Friday, March 12, 2010

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Powerberries

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered PowerberriesTrader Joe’s Powerberries look like a dream. They’re dark chocolate covered real fruit juice pieces made with acai, pomegranate, cranberry & blueberry juices.

I don’t know what pieces of juice are, but the package makes them look like dark chocolate M&Ms that are packed with powerhouse antioxidants.

The stand up zip pouch is actually quite attractive. Often with Trader Joe’s products I look at them a couple of times in the store over several weeks before I buy them. Maybe it was the lavender background or the font that made me feel like a Jane Austen novel. What was especially pleasant was that the product inside looked exactly like the package showed them on the outside.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries

They are stunning. They’re glossy little obloid spheres - some the same size as M&MS, others smaller or larger. The dark chocolate is nearly black though it’s only 41% cacao. Sniffing the bag did not yield a chocolatey aroma, instead it was deep berry. It smelled like blueberry yogurt and maybe a little coffee.

Though it says on the package that it’s dark chocolate, there’s actually milk products in there, so this is out right away for vegans. Further reading and I saw that there’s confectioners glaze, so it’s out for vegetarians as well. They’re gluten free and low sodium (50mg per serving) but made on equipment that processes tree nuts and in a facility that handles peanuts and wheat.

Trader Joe's PowerberriesThere’s no crispy coating on them, it’s chocolate (with the light glaze to keep them from sticking together). The bite is soft and immediately I got fruity flavors. Even when I let the chocolate melt first, I got fruity flavors.

The center isn’t a jelly like I’d expected, but more like a grainy berry fudge. At first I was disappointed, but then I kept eating them. The berry flavors are sweet but really well rounded with blueberry and pomegranate having the best flavor notes. Blueberry gives it a tannic quality like strong tea and the pomegranate and cranberry have good tart and dry flavors. The chocolate does little more than give some body to it, the cocoa notes are overshadowed.

I had no trouble eating the whole bag within a week - I’m not sure if I’ll buy them again though. They might make a fruity alternative to M&Ms for Easter though or a really elegant chocolate candy for favors for a wedding or party.

I suspect that these are made by

Terra Nostra, but that’s only because they’re made in Canada and the package says that the dark chocolate contains 100mg of natural flavanoid antioxidants in each 40g serving. Trader Joe’s has a long track record of selling not only Terra Nostra’s products but also repacking them in their house brand.

It appears that I was incorrect, these are made by Brookside Foods.

Another review of them here on Danica’s Daily also shows the extremely long but all natural ingredients list.

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Name: Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Laguna Hills, CA)
Price: $3.49
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Chocolate, Canada, Trader Joe's, Kosher, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:43 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I was tempted by these this weekend. But instead I got the dark choco covered Pretzel Slims. They are perfect! Crunchy, salty, good choco. I suspect you’d be a fan. I’ve been having trouble resisting eating the whole bag at once.

    Comment by KateC on 3/12/10 at 1:37 pm #
  2. Even if they just taste as good as M&Ms;, it sounds like they are better for you.

    Comment by Pam on 3/13/10 at 4:42 am #
  3. Cool to see a review! I saw them at TJ’s but didn’t buy because the “fruit juice pieces” didn’t seem very appealing (read more processing). But seeing them here and reading your review made me want to try them! The one bitten looks good!

    Comment by Ana on 3/15/10 at 10:57 am #
  4. I like the concept of these bite sized candies.  Keep these around the house instead of M & M’s and I think the family would acquire a taste for them and they appear to be better for you than ‘manufactured’ food.  If I am struggling with weight, I buy items that I am not fond of and that way I don’t eat as much.

    Comment by Daren on 3/15/10 at 12:32 pm #
  5. I tried these recently and at first wasn’t sure what to expect but I was quickly drawn in by the tangy and almost somewhat tart fruit flavor—and I liked the grainy dark-ish chocolate coating too—I am craving another bag!

    Comment by girlbuffalo1 on 3/16/10 at 7:40 am #
  6. These look a lot like Dark Chocolate covered Sunsweet Prunes.
    Sunsweet makes a very similar dark chocolate candy in a pouch: they are dark chocolate covered prune pieces. Oh excuse me, prunes are now called dried plums! So the product is is actually Sunsweet dark chocolate covered dried plum pieces. They are fantastic!
    They can be found at some grocery stores like Krogers for $2.69 or so per pouch. I can eat a whole bag in one sitting if I don’t watch it. And true to their reputation, they have a side benefit of helping one stay “regular.” Try them some time. Would love to see them reviewed here.

    Comment by RobinK on 3/16/10 at 7:56 pm #
  7. these are amazing. i’m just scared there’s a bit too much sugar. but hey, if you’re going to eat something sweet anyway, its better to reach for something like this that’ll give you a little something extra.

    Comment by PGuerra on 7/29/10 at 1:19 pm #
  8. they sell these in big 2LB bags at costco. Under the brookside name. theyre called dark chocolate acai w/ blueberry.

    Comment by lisa on 9/30/10 at 6:52 pm #
  9. Powerberries are a favorite treat in my picky, natural-foods-oriented household. We buy a few bags a month. Two comments:
    1) The size differences you mentioned occur simply when two chocolate-coated berry pieces have become stuck together inside a final coating of chocolate—try melting one in your mouth to see that this is true.
    2) The berry flavor is the reason for eating this thing—and the chocolate is an indulgent extra, fun to melt off first with your tongue before chewing the berry, as well as fun to chew with the berry. YUM!

    Comment by powerberrypowered on 11/05/10 at 3:45 pm #
  10. At first i shied away from these because i do not like dark chocolate.  These changed my mind.  the combination of the berry flavor compliments the flavor of the dark chocolate.  My whole family loves these. they are better than m&m’s

    Comment by Ceridwen on 9/28/11 at 8:22 am #
  11. I often try different products from Trader Joes and some have been in my favorite list - this is one of them. Tangy, sweet and the dark chocolate definately complements the flavor. I can’t stop eating them! Wish they came in bigger family size,but then again too much of a good thing is not so good.

    Comment by chona on 12/11/11 at 1:55 pm #
  12. I had these over the Mother’s Day weekend, and my heart started palpitating.  As I’m in my third trimester, I don’t think that these powerberries are fit for pregnancy.  They were very good though.

    Comment by Alex on 5/17/12 at 9:54 am #
  13. I like these a lot, and I’m a terrible eater so it’s good to find candy/snacks that are at least a bit more natural than plain candy. The one problem is that ... well, they’re addictive.  I’d suggest not keeping the bag near you while you’re sitting at the computer. Not that I’d ever do that.

    Comment by Robbie on 1/04/13 at 11:04 pm #
  14. How come not Powerberries?  Tried several stores.

    Comment by Robert E. Reichel on 8/22/13 at 3:23 pm #
  15. They’re like crack, I tell you - crackberries! Incredibly addictive..I made the mistake of buying them before flying home to the Netherlands and now I’ve got to make 4 bag last a year, until I can get back to California‚Ķthat, or I have to open a Trader Joe’s franchise in Amsterdam.

    Comment by Jim on 10/10/13 at 2:05 pm #
  16. Why can’t we buy these anymore?

    Comment by June Fowler on 10/28/13 at 9:03 am #
  17. Been a longtime fan of Powerberries. They became so scarce due to popularity i was told they switched producers that could keep up with the ever growing demand.
    I just bought 5 bags of the “new” production of Powerberries. Quality of chocolate is LESS!! So disappointed…knew when management told me they were forced to find a different producer, the quality could change. sigh….
    returning 4 unopened bags tomorrow-

    Comment by jinda mandeleke on 1/19/14 at 12:25 pm #
  18. Does anyone know how to make the fruit juice pieces that are in the Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate?  I love these things but would prefer them without the chocolate.

    Comment by Angie on 8/16/14 at 11:59 am #
  19. was crazy for these chocolate delights.Did notice a difference in the quality of the chocolate. The past powerberries had a unique, really rich chocolate that lingered long after you ate a piece.You could tell it was really intense true chocolate flavor. Now it tastes just like any ordinary chocolate, bummer. Too bad they changed production places. I prefer quality over quantity. Maybe they should have kept the previous place and just offered it at special times of year to keep up with production. Think they made a financial mistake. I predict sales will go down over the next few months. I was buying two bags a week, will now pass them by unless I am desperate for a chocolate fix.

    Comment by jennifer bradley on 9/06/14 at 8:07 pm #
  20. Cybele's avatar

    Jinda - Hershey’s bought Brookside Foods (Canada). Powerberries disappeared from Trader Joe’s for a while and have reappeared, but as you’ve noticed ... a little different. They’re made in the US now, are more consistent in size and shape, but not the same.

    I don’t think they switched producers because of demand, I don’t think Hershey’s wanted to do a housebrand with Trader Joe’s.

    Comment by Cybele on 9/08/14 at 5:56 pm #
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