Trader Joe's

The Trader Joe’s Summer Essentials You Need to Try ASAP


While some might say the grocery chain hits its peak in the fall or around the holiday season, we would argue that Trader Joe’s products don’t miss year-round. It might even be safe to say that many of us frequent TJ’s even more often during the summer. We’re busier, engaging in more food-centric events, and overall, just craving more of those fresh flavors that Trader Joe’s does so well. Oh, and our finances tend to take a bit of a hit as well (thanks to happy hours, too many new swimsuits, and all those summer weddings!). Thankfully, Trader Joe’s always comes through with a full cart of groceries on a budget we can actually stomach.

Wondering what to grab on your next TJ’s run? You’ve come to the right place. These are all the Trader Joe’s summer products we rely on year after year, plus some new items we can’t wait to try.


1. Patio Potato Chips

You know summer is right around the corner when these chips hit the shelves, and now is the time to scoop up every bag in sight. A mix of salt and vinegar, dill pickle, ketchup, and BBQ-flavored potato chips, it’s basically all of summer’s best flavors in one bag. These chips are an absolute staple for any sort of cookout situation. Our one complaint? The bag disappears way too fast.


2. Blueberry Fields Hard Cheese

Summer is berry season, and Trader Joe’s took that personally with this new item. If you’re familiar with Fontina cheese, it’s kind of like that but with a sharper flavor and a yummy tartness thanks to the addition of blueberry purée. Basically, it’s the ideal combination of sweet and savory summery goodness. This cheese would make a perfect addition to a summer cheese board or as a topping for a spinach and berry salad. 


3. Organic Jalapeño Limeade

Homemade spicy margs, anyone? This has appeared amid Trader Joe’s summer products for a few years now, and we’re glad to see it back in action this season. Add a splash of tequila or rum for an easy summer cocktail, or drink it straight with a garnish of fresh basil or mint for the perfect complement to taco night.


4. Brazil Nut Body Scrub

Trader Joe’s Brazil Nut Body Butter instantly became a favorite when it hit shelves a couple of summers ago, and now, TJ’s is back with a few new products in the Brazil Nut lineup. This body scrub features all the same ingredients you love about the body butter (coconut oil, guarana extract, and Brazil nut seed oil, of course) but with the addition of coarse sugar crystals and coconut shell powder for all that exfoliating goodness. Don’t miss the new Brazil Nut Body Wash either, which comes in a convenient pump bottle.


5. Salted Caramel & Pistachio Scented Candle

And if you love the smell of Trader Joe’s Brazil nut products, you’re going to want to pick up one of these candles, too. It perfectly captures that signature caramelly, pistachio scent and comes in a hot-pink lidded tin that matches the rest of the lineup. Time to Brazil nut-ify your entire self-care routine.


6. Chips in a Pickle Potato Chips

Pickle lovers, rise. Summer is officially your time to shine, and these chips were tailor-made for anyone who can’t get enough of that tangy, zesty flavor. Although Trader Joe’s Chips in a Pickle are now available year-round, but their salty, vinegary crunch is particularly satisfying during the summer.


7. S’mores Clusters

S’mores are THE treat of the summer, and we’d argue that the complicated prep process and sticky remnants are part of the charm. But sometimes you just want that s’mores flavor without all the hassle. Made of graham cracker pieces and mini marshmallows covered in milk chocolate, these s’mores clusters are Trader Joe’s answer to your prayers. We may have just met our new favorite afternoon snack—thankfully, with no campfire required.


8.  Cold Brew Coffee Bags

Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Coffee Bags are only available in the summer, so you better believe we’re making a beeline for the nearest store as soon as these are released. Like tea bags but for coffee, these cold brew bags are a fool-proof way to brew up the most deliciously smooth and subtle cup of coffee.


9. Golden Berries

What are golden berries, you ask? Although they look kind of like orange cherry tomatoes, they’re actually a fruit with a tangy, tropical taste that’s unlike any berry you’ve tried. It’s almost like eating a pineapple but in berry form. Hard to explain, but so so good.


10. Organic Beef Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are a summer staple, but your basic package of franks can be chock-full of God-knows-what. We love that these are made of organic, grass-fed beef with no fillers. Plus, they taste amazing on the grill, in a bun, and with a little mustard.


11. Sweet Tea

Iced tea is great to have on hand any time of the year, but it hits different in the summertime. Trader Joe’s sweet tea has a great flavor and is super refreshing on a hot day. We recommend pouring it over ice with a little squeeze of lemon.


12. Mini Watermelon

A full-size watermelon can yield way too much fruit, especially if you’re only a household of one or two. The mini size is much more manageable, and we’ve found these from TJ’s are super juicy and delicious. Plus, the small size makes them way easier to cut than your normal giant watermelon.


13. Everything and the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip

Elote dip is no longer something you can only get in your favorite Mexican restaurant. Trader Joe’s changed the game with the debut of this dip a couple of years ago, and it’s truly a must-buy for any summer gathering you’re headed to this season. It’s bold, creamy, and smoky, and just like many of our favorite TJ’s dips, we appreciate that this one is made with Greek yogurt.


14. Sparkling Pineapple Juice Beverage

We enjoy a sparkling beverage any day of the year, but in the summer, it’s especially fun to sip something fresh and fruity—either on its own or in a cocktail. Pineapple is one of those flavors that really only feels appropriate during the summer or when you’re on a beach, so we’re taking this opportunity to scoop up a pack of these tropical sparkling juices. And if you’re not a fan of pineapple, don’t worry—watermelon and strawberry are available, too. 


15. Organic Grilled Chicken Breast

It’s always good to have chicken on hand: to put in salads, as a protein with pasta, shredded with barbecue sauce, or any other way you like it. This package offers a tasty source of protein that makes summer dinner prep even easier.


16. Pineapple Salsa

We don’t make the rules: Fruit salsas are superior in the summer. This pineapple salsa from Trader Joe’s is fresh, slightly sweet, and mildly spicy. Eat it with a perfectly salted tortilla chip, and thank us later.


17. Limoncello Gouda Cheese

This gouda is infused with real limoncello, sourced straight from Sicily. Shred some (or a lot) of it over pastas, pizzas, grilled veggies, and summer salads, or place it on a charcuterie board to impress your guests.


18. Ube Spread

Ube is a purple-hued yam that has a coconut-meets-pistachio flavor. This spread could make your mouth water on almost anything, but it is especially delicious on toast, pastries, or even dolloped on a yogurt bowl.


19. Strawberry & Jalapeno Crisps

These sweet and spicy crackers are to die for with a creamy dip or sharp cheese. First, you taste the dried strawberries and sunflower seeds, and then the spice of the dried jalapeno lingers to build a little heat just like a spicy marg does. These crackers are a crowd favorite on a charcuterie board—be prepared for them to go fast.


20. Shrimp Seafood Burgers

These are reminiscent of something you’d order for lunch on a beach vacation, which makes them the perfect staple to keep in your freezer for the summer months. The shrimp flavor isn’t too seafood-y, and the texture isn’t too chunky. The result is the perfect smooth and flavorful burger that doesn’t need too many toppings to dress it up.


21. Organic Acai Smoothie Bowl

Happy smoothie season! When you want a light breakfast that’ll cool you off after your morning workouts, get this smoothie bowl. It’s basically already made for you and tastes so good. 


22. Truffle Flavored BBQ Sauce

If you are a fan of truffle fries (who isn’t?), you better run to get this BBQ sauce ASAP. The rich, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor is everything you could want in a BBQ sauce and more. Try it with grilled chicken, pulled pork, grilled pizza, or on top of your favorite burger. It is *chef’s kiss* all-around.


23. Fruit Frenzy Bars

We’re always on the lookout for snacks to cool us off when summer gets sweaty and gross, and a frozen fruit pop is just the way. These are basically the adult version of a popsicle, and the raspberry-lemon-strawberry combination is super refreshing.


24. Mini Meyer Lemon Flavored Biscotti

Biscotti is traditionally meant to be dunked into coffee or tea, but this Meyer lemon-flavored variety is good enough to eat on its own for dessert. They are sweet yet tangy and the perfect refreshing sweet treat. If you want to make these even more decadent, scoop yourself some vanilla ice cream and add one or two of these to the bowl.