Food Review: Trader Joe’s Christmas Collection

Favorite grocer showcases festive treats for the yuletide season
Food Review: Trader Joes Christmas Collection

Traders Joe’s has decked the halls with their Christmas collection, bringing back several customer favorites for the most anticipated season of the year. Sweets, drinks, beauty products and even edible Christmas inspired activities are offered to bring customers into the spirit of the holiday. Trader Joe’s stores across the nation stock up on a total of 469 items specialized to the Christmas season. Eighty-six of these products are brand new to the franchise and offer a fresh experience to returning buyers. Let’s go try some!

Last Christmas I embarked on a similar journey, taste testing several seasonal items that blew me away, others not so much. The holiday selection kept the yuletide theme. Each bite had me wishing every day was Christmas. This year, TJ’s collection for the Christmas season continues to comprise familiar flavors including: candy cane, chocolate, cinnamon, gingerbread, peppermint, and toffee. 

First up: the Salty Honey Toffee Milk Chocolate Coated Crackers! The name was a mouthful, but trust me, you will want your mouth full of these special treats. Just as their title explains, Trader Joe’s has taken their saltine cracker dupe and laced it in something like a crushed Heath bar. It was flavorful and had a great crunch that perfected the texture of this snack. On the nit-picky side, this treat simply had too much chocolate, it took away from the overall experience of the other ingredients.

The scrumptious Scandinavian Tidings come can be purchased for four dollars a bag. (Natalie Garcia)

The only warning I would attach with this snack would be it is a mess! But it’s worth it. I will definitely be repurchasing this in the future.

The Scandinavian Tidings were simply marvelous! I had a recommendation for these savory gummies, but I wished that I had taken it upon myself to consume these sooner. Aesthetically speaking, these small tidings were adorable, shaped as trees, stars and ornaments, perfect for the Christmas season. As for the taste, Trader Joe’s has done it again providing a snack exquisite in texture and flavor. They were infused with a sweet and fruity tang – not too overbearing and extremely addicting.

The Belgium cookie kit is perfect for confection enthusiasts. Soft and crunch, chewy and sweet – if you’re looking for variety, this is the item for you. Each sweet in the box had a unique twist, and I felt that I was playing cookie roulette trying each until I was satisfied. As a cookie snob, I was hesitant to pursue this collection. If I found one I liked in the box, then truly anyone can. The confections varied, some just a breaded cookie, others covered in chocolate and toffee. On the downside, the cookies were slightly bland and had a crude store-bought taste. If grandma’s homemade cookies are what you crave than your expectations may crumble. But I can assure you that this box is certain to have at least one confection to tantalize your taste buds. 

Don’t let their unassuming exterior fool you, the Sugar Plum Sparkling Beverage packs a strong flavor. (Natalie Garcia)

The Sugar Plum Sparkling Beverage danced along the lines of utterly disgusting. This is where the review piece is strictly my opinion. That being said, this was by far the worst thing I have ever consumed. I felt the need to apologize to my taste buds after the brutality they endured while guzzling this sorry excuse of a drink. I don’t know where it went wrong honestly. Sugar, plums and carbonation are all amazing ingredients that are wonderful on their own, but blended in this drink are “blah.” I remember getting my mouth washed out with soap as a kid as punishment; this is worse. Parents reading take note, I would advise you to stock up on this item ASAP to broaden your disciplinary techniques with the kiddos. I am sure it will be effective. The only positive thing I can say about this bottled drink disguised as three dollar beverage is at least it was aesthetically pleasing. It would make good decor, but that reaches the extent of its value. 

The icing process is tedious but worth it to see the finished product. (Julia Castiglione)

Now, on to something I loath less: The Jingle Jangle Pretzel Twists. While consuming this item, the only word that came to my mind was disappointment. The bar was set Olympic-level high after the exquisite performance of the original Jingle Jangle I sampled last year. However, these pretzels did not stand a chance. Rather than pole vaulting over the bar this item chose to limbo and the result was a mediocre snack. The pretzel itself was much larger than I would have preferred and as a result only a few came in the package. It was coated in an overbearing layer of peanut butter and unnecessarily large M&M’s that made eating it difficult. There was Oreo dustings sprinkled one top which resulted in crumbs getting everywhere. For once, I’m not convinced the mess was worth the reward. It had potential to be great, but it was simply not for me.

The Gingerbread House kit was worth every dime for the memories made while making it. The A-frame construction was simple to build and definitely beginner friendly. A couple things to note going into this edible activity is the need for outside ingredients. The frosting requires lemon juice, egg whites and a strong arm to stir a thick mixture for a while. Otherwise, prepare for a mess and loads of fun packed into your afternoon. Sprinkles, gummies, M&M’s and even intricately-crafted chocolate animals were included in the package. This added an adorable touch to the decorated houses. The gingerbread itself definitely passed the taste test with a wonderful balance of sweet and spice. I would suggest you take a huge bite of your building after construction; it makes it that much better!

Trader Joe’s continues to provide their customers with a wide range of lovable, festive favorites. To read last year’s opinions on TJ’s yuletide snacks, check out Food Review: Trader Joe’s Christmas collection. For more reviews read from The Feather’s A&E page.

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About the Contributor
Danielle Arndt, Editor
Second-year journalist, Danielle Arndt, ‘26, continues her journey as a returning writer for The Feather Online. Arndt believes in the importance of integrity, dedicating herself wholly to whatever she puts her mind to. Self-proclaimed movie enthusiast, she loves immersing herself in the cinematic world, hiding from reality. Writing has always been the way she could express herself and the stories living rent-free in her mind. Arndt aspires to be an author, she cannot hold her excitement to grow in the fields of journalism.
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