it’s the perfect balance of fruity flavors. Delicious on its own, it also makes a great base for summer cocktails that will be absolutely refreshing by the pool. Another new summer item is the Sparkling Pineapple Juice, which is a crisp, carbonated beverage infused with fresh pineapple flavors. While the juice is also good on its own, it can be enhanced by pouring it over Trader Joe’s vanilla bean ice cream for a pineapple float!

Your summer party (solo or with friends) has already been elevated by these drink and entrée picks, but desserts are where Trader Joe’s truly shines in the summer. Imagine sitting on your patio under some twinkling lights and you pull out the new Watermelon & Peach Macarons. It’s hard to imagine such a rich cookie being lightened up by fresh watermelon and peach flavors, but Trader Joe’s made it happen. The perfect summer flavors lighten up the macarons, which have a crispy outside and a soft inside.

Trader Joe’s also encapsulates rich flavors in their new summer ice cream. In their Horchata Ice Cream, the traditional cinnamon rice milk is turned into a luxurious and creamy dessert that pairs perfectly with summer nights with friends. The captured horchata flavor is smooth and the ice cream is swirled with horchata-flavored cookie pieces that add texture and crunch. For an on-the-go treat, try the Blueberry Dream frozen bars. They taste exactly like fresh summer blueberries instead of artificial blueberry flavoring. There are even blueberries in these creamy popsicles that will basically have you thinking you just had a serving of fresh fruit. Breakfast popsicle? Treat yourself!

Possibly the item that represents summer the best is the Out of this World Ice Pop. You may think of Bomb-Pops when you look at their design, but the flavors in this dessert item are far superior. The red, blue and white layers are flavored with strawberry, blueberry and lemon. What’s different with these summer icy treats are the natural flavors replacing the fake sweeteners of traditional popsicles. The mix of sweetness and tartness together makes the most refreshing treat. Have these by the pool as the sun sets and you’ll have summer mastered.

Visit Trader Joe’s this summer to beat the heat and avoid the summer blahs that come with eating the same things over and over again. Enrich your palette while impressing your friends. You can pair your new treats with classic flavors and easily host a small summer get-together without breaking the bank. Try all their interesting fruits, salty cheeses, and flavored crackers together on a summer-themed charcuterie board paired with seasonal juices or even wines. Camp with friends and bring along sandwich favorites like cracked pepper turkey or watermelon spread. Or: Just enjoy your staycation at home with a summer playlist and an ice-cold popsicle while you kick your feet up and hit the PlayStation. No matter what your summer plans are, Trader Joe’s is the perfect place to find all the food you could possibly need to make this a delightful summer.

Writer Profile

Megan Miller

Arizona State University

Megan has lived her whole life in Southern California where she enjoys all the local attractions, especially the beaches. She enjoys reading, writing and cooking. She is obsessed with her dog, Moose.

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