These Are the 12 Best Foods at Trader Joe’s, According to Their Shoppers
In the throes of awards season, Trader Joe’s has released its own list of winners: its most popular products of 2015. The grocery chain, which stocks its shelves with exclusive private store label products, has gained a cult following as it continues to expand across the country — and now their loyal customers have made their voices heard, voting on their favorite eats of the year.
From produce to candy to frozen entrees, here are the picks that came out on top (Spoiler alert: people still love cookie butter). Scroll down to see which of your faves made the cut.
Favorite Overall: Speculoos Cookie Butter
Cookie butter tastes sweet victory. No, Joe did not invent the biscuit-crushed spread bestseller, but the store does recommend spreading it on “toast, bagels, pancakes or waffles.” Customers love it because they can dip almost anything into the creamy Belgian goodness—even your finger (we won’t judge).
Speaking of toast…
Favorite Bakery: Sourdough Bread
Ciabatta Rolls and Chocolate Babka gave it their best shot, but it was sourdough that rolled in the, well, dough. The perfect complement to the overall-winning cookie butter, this classic bakery item came in second for the second year running.
Favorite Beverage: Spiced Cider
The fall favorite has been sold for more than 20 years and its blend of apple juice, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and more made it the best TJ’s drink of 2015.
Favorite Candy: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Is there a more stellar combination than dark chocolate and peanut butter? Trader Joe’s buyers say no way. Made from cacao beans grown on the West African coast, the dark chocolate-covered peanut butter cups stole the hearts (and caloric intake) of shoppers.
Favorite Cheese: Unexpected Cheddar Cheese
So, what makes it so unexpected? The winner touts a unique flavor of cheddar with a surprising hint of aged Parmesan.
Favorite Condiment: Organic Ketchup
French fries, burgers, hot dogs, even eggs…most cannot live without a dab (or more appropriately, slathering) of ketchup.
Favorite TJ’s Frozen Entree: Mandarin Orange Chicken
Feeling too lazy to cook and takeout sounds like the only option? Trader Joe’s has a better idea. The “bake & serve” style of this sweet-sour Chinese-American dish may rival your favorite takeout joint. Add TJ’s Organic Jasmine Rice and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 10 minutes.
Favorite Meat/Meatless: Soy Chorizo
Trader Joe’s customers were soy excited about this take on the spicy Mexican sausage, they named it their favorite. This vegetarian-friendly option has60 percent less fat than traditional chorizo without losing any of its flavor.
Favorite Produce: Bananas
For 19 cents a pop, bananas were the top produce pick of the year.
Favorite Salad: Organic Arugula
Arugula dates back to the ancient Roman Empire, but its popularity continues to stand strong today. And at a cool $2.49 per bag, the price and flavor are tough to beat.
Favorite Snack: World’s Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs
Makers of this white cheddar snack can puff their chests a little bit more with this win. Made from cornmeal, water and real white cheddar cheese, it’s the perfect crunchy-savory snack any time of the day.
Favorite Pumpkin: Organic Pumpkin
From pies to spiced lattes, pumpkin is everywhere. For Trader Joe’s customers, Organic Pumpkin—organic, pureed and canned pumpkin from Oregon’s Willamette Valley—can make almost any pumpkin-related food item. Trader Joe’s says it’s the “freshest-tasting,” and its customers seem to think so, too.