Trader Joe’s is known for its unique flavor mashups and enigmatic nature. From Everything But The Bagel Potato Chips to Cashew Butter Cashews, TJ’s has released innumerable curious sounding items over the years, many of which have been smash hits. Think Cauliflower Gnocchi. But with this level of flavor innovation and risk-taking, not every product can be a winner. Think Chocolate Lava Gnocchi. Here’s a roundup of weirdest products from Trader Joe's throughout the years.

1. Watermelon Jerky

Trader Joe’s Watermelon Jerky was first released in 2019 to mixed (but mostly negative) reviews. I’ll admit, as a watermelon lover, I was tempted to give it a try. But the $3.69 price tag didn’t seem worth the risk. Apparently, I made the right decision, because most reviewers agree that TJ’s Watermelon Jerky is shockingly terrible. Reddit user @Legendary_Zelda wrote “It turns out water is the essential quality that makes WATERmelon good. Never again.” I think that pretty much sums it up.

2. Chocolate Cheddar

Photo via @PitifulPromotion232/Reddit

I love chocolate. I love cheddar. I’ll even eat these two incredible foods side by side. But Trader Joe’s took the cheese and chocolate love a step too far with its Chocolate Cheddar, described as a “creamy mature English cheddar with rich dark chocolate swirls.” It was released as a limited edition “spotlight cheese” in 2012, and luckily doesn’t seem to have made a return since. One reviewer noted that, shockingly, “the sweet milky chocolate and sharp, English cheddar don’t meld well,” adding that his wife could barely gag it down. Yikes.

3. Chocolate Lava Gnocchi

Trader Joe’s gnocchi products are, generally speaking, quite delicious. Cheese Stuffed, Truffle Cream, and even Kale Gnocchi all sound quite yummy. But the Chocolate Lava Gnocchi, released in 2019 and described as “sweet chocolate gnocchi with a molten chocolate core,” had many consumers confused. Although some reviewers enjoyed the unique confection, most concluded that potatoes and chocolate are not a great combination, at least in this particular format.

4. Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns

This is another product that’s just…confusing. Described as “Philly cheesesteak in a fluffy bao bun with shredded beef, onion, and pepper,” this frozen appetizer had many people questioning why it was brought into existence. One reviewer put it quite nicely, writing “we can’t help but feel like there’s something a little bit off about the combo.” These bao buns were released in 2019, and seem to still be available? So I guess they are a hit with some people. Love that for them, but I think I’ll pass.

5. Cheeseburger Burrito

Cheeseburger. Burrito. Again, two things I love. But could they work…together? Apparently yes, according to some. Trader Joe’s Cheeseburger Burrito was released in 2022 and is described as “cooked seasoned beef crumble with cheddar cheese, onions, tomatoes, and dill pickle relish in a flour tortilla. Sounds…special, to say the least. Reddit user @realhuman7862 wrote “the cheeseburger burrito is so odd and so much better than it should be,” and another user noted that it was similar to Taco Bell’s discontinued Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito. Hmmm. I might actually have to give this one a shot.

6. Mini Gummy Bears On A Chocolate Pool Day

Gummy bears and chocolate is not a weird combo, per se. I mean, it’s chocolate and gummies, what’s not to love? But the packaging on this particular product is just…wild. Described as “white and dark chocolates sprinkled with gummy bears,” this bar features a “pool” of dark and white chocolate, strewn with mini gummy bears which are apparently having a nice relaxing day. Until you eat them, that is. It feels like someone came up with this while high and just went for it. Actually, to be fair, that describes a lot of Trader Joe’s products. This might sound far-fetched but honestly I’m predicting in 20 years TJ’s will be the stop for edibles. BTW, this bar would be a great edible

7. Cookie Butter Beer

Cookie butter is one of Trader Joe’s most beloved products, and has spawned many delightful iterations. From Cookie Butter Joe-Joe’s to Cookie Butter Ice Cream, these products are obviously delicious. I mean, how could you mess up cookie butter? The answer: put it in beer. TJ’s Cookie Butter Beer was released in 2020, a time which resulted in questionable culinary innovations from many of us. The beer is described as “Imperial Golden Ale with toasted coconut, vanilla, and other flavors.” Which actually doesn’t sound that bad, and it does get pretty good reviews from fancy beer people. Honestly, when I started writing this I assumed cookie butter beer would be disgusting, but reading the reviews has me kind of wanting to try it…nicely done Trader Joe, nicely done.