Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Chewy-Coated Granola Bars

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip Chewy Coated Granola Bars

The good people at Trader Joe’s have really shot themselves in their collective foot. They’ve established such high expectations from their customers that it’s virtually impossible to please all the time…even with a decent product. Many people who shop at TJ’s for many years have come to expect that their products are innovative, high-quality and unique.

These are high standards that you should strive to meet. I believe they often meet or exceed these standards. However, in some cases like this one, Trader Joe’s seems to do what everyone else is doing, and even though their product is just as good as the competition, it feels like they didn’t go all out…they didn’t put their whole heart into it. We know that Trader Joe’s could do better.

TJ’s has some truly unique products, such as the one we just reviewed Scallop BitesOr the classic Meatless Corn Dogs that simply aren’t comparable to many products from other brands. Trader Joe’s sets the standard in these cases and they do so very well. You will also find products like the Peanut BrittleTJ’s takes a common, classic food and makes it extraordinary. They make it exactly the way it should be and go beyond what is expected.

It’s a little disappointing when Trader Joe’s produces a standard, run-of-the mill granola bars. There will be a store-brand version for your basic chocolate chip bar at any grocery store, Wal-Mart, or Target. These store-brand versions will always be comparable to the names brands but may have a slight difference in taste, texture and/or overall quality. This is exactly what TJ’s did here. They aren’t terrible, but they aren’t great.

Sonia loved that the bars were gluten-free and were rice- and oat-based. She liked their texture, but she wasn’t thrilled with the chocolate part, stating that its flavor was “weird and carob-ish.” I agree. It was dark chocolate, which I thought might be because it was darker than I am used to. However, Sonia loves dark chocolate and wasn’t a fan. These bars would have been even more popular if they were not coated.

They’re certainly convenient like other brands, they come individually-wrapped, and they’re very portable. They’re crisp enough and contain plenty of chips. When it comes down to the matter, however, I would still choose a Quaker Chewy Granola BarOver the Trader Joe’s brand. TJ’s version just tastes like a regular store brand snack. So-so.

It gets a 3 from Sonia, and a 2.5 from me. Bottom line: 5.5 points out of 10.