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Trader Joe’s Speculoos Craze – Important Travel Tip


Almost everyone in Hawaii (including us at Panda Travel ®) like to visit Trader Joe’s when they visit the mainland.  Prices are decent and their snacks make good omiyage (a souvenir of candies or other edibles) for friends and family back home.

Many from Hawaii has been hooked on the cookie butter (aka Speculoos) craze thanks mostly to Trader Joe’s.  There are other brands that can be found in the local supermarkets, but they don’t seem to compare to the Trader Joe’s brand.  They’ve been offering many varieties of Speculoos:  creamy; chunky and cocoa swirl (looks almost like Goober Grape in the jar).  They are also adding cookies and dark chocolate bars filled with the yummy cookie spread to their product line.  The craze is nationwide and I hear that Trader Joe’s has a hard time keeping them on the shelves.

One important piece of advice (as we have been noticing many friends on Facebook posting that they lost jars of this delicious condiment to TSA) – if you are bringing the spreads home for a gift, pack it in your check in luggage.  The size of the jar and the amount of the spread does not follow TSA guidelines.

Follow TSA’s 3-1-1 for carry-ons 

  • 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume)
  • 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag
  • 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin.

One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.  One jar of Speculoos is already 14.1 ounce (more than 4 times the allowed volume).  I was supposed to be a recipient recently and my friend thought it would be OK to hand carry.  Alas, TSA confiscated it.

So, if you don’t want to lose any jars as evidence from your recent travels be sure to check in your precious cargo.



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