5 Discontinued Trader Joe’s Treats That I Need Back in My Life

I know I am not the only one who gets that sinking feeling every time I can’t immediately find something I’m looking for at Trader Joe’s—panicked by the thought of a beloved snack being ripped from my grasp by the cruel hand of discontinuation and then relieved to find that it was just hiding behind a bag of Ginger Chews. Alas, it doesn’t always go that way. Here are five discontinued Trader Joe’s items I still pine for.

Trader Joe’s Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (with coconut milk)

Trader Joe’s experiments a lot in its frozen ice cream department, especially with its dairy-free options. They’ve manufactured their non-dairy dessert (aka ice cream, but don’t say that to their legal department) from numerous milk alternatives including oat milk, almond, and soy. My favorite by far, however, was the strawberry coconut milk version. This was a faux ice cream for both dairy lovers and haters alike. The consistency and flavor force you to declare, “I don’t care what it is, I’m eating it.” Its smooth and creamy texture is hard to replicate, and its flavor is very true to strawberry ice cream without trying too hard (creamy with just a bit of that strawberry tartness). I absolutely need this one back in my freezer.

Credit: Ryan Martin

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Sunflower Seed Drops

I love chocolate-covered almonds as much as the next person, but Trader Joe’s Chocolate Sunflower Seed Drops were the snack I never knew I needed. Each seed is covered with milk chocolate and a colorful candy coating, which makes for a fun, visually stimulating snack experience. The sunflower seeds themselves have about as much give as the candy coating, making for a very clean chomp, which comes as a relief when compared to chocolate-covered almonds. Those are just far too much effort, which is something I only realized after finding these sunflower seeds. I still hold out hope that I’ll see them again one day.

Credit: Ryan Martin

Trader Joe’s Birthday Cake Bar

This is the one that keeps me up at night. Birthday cake-flavored things that are not cake hold a special place in my heart, right next to candy corn (that’s another article). The sprinkles, the white chocolate, the festive vibe. When Trader Joe’s released this candy bar, I felt like they were speaking just to me. The balloons and cake on the packaging were very inviting and almost as enticing as the bar itself. Between the cookie crumbs and the sprinkles that were mixed into the chocolate, my inner child was jumping up and down as soon as I took the first bite. Happiness, excitement, and then sadness when TJ’s abruptly stopped stocking the treat. Trader Joe’s invited everyone to a party and then tore up their invitations at the door when they discontinued this one. How am I supposed to explain that to my inner child??

Credit: Ryan Martin

Trader Joe’s Cannelés De Bordeaux

Trader Joe’s Cannelés de Bordeaux were the perfect treat for a quiet Sunday morning with a warm cup of Earl Grey tea. The kind of snack that you bite into, close your eyes, and pretend the world is at peace. The caramelized outside coupled with the sweet, soft, and custardy inside were delicious either hot or cold. Personally, I preferred to let them thaw out without any added heat. Trader Joe’s was ahead of their time with a lot of these goods and should have allowed their place in the cannelés market to set before pulling their hat out of the ring. Now, upscale bakeries and pastry chefs like Dominique Ansel have laid claim to the cannelé, and the industry standard is held at a much higher price point than Joe’s had theirs. Had Trader Joe’s just waited a bit longer, who knows where our current market standard would be.

Credit: Ryan Martin

Buono Vegan Mochi Ice Dessert

Coconut milk should have a stronger hold on the ice cream community than it presently does, because here we have yet another example of coconut milk making waves in the non-dairy ice cream world. While not technically manufactured by TJ’s, Trader Joe’s is the only place I was ever able to reliably find this vegan mochi ice cream. I’m not sure what sort of beef arose between Trader’s and Buono, but I need the two to politely put aside their differences for the sake of all that is flavorful and bring back this mochi. I love the soft stretchy texture of mochi and Buono’s was the first that I tried that perfected the rice dough-to-ice-cream ratio. The coconut milk base in the ice cream itself made for the creamiest little bite-sized dollop of strawberry goodness. Creamy, lightly chewy, and adorable, this product is definitely the one that got away.

Credit: Ryan Martin

About the Author

Naajia Shukri

Naajia Shukri is the legit biggest fan of candy corn. She is interested in all things food, art, and beauty. After living in Korea for the past two years, she has gotten back to her L.A. roots, frequenting thrift stores and art museums.

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