Trader Joe's Shoppers Are Freaking Out Over Its Ube-Covered Pretzels

Though it's been a staple of Southeast Asian and Filipino cuisine for centuries, ube is still riding its first big popularity wave in the States, and for good reason. The marvelously purple, sugary yam lends a uniquely nutty flavor to desserts like ice cream and cheesecake, and its vibrant color triggers a delightful synesthesia of taste, smell, and sight. If you've spent time in the Philippines, you've probably seen the sweet vegetable in traditional applications like ube halaya, which Serious Eats defines as "a sweetened spread made from ube, butter, sugar, and a combination of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, or coconut milk." The condiment is the main star of halo-halo, another popular Filipino dessert that layers sweetened shaved ice with condensed milk and add-ons like mochi and fruit, served like a sundae in a tall glass with a long spoon. 

These days, it's safe to say that ube has surpassed its trial-run period and graduated to a full-time resident of global food retailers. It certainly has a huge following at Trader Joe's, which has taken to stocking all sorts of buzzy ube treats in recent years. Thrillist once deemed it "impossible to track down" the grocery chain's ube products, which all started with an ube ice cream that hit the TJ's freezer section in 2019. The store has since introduced limited-time gems like ube tea cookies, as well as new ube-covered pretzels — which are already an Instagram hit. 

The pretzels might be selling out already

"Did you hear that noise?" reads the caption of @traderjoeslist's April 19 Instagram post introducing the chain's new ube yogurt-covered pretzels. "I think the internet just broke over these! I can not wait to try them!!" The label on the purple package describes the treats inside as "teeny tiny pretzels covered in ube yogurt candy coating," showing renderings of the lilac-striped snack. "Ube is back!!!" beamed one user in the comments, followed by pleas for Trader Joe's to bring back its other coveted ube products, which historically sell out fast. 

Some people have already plucked the newcomer from their local TJ's. "They're delicious!!! That easily addictive sweet salty crunchy combo," wrote one user. Another shopper has high hopes for the purple cuties after trying the chain's chocolate almond butter pretzels, while another admitted to visiting the store "THREE times in the last 24 hours." Trader Joe's ube-covered pretzels have barely had time to catch their breath, and they're already proving to be just as popular as their Filipino-inspired predecessors. Time is of the essence, so ube fans would be wise to swing by their nearest TJ's to snag these babies while they last.