Trader Joe’s Winter Food Review: taking on peppermint

Ava Bruce, Naiya Gates, and Taryn Coulson

The holiday spirit is taking the world by storm, and this hurricane of peppermint, gingerbread and holiday spice definitely did not miss the Lake Oswego Trader Joe’s. The feeling of winter cheer was not only alive and well inside the store, but also found in every box of Peppermint Joe-Joe’s and Scandinavian Tidings. Going into Trader Joe’s, we had very high expectations, as they had an abundance of fall-flavored foods, and I think it’s safe to say that they did not disappoint. Using our expert food-tasting abilities, we rated each item on a 1-10 scale.


Peppermint Pretzel Slims: 

Naiya: 7/10- The sweet and salty pairs well together.

Taryn: 7/10- Good crunch but needs more peppermint flavor.

Ava: 6/10- They were a little too sweet, but I liked the peppermint flavor.


Scandinavian Tidings:

Naiya: 8/10- I just wish there were more flavors!

Taryn: 8/10- Tastes like your go-to childhood fruit snacks.

Ava: 9/10- They taste like regular Scandinavian Swimmers, but they are super good and I love the holiday shapes!


Candy Cane Chocolate Covered Almonds:

Naiya: 5/10- The nutty flavor doesn’t pair very well with the peppermint but 10/10 points for the idea.

Taryn: 7.5/10- The peppermint is a great combo with the almonds.

Ava: 9/10- The chocolate and candy cane taste super good together and I love the crunchiness of the almond.


Stepping It Up Spicy Snack Mix:

Naiya: 7/10- Super crunchy and perfect spice level.

Taryn: 7.5/10- Loved the variety of salty snacks in this mix. 

Ava: 10/10- Kind of spicy, kind of salty, very addicting.


Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s:

Naiya: 6/10- Controversial opinion: the originals are better.

Taryn: 9/10- The peppermint crunch really added to the overall cookie.

Ava: 7/10- They definitely capture the holiday spirit, but I feel like they’re hyped up a little too much. 


Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies: 

Naiya: 6/10 – Didn’t live up to my expectations because the frosting was too sweet.

Taryn: 6/10- Too much frosting, not enough cookie.

Ava: 5/10- The cookie is really delicious, but the frosting is a little, um, Crisco-y, which doesn’t really float my boat.



Naiya: 4/10- The first bite tasted like chemicals but it did grow on me later, I will admit.

Taryn: 1/10- Tastes like bread with raisins— I hate raisins.

Ava: 1/10- It tastes like dry raisin bread rolled in flour. No bueno.


While most of these holiday snacks are a must-try, we all had our own ideas on the best one! The Scandinavian Tidings were by far Naiya’s favorite. 

“I am a little kid at heart, and nothing beats gummy bears/candies in my book. If only the bag was a bit less loud because every time you reach in for another one, the crinkle of the plastic draws too much attention to your Scandinavin Tidings addiction,” Gates said.

Even though we tried so many new snacks, sometimes the best ones are the classics. This was the case in Taryn’s opinion. 

“I look forward to this time of year exclusively for Peppermint Joe-Joes. The crunch of the candy cane with the chocolate cookie makes this my favorite holiday treat,” Coulson said.

Ava did not shy away from her almond obsession, and ultimately chose the Candy Cane Chocolate Covered Almonds as her favorite. 

“Almonds are by far my favorite nut, so I was super excited to see them in a holiday form. The candy cane, chocolate and almond all came together to create one of the best holiday-flavored snacks I have ever tried,” Bruce said. 


So if you’re looking for something to do over break, we recommend that you head over to Trader Joe’s for their major selection of holiday eats. When your mom heads out to do the weekly grocery shopping, keep her company… and maybe slip a few boxes of Peppermint Joe-Joes in the cart. See you there! #notsponsored