Thursday, September 17, 2009

Trader Joe’s PB & J Bar

Trader Joe's PB & J BarLast year Trader Joe’s introduced what I think was their first original candy bar. The Lumpy Bumpy Bar did not live up to my Trader Joe’s expectations (and they rarely disappoint me).

This year they have the new PB&J Bar which features peanut butter, milk and dark chocolate and raspberry jam.

The box is hot pink with eye-numbing blue & orange text. It in no way reflects my expectations for what’s inside. Again, I think it’s some sort of medicated soap or analgesic.

Trader Joe's PB & J Bar

Like the previous bar, it’s much smaller than the box (well, I can’t name a candy bar that isn’t smaller than the volume of the packaging) - the box is 4.5” long and 1.5” high & wide. The actual candy bar is about 3 inches long and about 1 inch high. But then, you know, it was easy to get back into the box after taking the picture.

But still, what is it?

PB&J are sandwiched between milk and dark chocolate then sprinkled with crushed potato chips. Potato chips? Yes, crisp, delicious potato chips. This means you have it all - sweet and salty; smooth and crunchy. Lucky you!

Trader Joe's PB & J Bar

The bar is quite interesting to look at, though I couldn’t figure out where the dark chocolate is ... maybe there’s a slim layer between the jelly and peanut butter.

The peanut butter is quite dark and has a deep roasted flavor. It’s not terribly sweet and of course is not only salted but has little bits of potato chips in there for additional texture and salt.

The bite of the bar is interesting. The peanut butter has an easy give, but the jelly bottom layer is quite firm. However, it is very jelly like in that it doesn’t stick to the teeth like gumdrops do. The flavor doesn’t come out right away, there is a berry note, but it isn’t until I chew it up that I got the nice, deep jammy raspberry flavors (seedless).

Trader Joe's PB & J BarWhat I learned about the potato chips is that they provide crunch, but they’re gluten free!

The two ounces felt like quite a lot of food, and I actually ate the bar in two sittings - 1/3 when I took the photo and the other 2/3 while doing the review. The calorie total is 300, a smidge more than I like in a single portion.

Since there are no other readily available bars like this, I give it high marks for filling a niche. I’m definitely more likely to pick it up over the Lumpy Bumpy ... but there are so many other items at Trader Joe’s that I prefer, I’m not sure it’ll ever happen.

Related Candies

  1. Limited Edition Strawberried Peanut Butter M&Ms
  2. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Gingersnaps
  3. Trader Joe’s Sweet Story
  4. Trader Joe’s Espresso Pillows
  5. BonBonBars: Malt Ganache & Scotch
  6. Trader Joe’s Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Bar
  7. Theo Confections
Name: PB&J Bar
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Silverlake)
Price: $1.99
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie (potato chips), Peanuts, Jelly, United States, Trader Joe's, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:41 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Overall I enjoyed this candy bar, but was disappointed when I went back for seconds. The first one I bought had a larger portion of jam, and the bar was a bit larger. I wonder if they changed the proportions of Jam to PB and I just happened to pick up the older version. I’ll probably go back and investigate a few more to test for consistency.  There is nothing more frustrating than inconsistency.

    Comment by Kimberly on 9/17/09 at 11:24 am #
  2. Yay! I am so glad you reviewed this. I have reached for this bar several times, but have hesitated at the calorie count and the unknown. Now I know to cut it in thirds.

    Too bad about the consistency issues. That seemed to be a problem with the other bar, too. I wonder who is making these bars for TJ’s? Seems like they are being done by hand. And I’d really like to see a dark choco layer or something. Thanks for the research!

    Comment by KateC on 9/17/09 at 11:45 am #
  3. Yes, thanks for the review! I, too, had been tempted but didn’t want to jump in. I think I’ll skip it, as it mainly makes me want an actual PB&J sandwich and a side of potato chips.

    Comment by Rebecca on 9/17/09 at 12:26 pm #
  4. Cybele - I’m so with you on the Lumpy Bumpy bar - what a let down!  But I hadn’t seen this one - so thanks for the heads up!  Now I HAVE to try it!!!

    Comment by Denise on 9/17/09 at 12:55 pm #
  5. Whoa, this is totally the most bizarre concept for a candy bar I’ve ever heard. The ingredients list sounds amazing—I’m disappointed it didn’t live up to its wacky potential. Still, now that I’ve read this, I have a reason to go to Trader Joe’s this weekend!

    Comment by That Kind Of Girl on 9/17/09 at 6:05 pm #
  6. By coincidence, I just tried this one. Mine was coated with dark chocolate, your photos look like milk. The dark chocolate coating was smooth, not too sweet, but brittle, tended to chip off into my hand. Maybe there is still some confusion in production about what to put in it?
    I agree, the box is misleading. I think TJ is not sure how to sell this, as a “candy bar” comparable to Snickers or whatever (the Lumpy Bumpy definitely was a pale imitation) or as a larger, cut it up and share sort of confection. In my local store (Brooklyn) they have moved the Lumpy Bumpy from the rack with other large bars to the check-out. PB&J is still with the “new items,” I wonder where the will put it?

    Comment by Candy Professor on 9/19/09 at 8:57 am #
  7. I was intrigued to find this bar a few weeks ago and was even more intrigued when the cashier called me a “brave man” for trying it. I didn’t dislike it but didn’t love it either. For what it was, I thought it was very well done. Trader Joe’s always has top-quality products. However, I thought it wasn’t much candy bar for the $2 price tag.

    I won’t rush out to buy another one but wouldn’t be upset if someone gave me one.

    Comment by Carl Weaver on 9/21/09 at 5:48 am #
  8. I tried this after reading your review.  The one I bought had a layer of jam that was so thin it was almost nonexistent - it looked nothing like the picture you have with your review.  I was on a plane and bored so I ate the whole thing anyway and regretted it for hours later.  I love PB but eating this whole thing in one sitting was akin to eating half a jar of peanut butter with a spoon.  Ick.

    Comment by Joseph on 9/28/09 at 12:13 pm #
  9. Tricia's avatar

    Every time i see the box, I also think “beauty care product - no, that’s right, it’s candy.” I haven’t been able to rationalize buying it - I’m intrigued by the raspberry jam (yum!), but put off by the price. So I buy one of the “Swiss dark chocolate with 30% whole hazelnuts” bars instead. Those I adore.

    Comment by Tricia on 10/04/09 at 5:07 pm #
  10. I just tried one today - overall, it’s not bad, but I could do without the potato chips. Not because they taste like, well, potato chips, but because they felt stale. I think if they wanted some crunch, they should just use peanuts or maybe some sort of cookie.

    I liked it but probably won’t buy again, but like Carl, I wouldn’t be upset if someone gave me one.

    Just waiting patiently for the holiday peppermint bark bar.

    Comment by Kate on 10/17/09 at 2:39 pm #
  11. I love these! They aren’t THAT great, but they’re a pretty good snack, and can get pretty addicting. My bars are always much darker looking than yours, and my peanut butter is too, which makes me think they might have changed the ingredients some? I regret that the jam isn’t that flavorful either. Even if you get a chunk of just the jam in your mouth, it’s still just a very slight jam taste. Maybe we should ask TJ to 1.) resize/rethink packaging entirely, and 2.) bring on the jam! Either way, I love these very much, and I hope they don’t go soon. Thanks for showing them to us!

    Comment by Emma on 11/05/09 at 3:55 pm #
  12. I have celiac disease and this bar fills the hole in my candy bar cravings! Delicious and well worth the price for a once in a while treat (300 calories!)

    Comment by Keri Bee on 11/08/09 at 2:50 am #
  13. What a disapointment. Was expecting something a little out there and different and it was just blah, bar says salty. Needs more jam and more dark choc and way more potatoe chips, can barely tell there there shouldn’t even mention them.

    Comment by me on 1/07/10 at 1:24 pm #
  14. I tried this bar for the 1st time, after many trips to TJ’s and picking it up and then returning it to the shelf. I am SO GLAD I bought it this time. I think I might have died and gone to heaven! I absolutely LOVE it. The ONLY thing that I wish could be different (in a perfect world) would be that it had less calories. I am NOT suggesting artificial sweeteners as an alternative,however (I wouldn’t buy it then). The creator of this combination is a freakin’ GENIUS in my book.  Will be making a special trip tomorrow to “stock up” smile

    Comment by Marsha Shakur on 2/27/10 at 9:15 pm #
  15. Trader Joes has discontinued the Lumpy Bumpy Bar, at least that is what the mananger told me today.

    Comment by Bill Tracy on 9/20/10 at 11:44 am #
  16. Trader Joes has discontinued both PB&J Bar and the Lumpy Bumpy Bar, at least that is what the mananger told me today.

    Comment by Bill Tracy on 9/20/10 at 11:46 am #
  17. They have another pb&j bar out now but it’s not as good. No potato chip flavor! It’s thinner like a Hershey bar. I miss the old ones. I won’t buy another of these.

    Comment by Shannon on 5/12/13 at 9:30 pm #
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