These Are the Most Beloved Trader Joe’s Products

August 21, 2017

It’s been 50 years, almost to the day, since Trader Joe’s opened its first location in Pasadena, California on Arroyo Parkway. The grocery chain has since ballooned to a tiny empire, maintaining 467 locations spread over 41 states. The company’s gone all out to mark its semicentennial, offering in-store product tastings and giveaways this weekend.

Last week, the chain devoted its Fearless Flyer newsletter to a list of some of its favorite products throughout this five-decade history. The company polled its “Customers and Crew” (both constituencies are, for some reason, capitalized within the Trader Joe’s style guide) to compile this list, reaching back through its library of products.

Read this list, if anything, as a small snapshot into the way the chain has sustained itself through this past half-century and built on its brand ethos, rolling out products at the nexus between innovation and affordability. The list is quarantined into separate categories—beverages, produce and flowers, refrigerated products, “supplements and such,” et cetera—and accompanied by abridged histories of each product. Some categories, like bakery, are sparse, with merely one entry; others, like snacks & sweets, are comparatively bountiful.

It’s a list of “about 50,” Fearless Flyer claims; I count 56. Conspicuous by its absence? Cauliflower pizza crust, that revered frozen staple. I bet you'll spot many more of your favorites that didn't make the list. Tough luck. There's always 2067.






Produce & Flowers

Refrigerated Products

Snacks & Sweets

Supplements & Such

Wine & Beer

Spy anything that didn't make the list? Make your voice heard in the comments.

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


Nance August 28, 2017
Since I'm a 3+ hr. drive from any T.J.'s :( , I don't stock up on perishables. My favorite shampoo is their Tea Tree Tingle. It's so aromatic that I'd bet it could be used to banish lice.
Tracy B. August 28, 2017
I miss the small thin spinach pizzas that used to be in the deli section where pizza dough now lives. You jsut added some leftovers and cheese and you had pizza in 5 minutes!
Robin September 12, 2021
I know it was pathetically lazy to like this, but for a while they carried precooked frozen plain pasta...when one is exhausted, recuperating, elder etc, no need to wrestle with big heavy pots of water and risk of burns...wish they'd bring that back...
Bee August 27, 2017
Huh. I don't know what it means that not ONE single item that I buy from Trader Joe's is listed. ~shrug~ All I can say is, "Thank Goodness that they carry other items to entice me and have me continue to drive 180 miles round trip to buy 3 months worth of their products before I repeat the drive when I run out! LOL I am bonkers over their frozen meals, especially Thai and Indian. LOVE their Coconut Yogurt and the Watermelon Beverage Drink. So many other items to list, but why bother? I just know that they fill an important void in the Grocery World of Dullness and Same-same choices.
Robin September 12, 2021
wow...that's a schlep! I drive 1.5 hours to get to the nearest Wegmans LOL! Not to worry my favorites are not listed either, but I will not mention them for fear they will run out!
kittyfood August 26, 2017
I have been shopping at Trader Joe's for 40 years, starting with the original store in Pasadena and later at stores in Phoenix and now, hallelujah, in the New Orleans area. I was surprised to find that the only product on the list that I buy regularly is the chocolate sea salt almonds, although the peanut butter pretzels are also a classic. Most of the products mentioned have been introduced quite recently. My favorites have always included olive oil and cheese, the selections of which vary over time. The Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar is a staple in our house, as well as the Dark Chocolate Honey Grahams, and I always buy the plain whole milk greek yogurt. My husband loves the organic ketchup. The lure of TJ's is the discovery of new products as well as finding the basics. Many times we have come to love a TJ's product only to have it discontinued (it looks like the green chile chicken burritos have now joined this group). I advise people that if they find something they like they should buy a lot of it, for two reasons: Either it will be shown to be a good seller and TJ's will continue to stock it, or if it disappears, at least you will have your own supply for a while.
SFCohen August 26, 2017
No list of TJ favorites is complete without Kitty Cat Cookies!
Susie August 25, 2017
Frozen croissants are amazing!
Robin September 12, 2021
HOW did I miss these and many others on the list I have taken note of!? I bought the prebaked ones just last night darn it!
Suzanne T. August 25, 2017
I love their Minty Chocolate covered Marshmallows! I <3 TJ's!
Lisa S. August 25, 2017
I can't get enough of the chocolate covered marshmallows. And I eat the Multigrain Blend of Vegetables (frozen( almost every day- I add different protein to it and stir fry it all up- so delicious- and every bite is a bit different!!
Martha E. August 25, 2017
The pumpkin shaped truffles are a fantastic fall/Thanksgiving treat and a superb little hostess gift. Very reasonably priced, but get them early they sell out quickly. LOVE this store
Deb August 25, 2017
Hands down the best is the 1.7 lb bars of Belgium chocolate. Dark with almonds is my favorite.
Jane F. August 24, 2017
Isn't Trader Joe's owned by the same company that owns Aldi's? A German company if I am not mistaken. I do not get to shop there often as my closest one is more than an hour away. however, always love the experience.
Giffen M. August 24, 2017
Chili-spiced mangoes. Be still, my heart.
susan R. August 24, 2017
So upset that their Jumbo Black Raisins were discontinued (they were unbelievable), also love their Dried Peaches, The Raisin Pecan Crackers, The no guilt pita chips, Fire Roasted Corn (frozen) great for corn bread, Roasted Red Pepper Soup (Surprised that didnt make it), Corn BREAD mix is a must!!) My dog loves their peanut butter treats and their Pecan Praline Granola
Robin September 12, 2021
You REALLY like your raisins...have to tell you that my mom is having a GI tract issue that hospice people are concerned about and I made it clear I prefer to deal with it by diet. So we have tried Maida Heatter's bran muffins with success and also chocolate covered raisins (imagine those jumbo ones you spoke of!...they should do that and bring them back. Mom even with dementia can't be fooled...she is sucking the chocolate off and spitting the raisins out!
CarolynJ August 24, 2017
Their Chicken Cesar Salad and Edamame Kale salad are my weekly staples. I know for a fact that their Chicken Cesar is a best seller because TJ employees have told me so. I also go for nuts, dried apricots (and other dried fruit), and high quality olive oil.
Paula August 26, 2017
Absolutely agree about the Chicken Cesar Salad! It's to die for! My other favs are the Organic Jalapeno Limeade and "Just the Clusters" Almond and Ginger cereal. I could live in that store! :-)
Robin September 12, 2021
Oh the nuts! How could they not mention the nuts!
Lea August 24, 2017
21 seasoning salute!!!!
MangoEats August 29, 2017
I live by it!!!
Anja August 24, 2017
Chili lime cashews, yum...
Zdorenbos August 24, 2017
Brewed unsweetened black tea, salsa verde, dunkers
Michelle E. August 24, 2017
The Olive Oil Popcorn and their spanish Tapa Cheeses
Nancy August 24, 2017
Did anyone else discover the 3-pack of salt body scrubs last Christmas??? Favorite was the ylang-ylang, which smelled heavenly. REALLY hope it comes back this Christmas!!! And the chocolate dipped Joe-Joes…
kittyfood August 26, 2017
Oh yes, those chocolate dipped candy cane Joe-Joes! We only allow ourselves one box of those each season (along with several boxes of the non-dipped candy cane Joe-Joes!).
Ellen August 24, 2017
I would be devastated if they discontinued the Israeli feta. I love their avocados, hot smoked wild salmon, Belgian endive (could be fresher), Modena vinegar, buffalo butter. organic Kalamata olives.
Mb August 24, 2017
I completely agree....the Pastures of Eden Israeli feta is sublime.....and out of stock this week at my TJ's....sent me into a small panic....
Robin September 12, 2021
Noticed last night it seems the wild smoked salmon has gone up in price, but I can't imagine still where you'd find that for less!