Trader Joe’s seasonal items fall into stock


Chloe Levenson

Festive decorations, including a small pumpkin patch, on display at the Trader Joes in Greenbrae.

While the thermometer drops and leaves turn orange, seasonal goods at Trader Joe’s make their anticipated return. From pumpkin espresso beans to apple tarts, Trader Joe’s has everything needed for a delicious and festive fall. In this article, spotlight seven seasonal items only available during this special time of year partnered with their assigned superlatives.

Best deal:

The Pumpkin Spiced Espresso beans smell and taste exactly like a creamy pumpkin spiced latte, and their $0.99 price tag only adds to their perfection. Each 2.5 oz bag contains a little more caffeine than one one cup of coffee, providing an extra boost of energy to your day. For these reasons, the Pumpkin Spiced Espresso beans earned themselves a solid 10 out of 10.

Least pumpkiny:

These crispy, pumpkin-infused triangles put a twist on TJ’s typical tortilla chips. It takes a moment to truly experience the overpowering nutmeg-pumpkin flavor, but when you do, it’s merely adequate. The pumpkin flavor gives the chips a slightly bit

ter, burnt-like flavor. They are perfectly salted, not to an overwhelming extent, and have a wonderful texture. Trader Joe’s is not new to specialty tortilla chips – these are simply the savory sister to their sweet potato tortilla chips. These chips would be incredible paired with mango salsa or guacamole. Even with the few positives, these pumpkin tortilla chips receive a six out of ten because while they are tasty, they are nothing special.

Most flavorful:

The Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal cookie mix stays true to its name with sizeable semi-sweet chocolate chunks and a strong pumpkin spice flavor. The 24 midsize cookies this mix makes deliver slightly chewy yet dense bites. Unlike the tortilla chips, to enjoy these cookies you must value pumpkin spice supremacy, as these cookies are saturated with relishes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Additionally, dipping this cookie in oat milk provides a wonderful pairing: the milk counters the pumpkin flavor and softens up the cookie. Therefore, these cookies received a solid 7 out of 10 because while they are delicious, the pumpkin spice flavor is a bit overwhelming. 

Pumpkin espresso beans on display at the Trader Joes in Montecito Plaza, San Rafael (Chloe Levenson)

Most aesthetically pleasing:

The bi-colored Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli is filled with a subtle and delicious pumpkin ricotta. However, the pasta itself is beautiful with its double siding and contrasting colors: one side of the pasta is orange while the other is yellow. A bacon sage sauce – complete with red pepper flakes, parmesan, black peppercorn, bacon bits, sage leaves, toasted walnuts, and of course, butter – is the perfect homemade compliment to the ravioli. However, without the sauce, this pumpkin pasta itself deserves the final rating of 7 out of 10.

Most creative:

Of course, the Pumpkin Spiced Hummus was an enigma, leaving the question: why would Trader Joe’s make a chickpea and pumpkin dip? Despite this, fans of Trader Joe’s’ chocolate hummus would definitely enjoy this fall twist on the classic dip. If sweet hummus is not a personal turn-off, this pumpkin pie-like hummus will satisfy those taste buds. However, this hummus is not for everyone, earning it a 5 out of 10.

Best aroma:

Recommended by Trader Joe’s employee Tammy, the Pumpkin Overnight Face Mask emits the most delicious pumpkin apple cider smell. The mask goes on clear and stings a bit at first, however it’s not too painful. Once washed off, there wasn’t much of a visible difference to my skin. The mask receives a 6 out of 10 because while it smells wonderful and has an okay feeling when applied, it doesn’t have any effect on the skin’s appearance.  

Best overall:

Customer picking up a popular “Rustic Apple Tarte” at the Trader Joes in Greenbrae.

The magnificent Rustic Apple Tarte was truly an excellent surprise. This wonderful treat tastes like a cross between a Rustic Bakery almond croissant and grandma’s apple pie. The flaky crust, completed by an amazing filling and containing hints of cinnamon and sweet juicy apple, contributed to the delectability of this incredible treat. For a mere $5, this bakery-worthy tarte is a must-try. With a perfect rating of 10 out of 10, this tarte is definitely the superstar of the freezer aisle. 

Ultimately, although a few items fell short of expectations, Trader Joe’s deserves praise for the creativity behind their seasonal items. Trader Joe’s fanatics, get excited for more delicious seasonal items to come.