Trader Joe’s Triple Berry-NOs

Trader Joe’s Triple Berry-NOs

Does that bowl match the packaging?

Serious fail here, TJ’s. You know I love you, so much that if you were a publicly held company I’d buy stock, but this is a major disappointment.

A little back-story: Harry’s been driving us bananas lately, insisting he no longer likes foods that were among his favorites just the day before. (See, even when we’re winning the war on one front, he opens up a new one). So things like Trader Joe’s frozen mini-meatballs, hamburgers, and Cheerios are now in his no-fly zone. I’ll say it again: My son is a weirdo.

The Cheerios thing has made breakfast difficult. We have yet to find a cereal he actually likes, since I refuse to bring anything that’s junk food masquerading as nutrition into my home. We tried Kix, which he’ll occasionally deign to eat but mostly refuses. We tried Life, which he was initially happy about since one of his classmates brings it in as a snack, but he didn’t like those, either. Barbara’s Puffins? Nope, even with the cute little creature on the package.

So when I saw these Triple Berry-Os on the shelf at Trader Joe’s yesterday, I grabbed a box. Scanned the nutrition facts, which are acceptable (7 grams of sugar, which I figured was at least in part made up by the natural sugars in the abundant-on-the-box freeze-dried fruit). Brought them home to the boy, who greeted them with great excitement: TJ’s freeze dried fruits are among his favorite snacks, still. (And yes, they’re processed, but like I’ve said before I’m OK with that, sometimes.) He couldn’t wait to try them this morning, especially since the box promised raspberries and TJ’s doesn’t sell freeze-dried raspberries separately.

But when we opened the box, disappointment set in. I do believe this is the first time a Trader Joe’s product has let me down so completely. I mean, look at that bowl! It has maybe three pieces of fruit in it. Now look at the bowl on the box, which is absolutely bursting with colorful tidbits. Harry’s bowl had exactly one raspberry in it, and when I pulled the bag out of the box to search for more, I found just two. In the entire package. Clearly, those 7 grams of sugar come from the Os themselves, which the box says are “honey oat Os” but are in reality sugar-coated.

We wound up pulling out a package of freeze-dried strawberries, just to make Harry’s bowl look a little more like the box. Dude was sad. And then angry. Honestly, I was kinda proud of his reaction—he understood that this was advertising, and false advertising at that.

Not cool, Trader Joe’s. So not cool.