Trader Joe’s asked its customers a simple question: If you were to spend the rest of your life on a deserted island, what nine Trader Joe’s products would you take with you?
More than 18,000 customers responded to the 14th annual survey that ranked the most popular grocery store items in nine different categories.
There were a few caveats this year: The five products that won multiple times in the past (think Mandarin Orange Chicken and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups) are gone, and instead are popping up in their own line. Product Hall of Fame.
the First Trader Joe’s It opened in Pasadena, California, in 1967. Its founder, Joe Colombe (yes, Joe was a real guy), was a small store owner who wanted to open a grocery chain to appeal to a niche market of well-educated, well-travelled consumers. This idea led him to create a cult-favorite grocery empire.
Here are the products customers voted their favorite, in categories from cheese to appetizers.
Tortilla wraps flavored with chili and lime, Spicy Corn Chips, swept the competition this year, taking first prize. Runners-up included hash browns, chicken soup dumplings, everything but the sesame bagel seasoning mix, and chocolate croissants.
See all time favorites inducted into the Trader Joe’s Hall of Fame
The chips also won in the survey’s favorite snack category. Customers were also fans of Elote’s Organic Corn Chip Dippers, Organic Corn Chip Dippers, World’s Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs, and Crunchy Curls, which were all among the top vote-getters.
The Sparkling Honeycrisp apple cider was a fan favorite drink, even though it’s seasonal. The canned drink is a simple three-ingredient mixture of apple juice, water, and bubbles.
Here are the triple ginger ale, sparkling peach black tea with peach juice, sparkling cranberry-ginger ale, and non-dairy brown sugar oatmeal whitener.
Now that the Hall of Famer Unlimited Cheddar is no longer an option in the poll, the store’s cheddar cheese with caramelized onions takes top honors.
See the full list of Customers’ Choice Awards winners
Runners-up included Syrah Soaked Toscano, Baked Lemon Ricotta, Blueberry & Vanilla Chèvre, and various berries.
Replacing the old mandarin orange chicken is Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken – chicken marinated in a creamy tomato sauce with basmati rice.
The Indian is popular with Trader Joe’s customers. Second place was Chicken Tikka Masala, followed by Kung Pao Chicken, Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, and Teriyaki BBQ Chicken.
Seasonal candles won this category. Its seasonal scents include Peony, Cedar Balsam, Honey Balsam, and Pumpkin Vanilla.
Runner-up: Daily face sunscreen, ultra-moisturizing hand cream, and tea tree, shea butter, and coconut oil shampoo and conditioner.
Unsurprisingly, customers voted bananas as their best choice. The chain is known for its 25-cent organic bananas and regular 19-cent bananas. The next picks were Teeny Tiny Avocados, Honeycrisp Apples, Brussels Sprouts, and Organic Carrots of many colors.
Grab the little, crunchy cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones won first dessert, followed by Danish Kringle, Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches, and Chocolate Lava Cake and Brooke.
Among the many vegetarian and vegan options, the vegetarian Kale and Cashew and Basil Pesto came out on top. Vegetable fried rice, meatless bulgogi, palak paneer, cauliflower gnocchi.
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