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Trader Joe’s talks pasta, olive oil

Popular discount chain shared what’s trending in the category in a recent podcast, paired that with a limited-time red wine release.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Red wine, pasta and olive oil — Trader Joe’s touted recent Italian meal staples taking over the discount chain.

In the latest episode of its podcast hosted by marketers Tara Miller and Matt Sloan, a category manager at Trader Joe’s said the retailer sells between 20 and 30 types of pasta, served in many cuts, colors and formats. Oddly enough, the manager said its Hearts of Palm Pasta is the no. 1 seller in the category, a pasta alternative, but that the majority of its pastas are made from wheat semolina.

The Trader Joe’s brands of pasta come in five different types of spaghetti, tri-color varieties, gluten-free versions and organic pastas. The manager said shoppers are gravitating mostly to unique cuts of pasta, however, such as a fusilli corti bucati, a curlier shaped noodle that is on the way to shelves, and a bucatini noodle in limited supply and a cascatelli.

The podcast also spent time with a sales and marketing representative for the popular Trader Joe’s California Extra Virgin Olive Oil. He said the product gets produced by taking the olives from the tree and then goes into oil in approximately four hours. The product is a tricky one to keep fresh, avoiding heath, oxygen and light.

a plate of food and a glass of wine

The representative said each bottle gets sealed with a nitrogen cap, receives a custom best-by-date label, and in-house Trader Joe’s has a third-party fully accredited laboratory that does testing for all of the batches of oil. Last year, Trader Joe’s made a video of how its olive oil gets harvested and produced that can be seen on YouTube

The podcast can be listened to here. Also from California, Trader Joe’s released a new cabernet sauvignon from the Sonoma County region.

The Trader Joe’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County wine is a 2019 vintage, goring for under $10 a bottle. The wine is a limited release made from made from Sauvignon grapes with Petit Verdot and Syrah in the mix, and described to have blueberry, black currant, blackberry and vanilla notes.