Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Trader Joe's Kettle Popped Sweet & Salty Popcorn Chips

Trader Joe's Kettle Popped Sweet and Salty Popcorn Chips, Whole Grain with Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Whole Quinoa, Sunflower Seeds.

That's the entire title of this product. It's like a paragraph by itself. I mean, not technically. I just mean it's really long. In a way, it's all you need to know about this product, and it's all printed right there on the front of the bag. If you like all that stuff, you'll like this product. But I guess the point of a food review is to tell you whether WE liked these popcorn chips or not.

And the answer is YES, we did. I REALLY like the ingredients list. Nothing I can't pronounce. Nothing I needed to Google. 

They're low in fat, salty and sweet, just like the bag says. Plus, TJ's has found another creative way to stick quinoa in our junk food. But as "junk food" goes, these chips are fairly low-guilt. Even the sodium isn't excessive. And as far as Sonia and I can tell, the taste doesn't suffer at all.

Not sure who the supplier is for this product, but like most TJ's items, it undoubtedly comes from a third party. Regardless, I think this type of product is what attracted me to TJ's in the first place: stuff that effectively curbs the munchies with significantly less bad stuff than traditional snacks. I mean, I LOVE the cookie butter stuff like most of you, but those treats just can't be everyday snacks unless you workout like a madman or are cool with weighing 300 pounds.

These popcorn chips have a nice light flavor that lets the natural grains through, but it has just enough cane sugar that it tastes indulgent and satisfies the sweet tooth. The flavor is more complex than other popcorn chips I've tried because of all the "ancient grain" type ingredients. The texture is crispy, crunchy, and just about perfect. $1.99 for a bag is a pretty reasonable price point, too, if you ask me.

Sonia was an even bigger fan than I was—she really digs the whole sweet and salty thing and thinks these chips nailed it. Four and a half stars from her. Four from me.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.


  1. http://gourmetbasics.com/our-products/slim-chips/salty-sweet-kettle/

    1. Hmmm... ^this could be the third party supplier I mentioned in the review...thanks!

  2. I suggest spreading a layer of cookie butter between 2 of these... :)

  3. Great informative review. Looking forward to trying. Usually, I avoid "airy" stuff because feel like you don't get much for your money, but sounds good.

    1. Let us know what you think once you try them, Marc!

  4. Are they vegan? The only ingredient I'm questioning is the vanilla flavor