The pros: Trader Joe’s Grown Up Advent Calendar is the adult version of the 99 cent kids variety. The key difference here is the flavorings. Unless your child has a relatively sophisticated palate, this is meant for adults.
The cons: This is $7 more expensive than the kids version.
The verdict: I grew up in a Roman Catholic household. Advent was counted in several ways. One was with an advent calendar that was allowed after dinner. After you finished everything. EVERYTHING. Clean plate club members only. The other countdown was at church where my father would refer to the candles in church as purple, purple, panic (pink), purple. Pink meant that time was winding down at a lightening speed. We also had a advent calendar with a bear on it and would move the bear one spot closer to Christmas every day. I think the advent calendar and threats of calling Santa were the only thing keeping my excitement (and likely annoying as anything behavior as a child) in check.
When I first saw this (note the word saw. Not to be confused with read), my mind wandered immediately to the 21+ up age bracket. In fact, I had recently seen a video for an Aldi’s Advent Calendar that I was prepared to drive any distance for. You can see the Wine Advent calendar here. Sadly, I would not be able to drive without going through an ocean because it was only available across the pond in the UK. Seriously, Trader Joe’s can we get on that bandwagon for next year? Please??? Perhaps, they can fill one with boozy chocolate.
Gripes aside, this is a chocolate advent calendar could be eaten by kids, but the question remains would they actually want this? If they look at their daily chocolate, they might be tempted to want this one. However, I’m not 100% sure most kids would actually enjoy eating these flavors. They’re not too sweet, but they are more sophisticated. Some flavors are not new to this calendar and are sold on their own. There are six flavors, but only 3 shapes in the calendar. When you open this, you’ll have to unwrap it from it’s plastic wrapping to which you’ll be confused as to which item is which.
Now, clearly I’ve cheated a bit and gotten some days (ok like 6 days) ahead to post this review. The box is decorative and in numeric order, so there is no need to reach for your glasses if you need them to see the numbers. There is also no giant piece of chocolate waiting for you on the 24th day either. These are all evenly sized pieces that have a pretty imprint on the top of them with the exception of the heart shapes. Six flavors are as follows: black salt caramel, fireworks, gingerbread caramel, coconut caramel, orange tea hibiscus, and sea salt milk chocolate.
The first one for me was the black salt caramel. It was rectangular and dark chocolate. It was tasty and had a nice balance of sweet and salty. The next one was the fireworks. They sell this individually. It’s spicy and has that pop rocks type of sensation. While I think the kids would love chocolate and pop rocks, the addition of the spice might throw them off. The next one I opened was gingerbread caramel. There was no hiding the gingerbread flavor in the caramel. Which I really enjoyed the flavor on this. The orange tea hibiscus was good but also unexpected. The tea flavor rounded out the chocolate flavor. It was as if a cup of tea had hit my palate. The sea salt milk chocolate was milk chocolate first and then the saltiness hits. I couldn’t discern a flavor difference between the black salt and the sea salt. The last of the six that I sampled was the coconut caramel. While I don’t love the flavor of coconut, this flavor was good.
For $7.99 this is a more refined advent calendar that is suitable for adults who can’t live without an advent calendar but are too old of the waxy chocolate wafer in a kid’s advent calendar. The premium is worth it as you are getting nice sized chocolates. While I await the day that Trader Joe’s offers a wine advent calendar (or at least a boozy chocolate one), this will satisfy most chocolate lovers. If you are thinking about giving this to your kids, then you might wish to evaluate flavor preferences and how advanced their palate is before dropping the extra $7 on them. I liked it. I’d probably get it again next year.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The box of Trader Joe’s Grown Up Advent Calendar:
The nutritional information:
How Trader Joe’s describes this product:
The chocolates of Trader Joe’s Grown Up Advent Calendar:
Would I buy this again? While I won’t buy Trader Joe’s Grown Up Advent Calendar again for the season, this would be something to look forward to next year. And I am so waiting for something more grown up that this. Yes, I will hunt down that Aldi advent calendar full of wine next year.
Want to see more items I’ve reviewed from Trader Joe’s? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!