14 Winter Favorites From Trader Joe's That Don't Disappoint, According to Employees

See the best new and returning finds!


Trader Joe's

With Thanksgiving now behind us, we can officially focus on the upcoming winter holidays. And what better way to usher in the most festive season of the year, than with a list of some of Trader Joe’s best new and returning winter items? According to the latest episode of the Inside Trader Joe's podcast, the development of holiday products starts nearly a year in advance, with taste tests beginning as early as February. 

As if that’s not evidence enough that the Trader Joe’s team takes the holidays very seriously, podcast co-hosts Matt Sloan, vice president of marketing, and Tara Miller, marketing director at Trader Joe's, noted that the 2022 holiday season includes a whopping 473 products. While 407 of these highly anticipated items are returning, 66 are new. So what can you expect to see on your next trip to TJ’s? Keep an eye out for returning items such as the Sweet & Salty Snack Mix and Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Chardonnay Wine. Then, head over to the frozen section and grab a box of the brand’s new Ratatouille Bites. To find out what else is worth buying at Trader Joe’s this holiday season, check out our complete list of winter favorites below.

Step Up to the Snack Bar Mix

Made with pub snack favorites such as honey mustard pretzel pieces, chili lemon corn sticks, honey roasted peanuts, and even the brand’s very own Trader Joe’s Cheddar Rocket Crackers, this snack mix is beloved for a reason. “This is a great example of something greater than the sum of its parts… everything is good,” Sloan gushed.

Stepping It Up Spicy Snack Bar Mix

If you like spice, you might want to purchase this snack mix (which comes in an apropos red canister) instead of the one mentioned above. This version includes sweet jalapeño pretzel pieces, spicy cheese corn sticks, spiced chile almonds, and crispy chile lemon corn nuggets. It packs some heat, but is still very enjoyable. Try pairing it with a glass of cold beer this holiday season.

Sweet & Salty Snack Mix

This returning favorite contains mini peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets, half-dipped chocolate-covered potato chips, roasted and salted Virginia peanuts, and chocolate-drizzled caramel popcorn. “This is a treat,” Miller declared, noting that this mix is well suited for a family movie night.

Minty Flavored Cocoa Truffles 

These sweet treats boast a lusciously creamy chocolatey cocoa base and add a cool minty flavor, crunchy pearl sugar bits for texture, and a light dusting of cocoa powder. “They’re minty, they’re cool, they’re creamy, and they are so delicious,” shared Sloan. 

Dark Chocolate Covered Gingerbread Cookie Folk

If you’re a fan of TJ’s Chocolate Covered Lebkuchen, chances are you will like this similar offering as well. These cookies, while also covered in dark chocolate, are soft and more mildly spiced than Lebkuchen, and without the traditional nuts or fruit. We suggest eating them with a cup of coffee, or sticking some ice cream between two treats to make a holiday-themed ice cream sandwich.

Winter Ride Double Bock

This returning festive lager is rich, dark, and merrily malty. While it tastes the same as it has in years past, it has now morphed from a six-pack of bottles to a six-pack of cans. Inside each can you’ll find a combination of Bavarian Hallertau hops and Munich and caramel malts, which creates a beer with a sweet, nutty, dark-roasted flavor and smooth, crisp finish. “It’s really tasty and a little higher in alcohol by volume,” explained Sloan. “This would be great with any number of stews or roasted root veggies.”

Ratatouille Bites

This new appetizer, which can be found in the frozen section, re-imagines the classic French dish in bite-size form. Each piece features a collection of vibrant veggies—eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes—expertly roasted, and seasoned well with the likes of garlic, black pepper, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Once cooked, the savory bites are rolled in panko breadcrumbs, and fried, before being flash-frozen. Bake this app in your air fryer for the crispiest results.

Brie en Croûte

If you like cheese, we suggest giving this returning frozen favorite a try. Inside each box of Brie en Croûte you’ll find a wheel of double cream Brie encased in an unbaked pastry crust that bakes to a delightfully flaky finish. All you need to do is bake this savory dish, then watch the delighted looks on your holiday guests faces as they give it a taste. To kick things up a notch, consider serving this with tart raspberry jam, or topping it with a sprinkle of truffle powder.

Jingle Jangle Pretzel Twists

If you’re hungry for a new spin on Trader Joe’s beloved Jingle Jangle, we highly recommend buying a box of these new treats. Each salted pretzel twist is covered in a peanut butter candy coating, then loaded up with mini chocolate candies and crushed Joe-Joe’s cookies. The result is a captivatingly crunchy snack that’s akin to reconstructed Jingle Jangle, and would look at home on any holiday dessert tray.

Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Chardonnay Wine

If you’re planning on making a holiday cheese or charcuterie board, this returning cheese is a must-have. “This proved to be an immediate success. It just flew out of the cheese case,” shared Miller, who noted that this offering debuted in 2020. “It has the nutty, creamy, flavor profile that toscano is famous for, and just a little bit of chardonnay right around the edges. It’s subtle, but it’s so satisfying.”

Tête de Moine Rosettes Semi-Soft Cheese

This returning cow’s cheese, which comes from a French speaking area of Switzerland, has been around for about 1,000 years and must be produced in a specific location using certain methods. The Trader Joe’s version is sold in rosettes, making it a perfect cheese board addition. According to Sloan, this cheese is “weird in a great way,” while Miller said it “looks stunning.”

La Fondue

Last-minute company coming over? This microwavable fondue looks impressive, but takes just minutes to prepare. “I love this because it’s so easy,” Sloan shared. “You don’t have to have a set or an open flame, just have plenty of crusty bread.”

Peppermint Hold the Cones

This dessert is back just in time for the holiday season. Each frozen treat features a cocoa-infused sugar cone complete with a drizzle of chocolatey coating into the bottom, which is both tasty and an effective leak-prevention measure. Lastly, each cone is filled with rich, creamy, peppermint-flavored ice cream that’s been crowned with a sweet chocolatey coating. “These are just so cute!” Sloan gushed.

Gingerbread Ice Cream

If you’re a fan of Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix, Sloan recommends stocking up on this ice cream. Each pint boasts a sweet and generously ginger-spiced ice cream base, bite-sized bits of TJ’s Triple Ginger Snap Cookies, and a splendid gingerbread swirl. “It tastes almost warm,” Miller pointed out. “It’s all of those gingerbread spices.” Try this in a holiday milkshake, or served over a warm piece of pie.

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