Trader Joe’s to launch nondairy cheeses, cooks up grilled cheese contest

The retailer teased a few plant-based cheeses to launch this summer during its latest podcast and has kicked off a social media grilled cheese contest for National Grilled Cheese Day.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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grilled cheese cartoon

Trader Joe’s is rolling out select nondairy cheeses this summer.

The retailer’s popular podcast Inside Trader Joe’s announced the cheeses in an episode entirely dedicated to its cheeses and cheese program.

The hosts of the popular podcast spoke with a category manager of cheese at the retailer who touted new coconut oil based cheeses to come. The source of the coconut makes the cheeses extra melty, per the podcast, a reference made in honor of National Grilled Cheese Day on April 12. 

The cheeses include a Vegan Parmesan Style Shred and a Vegan Feta Style cheese. There is also an updated cream cheese coming, a new recipe that is similar to the company’s traditional cream cheese. Lastly, there is an American Style Coconut-based Slice cheese — an especially ideal cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich, per the podcast.

Trader Joe’s also kicked off a grilled cheese contest via its social media that begins April 12, National Grilled Cheese Day.

Shoppers need to use five or fewer Trader Joe’s products — anything in the store is eligible — to invent a tasty grilled cheese sandwich and to share a photo of it on Instagram with the hashtag #TJsGrilledCheeseContest. Winners get a Trader Joe’s gift card.

Along with posting the photo, the entrant must caption it with the listed ingredients so judges can test it out in their test kitchen. The contest runs between April 13 through April 18. Trader Joe’s judges will grade the sandwich based on taste, creativity and the quality of the photo. The first place winner receives a $200 Trader Joe’s gift card; two runners-up get a $100 Trader Joe’s gift card. The winning entries will be featured on Trader Joe’s Instagram account.