There's the shopping list you make before you go to Trader Joe's—the stuff your pantry actually needs, like bananas, eggs, bread, and so on. And then there are the items that call to you from the aisles, that catch your eye and draw you toward them. The cult favorites you can't resist.
You'll probably find them among the 50 items listed here. There are seasonal faves (buy them in bulk, they may disappear soon!) and some newer products that are already enjoying major fandom. Think dark chocolate peanut butter cups (stash these in your freezer), ready-made Mandarin chicken (which shoppers named their favorite Trader Joe's product in 2021), and Everything but the Bagel seasoning (which makes everything smell like an NYC bagel shop).
For this list of the best Trader Joe's items, we asked Delish editors for their favorite products and scoured the internet for the products that everyone is raving about. Despite the long check-out lines and crazy parking lots, here are the products people keep coming back for.
Need more Trader Joe's stories? Check out our review of the best frozen meals from Trader Joe's, our honest taste test of the most popular Trader Joe's products, and our account of what it's actual like for a Trader Joe's virgin to experience the store's majesty for the first time.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut butter and chocolate are a dynamic duo that withstand the test of time, but when it's dark chocolate—boy, does this combo taste even better. Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups are such a fan-favorite item that they won the Sweet Treat title in the 2021 Annual Customer Choice Awards released by Trader Joe's.
Teeny Tiny Avocados
There's nothing worse than saving an unused avocado half in the fridge only for it to go bad seemingly minutes later. Thankfully, Trader Joe's has an adorably small solution. These single serving avocados are the perfect size for adding to sandwiches, salads, and just about anything else. You'll never have to waste an avocado again.
Everything But The Leftovers Seasoning Blend
This seasoning had me at "everything but." If it's even half as good as TJ's Everything But The Bagel Seasoning, it's sure to become a pantry staple–especially around Thanksgiving. The mix has dehydrated onion, sea salt, turmeric powder, rosemary, thyme, sage, and more. Add it to your leftovers to make your meal even better the second time around. "It's like Thanksgiving in a jar," this reviewer wrote.
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Mediterranean Style Hummus
Trader Joe's offers plenty of different hummus varieties—from Everything Bagel to even chocolate—but the classic Mediterranean Style Hummus is the OG for a reason. It's rich, creamy, and smooth on its own, but the drizzle of olive oil, pine nuts, and herbs makes each bite extra luxe.
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Green Goddess Seasoning Blend
TJ's has its seasoning blends down. And turning its super popular green goddess dressing into something you can shake onto everything? Genius. "I am hooked on this seasoning for avocado toast," a reviewer wrote. "The lemon flavor gives it such a good kick. I accidentally used this when I couldn’t find my everything seasoning, and it’s so good I may never go back."
Unexpected Cheddar Cheese
"Year in, year out, Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar is one of their best selling products," the blog Trader Joe's Rants writes. "It’s a knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark item. If you put this out on a cheese plate for company you are almost guaranteed to get, 'Wow, this cheese is amazing. Where did you get it?'"
Garlic Achaar Sauce
Trader Joe's is our go-to for easy weeknight dinners. This spiced sauce can top rice or chicken, or be enjoyed alongside soups or hamburgers. It's the condiment of your dreams. "For $2.69, it's a really solid and tasty item as long as you enjoy the spices of Indian food," Brenda Sickles of Become Betty wrote. "This condiment is a truly blank canvas that will allow you to get creative with something that seems a bit plain."
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French Onion Macaroni & Cheese
When you combine two of our favorite comfort foods, you can't possibly go wrong. This mac and cheese is inspired by the French bistro classic by incorporating Swiss cheese, sweet roasted onions, and a sprinkling of crunchy croutons. Each bite is deliciously indulgent.
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If you're looking for a low-carb swap for taco night that does not have the word "cauliflower" in it, these jicama wraps are the perfect solution. They're thinly sliced, crunchy, and delicious enough that you'll barely miss the carb of a tortilla. Plus, they are a keto lover's best friend.
Pork & Ginger Soup Dumplings
No need to order takeout with these pork and ginger soup dumplings from Trader Joe's around. They can be found in the frozen section and when heated up, are filled with a warm, savory broth along with a meat filling. "Get these from Trader Joe's right now!" this Tiktoker raved.
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Chipotle Vegetable Quesadillas
These frozen quesadillas are a favorite of Delish's editorial assistant Gabby Romero. "The tortillas are so soft and fluffy," she says. "And I love how the corn and black beans add some extra heft." They're delicious on their own, but topping it with some guacamole never hurts.
Green Goddess Dip
If you struggle to get your veggies in, look no further than this Green Goddess Dip, a spin on the popular green goddess dressing. "The sour cream adds a little body and zip, and the mayo definitely helps thicken stuff up a bit," the blog What's Good at Trader Joe's wrote. "Other than that, the dips has all the hallmarks: citrusy, garlicky, acidic, a touch spicy but in a flavorful, not heated kinda way.
Daily Facial Sunscreen
Trader Joe's may be known for its food products, but you shouldn't sleep on the skincare. This sunscreen has gone viral for being a dupe for the $37 Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. At only $9, you can protect your skin and your wallet.
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Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
If you are a cold brew lover, you have to try the concentrate from TJ's. "I love this stuff!" this reviewer wrote. "A little goes away as it is concentrated, and it is strong. I'm addicted to this stuff. Easy to use and much cheaper than buying cold brew all the time."
Hold the Cone Ice Cream Cones
A mini dessert? We love it! "The Trader Joe’s Chocolate Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones are as delicious as they are fun to eat," the blog Freezer Meal Frenzy wrote. "They’re loaded with chocolatey flavor and packed into small-sized cones that are delightful to eat. If you’re on the fence about picking up a batch of these, we definitely think you should go for it!"
Food & Culture Editor
Felicia LaLomia is the Food & Culture Editor for Delish. When she isn’t covering food news or writing features about delicious trends in the culinary world, she’s searching for her next perfect bite.
Alexis Morillo is the Associate Editor at Delish.com where she covers breaking food news and viral food trends.
If a product is not earning its spot on our shelves, then we discontinue it to make room for something new. We do not enter into the decision to discontinue a product lightly. We understand that it can be disappointing – devastating, even. We are Trader Joe's customers too, afterall.Why does Trader Joe's discontinued popular products? ›
If a product is not earning its spot on our shelves, then we discontinue it to make room for something new. We do not enter into the decision to discontinue a product lightly. We understand that it can be disappointing – devastating, even. We are Trader Joe's customers too, afterall.Is it true you can try anything at Trader Joe's? ›
While you can't walk into your neighborhood grocery store and sample anything you want, that kind of behavior is actually encouraged at Trader Joe's. TJ's employees have permission to open any ready-to-eat item in the store, which means you're able to taste-test hundreds of products without buying them first.Does Trader Joe's have a slogan? ›
We keep our costs low because every penny we save is a penny you save.What makes Trader Joe's so popular? ›
Trader Joe's is known for its unique food products, including seasonal offerings, as well as for its low prices. But Trader Joe's actually was not the most popular grocery store in America in 2022. In fact, a YouGov survey showed another grocery store was just a little bit more beloved among U.S. adults.Did China buy Trader Joe's? ›
Trader Joe's is owned by German billionaires Karl and Theo Albrecht, who also own the Aldi food chain. The change apparently does not affect products containing multiple ingredients, of which some may be from China.Why are shelves empty at Trader Joe's? ›
Trader Joe's employees cited warehouse labor issues, supply chain coordination, and trucking issues from slowed deliveries and lack of drivers.What are Trader Joe's weaknesses? ›
Weaknesses. Limited store presence: While Trader Joe's operates over 500 stores in the United States, its store count is relatively low compared to other major grocery chains. This limited presence can restrict the company's reach and make it difficult for some customers to access its stores.Why are Trader Joes cashiers so nice? ›
So what is the reason Trader Joe's employees are so nice? The answer seems to be that the company treats its employees well, and so employees want to return the favor to the customers. Lucky us. NBC News reports that customers are likely to save as much as 20 percent on groceries.Is Trader Joe's overpriced? ›
Trader Joe's is definitely cheaper than the average grocery store, but you might have to wait in a longer checkout line to take advantage of them.
Start with engaged employees.
It's easy to tell that Trader Joe's employees love their jobs, and a large reason for that is because the company invests in employee experience. Trader Joe's pays its employees competitive wages and offers health care benefits to even part-time employees.
Trader Joe's is named after its founder, Joe Coulombe. The company began in 1958 as a Greater Los Angeles area chain known as Pronto Market convenience stores.Who are the main competitors of Trader Joe's? ›
Trader Joe's's competitors and similar companies include Weis Markets, Whole Foods Market, Giant Eagle, WinCo Foods and Raley's. Trader Joe's is a company operating a specialty grocery store chain. Weis Markets is a large regional grocery chain.Who is the average customer at Trader Joes? ›
Trader Joe's average customer is a married person in an urban area who is 25 to 44 years old, earning $80,000.Who is Trader Joes biggest competition? ›
Trader Joe's's alternatives and competitors. See how Trader Joe's compares to similar products. Trader Joe's's top competitors include Tres Lecheria, Thrive Market, and Whole Foods Market.Why are Trader Joes only in rich neighborhoods? ›
With that being said, Trader Joe's values frugality, so the stores are normally located in cheaper parts of expensive areas.Is Aldi owned by Trader Joe's? ›
According to Reader's Digest, Trader Joe's founder Joe Coulombe sold his business to Theo Albrecht in 1979, officially making the Albrecht family the proud owners of both prosperous markets. Since Aldi is split into two, per Forbes, Trader Joe's was officially bought by the Aldi Nord branch.What is the oldest Trader Joe's? ›
The original Trader Joe's in Pasadena, California. It opened in 1967.Who is Trader Joes owned by? ›
Trader Joe's, although it may be based in Southern California, is actually owned by Albrecht Discounts. The company was purchased back in 1979, long before it hit the cultural mainstream.What does Trader Joe's do with unsold food? ›
As a national chain of neighborhood grocery stores, we are proud to donate 100% of products that go unsold but remain fit to be enjoyed to local food recovery organizations, in addition to a wide-range of community-based non-profit partners, seven days a week.
Donkeys, whales, monkeys, and lobsters are just some of the stuffed animals placed throughout stores as a way to keep children and parents entertained while shopping, confirms Today.Why are Trader Joe's so small? ›
The answer? “We want our stores to be small and intimate, [to] feel like a neighborhood store,” Basalone said. “Maybe you bump into somebody or a crew member and can talk about what you're buying or products or what's going on in your lives, that sort of thing.”Is Trader Joe's a stressful job? ›
Overall, the Reddit post reveals working at Trader Joe's is a pretty low stress job that pays well.What questions to ask at Trader Joe's interview? ›
- Why do you want to work for Trader Joe's?
- What does excellent customer service mean to you?
- Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer?
In addition to higher [than average grocery store] base pay, employees are making $2 an hour more because of COVID, and there are great medical benefits. [Trader Joe's employees] call it the “golden handcuffs.” You can't find benefits like that anywhere else so people who work there, typically stay there.Are Trader Joes employees trained to flirt? ›
“Absolutely no one told me to flirt with customers. To be honest, I did that on my own,” says Josh, who worked at a Bay Area Trader Joe's from 2014 to 2015. And current Trader Joe's employee Jonny* says, “I've worked at 10 stores in two different states, and this is the first I've heard about flirting.”What is the average age of Trader Joes employees? ›
The most common age range of Trader Joe's employees is 20-30 years. 56% of Trader Joe's employees are between the ages of 20-30 years.Why do cashiers ring bell at Trader Joe's? ›
Sometimes during your TJ's visit, you'll hear the bells ringing — either once, twice, or three times. The bells act as a "Trader Joe's Morse code," according to the store. There isn't a PA system in place, so the bell is the way the team members communicate with one another across the large space.What is the turnover rate at Trader Joe's? ›
At Trader Joe's, turnover among full-time employees is less than 10%.Does Trader Joe's negotiate salary? ›
If you think you and your skill set should be valued higher than your offer, negotiate your salary! 20% of men and 100% of women at Trader Joe's said they negotiated their salaries. On average, Trader Joe's employees earn $128,919. Trader Joe's ranks in the Bottom 45% for compensation in Los Angeles.
For produce, Trader Joe's prices were 18 percent lower than the average prices at all surveyed stores. For meat, Trader Joe's prices were about 16 percent lower than average.Why do people like Trader Joe's? ›
The eclectic and retail-fan-favorite Trader Joe's is well-known to its loyalists for low prices on unique food items, ranging from cookie butter to salsas, cheeses and ready-to-eat packaged meals. The grocery store chain is also known for its quirky culture.Does Trader Joe's take care of their employees? ›
Trader Joe's is a great company to work for. For the most part it takes care of its employees.
The resounding answer is no. While no part of the official training encourages them to do so, that doesn't stop some employees, like the one featured in this TikTok, from flirting with customers.What is Trader Joe's called in Germany? ›
But, you can find the Trader Joe's name on products at Aldi…in Germany. The difference is, if you're in the northern part of the country, the stores are Aldi Nord (North), the company that owns Trader Joe's. The company that operates Aldi stores in the U.S. is Aldi Sud (South).Why is Trader Joe's Hawaiian themed? ›
As for the nautical theme, Coulombe said he happened to have been reading a book set in the South Pacific at the time, and between that and Disneyland's Jungle Cruise, he was feeling the island theme. So he went with it, put his employees in Hawaiian shirts, and became Trader Joe.What did Trader Joe's first sell? ›
1. In 1958, Joe Coulombe took over a small chain of Pronto Markets convenience stores around the Los Angeles, California, area. After seeing changes in demographics, he opened the first Trader Joe's in 1967 in nearby Pasadena. In 1972, he introduced granola, the first private label product.What are the best companies to work for Trader Joe's? ›
Forbes just released its annual report ranking the best companies to work for in 2019. In the anonymous survey of 50,000 working Americans, a grocery store topped the list. The winner is Trader Joe's, known for its delicious frozen foods, small market charm and high-quality curated products.Where is the busiest Trader Joe's? ›
Is busier necessarily better at Trader Joe's? While the Trader Joe's located at 72nd & Broadway in New York City is the chain's busiest store in the world, this designation doesn't come without its complications.What is Trader Joe's sister company? ›
|Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord logos|
|Revenue||US$121.1 billion (2021)|
|Subsidiaries||Trader Joe's (Aldi Nord) Hofer (Aldi Süd)|
Trader Joe's Interview Process:
Most people go through two interviews before getting hired at Trader Joe's. If you get invited to a second interview, that means you're very likely to be hired. If you're accepted, and they decide to hire you, it can take about a week for you to start working at Trader Joe's.
So what was it about Trader Joe's that resulted in such high levels of customer satisfaction? The chain ranked first on atmosphere and fast checkouts, and second on cleanliness, courteous staff, merchandise selection and accurate pricing.What is the profit margin on Trader Joe's? ›
Stern estimated Trader Joe's gross margins range from the low to mid-20s, compared with 28% at conventional supermarkets, which have a higher mix of perishables.Who is the Trader Joes List lady? ›
Natasha Fischer, who's 33 years old and lives in LA, started the account over 10 years ago. She spends hours each week shopping, sourcing, cooking, and photographing products from TJ's, and posting them to her wildly popular Instagram.What city has the most Trader Joe's? ›
|City||State / Territory||Number of Locations|
|New York||New York||9|
Trader Joe's makes money by offering consumers a low-cost, high-quality grocery store experience. It maintains this low-cost model because it provides in-house brands instead of premium brands.Do rich people shop at Trader Joe's? ›
10 Richest Grocery Stores
Trader Joe's barely beats Whole Foods as the grocery store serving the wealthiest customers. Counties with any grocery store average median incomes of $54,000, but stores like Piggly Wiggly concentrate in counties with median incomes around $40,000–the bottom 44% of Americans.
Boston is home to the smallest Trader Joe's
And while most are standard size, a few parts of the country had to adjust to congestion and create smaller options.
Trader Joe's is known for its unique food products, including seasonal offerings, as well as for its low prices. But Trader Joe's actually was not the most popular grocery store in America in 2022. In fact, a YouGov survey showed another grocery store was just a little bit more beloved among U.S. adults.Why are popular products discontinued? ›
Common reasons for discontinued items: The vendor restricts sales of their products to certain countries. The vendor has insufficient inventory. The vendor has discontinued the production of the item.
They want YOUR money, and the more invested you are in the brand, the better. Reasons brands will give you why they discontinue products will centre around three points: they want to innovate the product/the line-up, packaging is being updated or there're problems with one or more ingredients.Why Costco and Trader Joe's stop selling your favorite food? ›
Sometimes products are seasonal, or a manufacturer always planned to make them for a limited time. Also, for stores like Costco and Trader Joe's, discontinuing items can reinforce the treasure hunt-like appeal of these stores.Why did Trader Joe's discontinue their mayonnaise? ›
"Was at TJ's today and was told by staff that corporate decided the real mayonnaise cost to produce was too high due to the price of canola oil rising. They removed it nationwide," u/Here-To-Learn-Stuffs commented. Comment from discussion Here-To-Learn-Stuffs's comment from discussion "Real Mayonnaise discontinued".What do you call a product that isn't made anymore? ›
A discontinued product isn't just difficult for your store to handle. It's also a disappointing experience when a customer comes to your site specifically for that product, only to find that it's unavailable. Discontinuing a product doesn't erase the fact that customers may have purchased that product in the past.What products are no longer sold? ›
- Altoids Sours.
- Haagen-Dazs Black Walnut Ice Cream.
- Hershey's Bites.
- Wild Cherry Jell-O.
- Creme Savers.
- Doritos Guacamole.
- Keebler Magic Middles.
Consumers are more likely to buy a product they've seen in person. The main reason consumers prefer to shop in physical stores is, according to KPMG , to see, experience, and test products in person before buying.Why do customers leave brands? ›
The customer has no reason to remain loyal
Customers will often decide against leaving if they have some sense of loyalty to a certain brand, product, service or organization. Loyalty typically takes some time to accrue, so organizations find it hard to detect or create loyalty among new customers in particular.
So many things contribute to new product failure: bad design, poor user experience, sloppy implementation, feature creep, and lack of quality control.Why can't you leave mayo out? ›
The perishable nature of mayonnaise is also why you should throw out mayo that's been left out unrefrigerated overnight. It could be totally fine—until you get food poisoning. And, in general, the FDA recommends tossing perishable foods, including mayo, that have been left out at room temperature for two or more hours.Why doesn't mayonnaise go bad? ›
To put it just as plainly, but in layman's terms, store-bought mayonnaise contains enough acid (from vinegar or lemon juice) to not only kill food-borne pathogens, but also to prevent them from forming.
Commercially produced mayonnaise, as opposed to the homemade version, does not need to be refrigerated, according to the report. Food scientists find it's because mayo undergoes strict testing and "its acidic nature slows the growth of the bacteria associated with food-borne illnesses,'' according to NPD Group.