The Best and Worst of Trader Joe’s

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The Best and Worst of Trader Joe’s

Leilani Wetterau, Staff Writer

As a Trader Joe’s connoisseur, I have tried hundreds of products over the years. I personally love Trader Joe’s and it is undoubtedly my go-to grocery store. However, many products have definitely disappointed me. There have even been some items I have had to return! Luckily, I have saved you the time and money by compiling a list of the 10 best and worst items sold at Trader Joe’s!

First the Top 5 Best Products!

In no particular order…

  • Cherry Chocolate Chip Soy Cream

This dessert is not only delicious, but it’s also vegan! The best part about it is that it doesn’t even taste dairy-free. The combination of black cherries and dark chocolate creates a unique taste that leaves you wanting more. It is a favorite of mine that I never get tired of.

  • Mediterranean Hummus

This scrumptious dip is both flavorful and creamy. A lot of the hummus I have tried from other stores and brands have the same boring, flavorless taste. That is what sets this hummus apart! It always makes it onto my family’s grocery list because we’re always running out of it.

  • Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips: Chili & Lime Flavored

These chips are basically the Trader Joe’s version of Takis. You might be wondering, how can anyone replicate such a classic, well-loved chip? Believe it or not, I prefer the rolled corn chips to name brand Takis. They have a more natural corn flavor, while still maintaining strong spice and lime flavor!

  • Soft and Juicy Mango

This product is another one of my go-to items. I typically don’t buy a lot of dried fruit, but this dried mango is absolutely delicious! Junior Annie Sano thinks, “They would make a great snack on a school day or (if you are) just craving something light to eat.” The texture is definitely what sets it apart from all other brands. If you love mango or dried fruit, you will love the Soft and Juicy Mango! 

  • Cowboy Quinoa Burger

Now the final favorite. This is actually one of my recent finds that I heard of through a Youtube video. At first, I was skeptical, but after trying it, I was blown away. Most veggie burgers have too many vegetables for my taste, but this one was absolutely scrumptious! Between the corn, beans, and one-of-a-kind flavor, the Cowboy Quinoa Burger is something you need to add to your shopping cart!

Now for the Worst Products…

Also in no particular order….

  • Joe’s O’s

What is Joe’s O’s? Well, they’re Cheerios. Or at least Trader Joe’s thought they were. Somehow, TJ’s messed up Cheerios. Not sure how, but they did. Joe’s O’s are flavorless and appear artificial. They don’t have any of the multigrain specks that regular Cheerios do. They are just boring, white circles. Granted, they’re not the worst cereal out there, but if you buy them, don’t expect Cheerios.

  • Joe Joe’s

Are these cookies semi-decent? Yes. But are they anything compared to Oreos? No. There’s nothing more to say besides the flavor of the chocolate is simply artificial. If you love Oreos, stick to the name brand and you’ll be much better off that way!

  • Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks

There’s nothing too revolting about this snack. The Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks are just flavorless. And dry. They are without a doubt the most boring item in the snack aisle, and I do not recommend buying them.

  • Baked Cheese Crunchies

These are Trader Joe’s version of Cheetos. Sadly, TJ’s certainly missed the mark on this one. The flavor just doesn’t taste like Cheetos or cheese. I really can’t put my finger on what makes them so unsatisfactory, but all I know is that I will not be buying or eating them ever again.

  • Spring Rolls

By spring rolls, I don’t mean the ones you pan fry with the crispy outside. I am referring to the rice noodle spring rolls served cold. Both the Tofu Spring Rolls and Shrimp Spring Rolls are two of my least favorites. Sophomore Shanti Takata says, “When I ate it, everything just came apart…and the noodles inside are super dry.” I agree. I had to douse the rolls in sauce just to finish them. I do not recommend these.

Of course, this top 10 list is biased and I may be critical. But, most of these products have been confirmed with family and friends as being their favorite or least favorite. With that being said, using these tips will make your next trip to Trader Joe’s much easier and more efficient!


Graphic courtesy of SFGATE.COM