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Purely Team Reviews Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Products

October 2019

Eat, Live

It’s the great Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Review, Charlie Brown!

We made our way to Trader Joe’s this month to shop all of the new Pumpkin products and do an all team taste test at Purely Headquarters. Some were a hit, some were not. Working at a food company can make you pretty obsessed with food so we thought it was our duty to review these products for you before you go pumpkin crazy at TJ’s this month. Happy Pumpkin month!

Pumpkin Danish Kringle

 

Pumpkin Danish Kringle

If you don’t know what a kringle is, well, you’re probably not from the midwest. We have a few midwesterners in the office who saw the word “kringle” and went crazy. For those that liked it, they couldn’t get enough; but for those that didn’t understand the concept they were ready to move on.

Christin (Operations): Obsessed. Actually doesn’t taste too sweet. It does have a strong cinnamon and nutmeg taste.

Caroline J (Marketing): Not as flavorful as a raspberry or pecan kringle but it does the job during October.

Sarah K. (Marketing): I would eat this all day! Reminds me of a dessert my grandma used to make.

 

Pumpkin Bisque Soup

 

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bisque Soup

Overwhelming disappointment in this soup. Let’s stick to butternut and call it a day.

Christin (Operations): I do not enjoy this.

Caroline J. (Marketing): Tastes too much like baby food to be a bisque. If it were butternut I think it would work better but the pumpkin doesn’t do it for me.

 

Pumpkin Butter

 

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter

A hit around the Purely office. We even had Lily from marketing passing apps of crackers, cream cheese and apple butter through the office. If you want to add a taste of fall to a cheese board, throw this on the spread and you’ll have happy guests.

Christin (Operations): Smells like fall, delicious. I immediately want a croissant with it. It is very sweet though so you only need to eat a little bit.

Sarah K. (Marketing): Really good snack. Perfect combination of salty and sweet. Love with cream cheese.

Julie (Operations): So good! Would be interesting with cheese.

Candice (Accounting): Reminds me of apple butter.

Sarah C. (Marketing): Yummy! Nice texture and taste – could be paired with savory or sweet.

Garrett (Operations): Very tasty with cream cheese.

Caroline C. (Marketing): Delish. Would eat on toast. Has a good taste and texture.

 

Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

 

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

A lot of pumpkin going on here. Pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds might be taking it too far. We received mixed reviews with these pumpkin seeds so we will leave it up to you to decide.

Christin (Operations): I like the texture. Nice and crunch. The balance of sweet and salty is really good. I would buy these and top them on a pumpkin bread for added crunch.

Sarah K. (Marketing): Really liked the after taste, but initially it tastes like sugar…but I’m not mad about it.

Julie (Operations): Too sweet. I wanted more cinnamon and spice.

Sarah C. (Marketing): Nice texture/crunch. They are a little sweet on their own but would be nice in baking or as a topping.

Garrett (Operations): Too sweet, not enough pumpkin spice flavor. It tastes more like chai.

Caroline C. (Marketing): Good flavor – tastes like chai spice more than pumpkin. I would not buy though. It’s too sweet.

 

Pumpkin Granola Bark

 

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Granola Bar

As a granola company, we are pretty tough critics of granola and this granola bark did not impress unfortunately. The verdict: Granola wasn’t great but the chocolate was decent!

Christin (Operations): Not super flavorful. The chocolate overpowers the whole product. I don’t like it.

Sarah K. (Marketing): Tastes stale and the chocolate does not do it for me.

Julie (Operations): Yum! But it would be better with our granola…

Sarah C. (Marketing): Too tough. The granola lacked flavor but the chocolate is (always) good.

Garrett (Operations): Very dense. Granola tastes like cardboard. Chocolate is tasty.

Caroline C. (Marketing): Taste like bird food.

Natalie (Marketing): No. Very dry. Bird seed?

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

 

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Easy to prep and bake if you are looking for a quick sweet treat! The texture was decent but the flavor was overly sweet.

Christin (Operations): Too much nutmeg. I don’t like the flavor but the consistency is good.

Sarah K. (Marketing): Tastes too much like pumpkin purée. There is something off with the flavor.

Julie (Operations): I wish it had more pumpkin flavor. It’s a little too sweet.

Sarah C. (Marketing): Nice texture but it had a slight salty/tangy taste. I didn’t love it.

Caroline C. (Marketing): Good texture but weird taste and too sweet.

 

Pumpkin Biscotti

 

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Biscotto

If you are a biscotti lover, these have the right amount of crunch and spice to give you the perfect coffee and sweet treat flavor. They go great with tea on a crisp fall day.

Christin (Operations): Good crunch and nice cinnamon sugar note. Would be tasty with a cup of coffee.

Sarah K. (Marketing): Love the biscotti. It’ snot too sweet. It would be the perfect fall touch for my coffee in the morning.

Julie (Operations): Delicious. I would eat this year round.

Garrett (Operations): Tooth-breakingly dense. Acceptable flavor but I will not have another.

Caroline C. (Marketing): Very good. Subtle pumpkin flavor and buttery.

 

Pumpkin Rolls

 

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Rolls

 

It’s hard to pass up a warm and fresh baked roll. The pumpkin roll was the perfect texture and had just enough pumpkin flavor without being overpowering.

Christin (Operations): Phenomenal consistency. Doesn’t taste like pumpkin that much, I only taste cinnamon.

Sarah K. (Marketing): The inner roll is heavenly.

Emily (Accounting): Good pumpkin flavor but it’s a little too sweet for me. The crispiness on the bottom paired with the doughy inside makes it delicious.

Katie (Operations): As someone who doesn’t love pumpkin, I like this.

Mark (CFO): Not as good as an orange or cinnamon roll.

 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bagels

 

Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bagels

For a gluten-free bagel, these received positive praise. They had good texture and very subtle hints of pumpkin spice.

Christin (Operations): A little doughy and not a strong pumpkin flavor. I like it for a gluten-free option!

Sarah K. (Marketing): Don’t taste the pumpkin at all.

Julie (Operations): Good texture for a gluten-free bagel but I don’t want spice in my bagel.

Candice (Accounting): Taste the spices. Good texture.

Sarah C. (Marketing): Delicious! Light pumpkin flavor that was not overwhelming – lovely light texture that did not taste gluten-free.

Caroline C. (Marketing): Good doughy texture. I don’t taste the pumpkin though.

 

Pumpkin Greek Yogurt

 

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Greek Yogurt

 

This yogurt had a good texture and decent tangy taste. Mixed reviews all around.

Christin (Operations): Doesn’t have any pumpkin flavor. Pretty strong greek yogurt flavor to the point that it is sour.

Sarah K. (Marketing): Not my thing.

Garrett (Operations): Very good texture. Tastes like plain, greek yogurt.

Caroline C. (Marketing): Sham! Doesn’t taste like pumpkin, boo!

 

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk

 

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk

 

If there is almond milk in the refrigerator, it’s gone in about 2 days. Unfortunately, this Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk has been in the refrigerator for over 2 weeks and is not making its way to a PSL anytime soon.

Christin (Operations): Fake tasting. Too sweet.

Sarah K. (Marketing): Very comparable to eggnog.

Julie (Operations): Hard no.

Caroline C. (Marketing): Nice creamy texture, authentic pumpkin flavor. It reminds me of a pumpkin eggnog.

 

Pumpkin Dog Treats

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Dog Treats

Bud (VP of Dog Accounting – not pictured because he is shy): Not great, had to choke it down.

Addie (VP of Dog Data): Excellent, too large to eat without breaking.

Charlie (VP of Dog Supply Chain): Excellent, couldn’t get enough

Jake (VP of Dog Marketing): I liked the flavor but the texture was a bit dry.