Trader Joe’s snacks are all the rage in Hawaiʻi so don’t forget to fill up your bags the next time you visit the mainland. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)

By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer

Everyone from Hawaiʻi knows that if you go to the mainland for a trip, you better bring at least two suitcases and then some to have room for Trader Joe’s snacks. With affordable prices and product sizes that are great for gifts, what’s not to love? Here are some of the best products to keep an eye out for on your next trip to the mainland.

Organic Beary Tiny Gummies: Forget Haribo and Black Forest because these are quite literally the best gummy bears I have ever had. Most gummy bears have a weird aftertaste or smell like chemicals, but not these guys. They’re the perfect blend of fruity goodness and their tiny size means you can fit more in your mouth at once.

Cocoa Baton Wafer Cookies: The delicate mix between the crunchy baton and fluffy filling is sure to be a winner in anyone’s book. You can eat these by themselves or with ice cream and hot chocolate, though you may have to grab more than one since the tin they come in is on the smaller side.

Chocolatey Coated Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bites: This snack is by far the best combination of chocolate and peanut butter out there. Unlike Reese’s, which is overly sweet, these crispy rice bites have an amazing texture with a thin layer of dark chocolate on top. I prefer more peanut butter than chocolate and for people who agree with me, this is the snack for you.

Trader Joe’s Crispy Rice Bites are heaven-sent bundles of tastiness. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)

Sour Jelly Beans: Jelly beans are one of those controversial candies where some people love them and others absolutely despise their existence. Instead of having a sour coating on the outside of the jelly bean, the sourness is on the inside. Your mouth is sure to pucker with every bite. My only complaint is that the jelly beans don’t come in a resealable package which usually leads to me eating all of them in one sitting.

Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallows: If you think you’ve had chocolate-covered marshmallows before, no you haven’t. Nothing could ever compare to the airiness of Trader Joe’s marshmallows with the finest layer of dark chocolate. Eating just one of these will make you feel like you’ve transcended to a heavenly realm.

Green Dragon Hot Sauce: As a spice enthusiast, this sauce is one of my go-to’s every time I have tacos, eggs, or even salads. It’s spicier than the average salsa verde and while the acidity of the lime juice and jalapeños add a nice kick to it, there’s a hint of sweetness alongside the tomatillos. I just had this with chicken flautas from Costco and that’s one of the best combinations I’ve tried yet.

Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter: Any true Hawaiʻi resident would know that when you go to Trader Joe’s this is the good stuff. With a wide array of cookie butter available, the crunchy version is the best. With bits of Speculoos cookies and a smooth spread of deliciousness, you can serve it between bread slices and jelly or with fresh strawberries and bananas. You can’t go wrong with this, trust me.

While there are no Trader Joe’s locations in Hawaiʻi, you might be able to find some of their products on Amazon. If you have a craving that only Trader Joe’s can fill, online shopping is the key.