Trader Joe’s fills our stomachs and our hearts with their Valentine’s collection


In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we set out to find the best Trader Joe’s snacks.

Being single during Valentine’s season is not a pleasant experience, what with the abundance of couples and romance in the air. However, Trader Joe’s Valentine’s snack collection satisfies both our hearts and our stomachs like no significant other can. Here are some of the best TJ snacks to munch on as you binge your favorite rom-coms this season. 

Raspberry mousse cakes: 10/10

Covered by a confectionery coating, this dessert consists of a thick cake topped with raspberry flavored mousse.This mouse dessert makes a comeback every holiday, and for Valentine’s season, a raspberry-flavored mousse cake ties in perfectly. The fluffy, delicate sweet melts gradually, allowing your tastebuds to encapsulate all the flavors. The tangy taste from the mousse is key to why this dessert is delectable, as it does not leave an unbearable sweet aftertaste. Displayed like a raspberry itself, the presentation of this little dessert truly makes it palatable. 

Gummy Xs and Os: 8/10

These delectable treats pack a punch of fruity flavor, shaped in red, pink and white Xs and Os. These cherry, strawberry, and grapefruit flavored gummies have a soft and chewy texture similar to that of Swedish fish. They also happen to be vegan! While these XO gummies are only available during Valentine’s season, Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers provide a year-round alternative to these adorable snacks. While they are aesthetically pleasing, they lack flavor variety and have a somewhat overly chewy texture.

For the love of chocolate mousse cake: 9/10

Do you want a valentine that’s sweet and rich? If so, you need to pick up one of these adorable heart-shaped mousse cakes. Layers of soft chocolate cake and velvety mousse are enrobed in a thin layer of chocolate, the crispness rounding out the smooth textures. This dessert delivers true love to the tastebuds of chocolate lovers, however those who don’t enjoy chocolate as much may prefer one of TJ’s many other cake varieties, such as their mini sheet cakes. If chocolate doesn’t make you fall in love, this cake’s packaging certainly will. The heart-shaped cake includes a charming valentine design, making it the perfect addition to any Valentine’s picnic.

Raspberry heart cookies: 7/10

These eye-catching heart shaped cookies grab your attention due to their appealing look. A shortbread cookie filled with raspberry jam in the middle makes it look extremely appetizing. This cookie does not fail to provide a sufficient amount of jam to fulfill your tastebuds. The raspberry jam does not taste artificial, as it reminds you of tasting the actual fruit itself. However, an intense taste of almond flavoring from the shortbread is overpowering in your mouth, as you experience the taste of the tangy raspberry jam simultaneously. This makes it difficult to savor the snack as the overpowering taste from both flavors do not balance out each other. 

Jelly bean hearts: 3/10

This Valentine’s twist on classic jelly beans was definitely a pleasant sight. However, its taste did not match up to its visual appeal. The three flavors pineapple, orange and apple — had a distinctly subpar taste. The orange jelly bean in particular, tasted odd. It was comparable to a vanilla latte gone sour. Furthermore, it was disappointing to see how three common flavors had been executed so badly. This snack would have been better if it consisted of ‘safer’ flavors such as strawberry, cherry and vanilla — which more accurately represent the Valentine’s theme.

Hot Cocoa Heart Melts: 9/10

These heart-shaped balls of hot cocoa simply melt in the mouth. A spoonful of caramel is encased by a soft milk-chocolate exterior, and the combination works well inside a glass of hot milk. While the eye-catching pink pattern of the box initially drew us in, the classic chocolate-marshmallow combination stuck with us. The taste brought back memories of winter and hot cocoa in a blend that one cannot go wrong with. The only downside is that two or three of these are needed in a glass of milk to produce enough flavor.

Overall, the majority of Trader Joe’s Valentine’s collection was delightful and flavorful — classics that one cannot go wrong with. However, the few outliers made our experience less pleasant. We would still recommend most of the snacks to teenagers with a sweet tooth, this Valentine’s season.