Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain with establishments across the nation that has a reputation for its quality food and inexpensive products. The brand is so reputable that for every year for the past decade, they have distributed a survey called the Customer Choice Awards asking their customers about the customer’s favorite foods. Certain categories within the survey have changed over the years, such as “Favorite Coffee” being substituted with “Favorite Meat” and “Favorite Pumpkin” being changed to “Favorite Seasonal” to allow other snacks to be featured. When the survey for 2018 was completed, it showed that many of the customers’ favorites maintained their spots while other items made way for new products that are in style for the time being. The following items were some of the most favored products that customers chose, the first-place winners in their respective categories:
Favorite Overall: Mandarin Orange Chicken
This style of frozen chicken is a three-time winner of this particular award- it received top honors in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The idea for this product is taken from Chinese food takeout and is comprised of breaded chicken with a dipping sauce made out of orange peels, fresh ginger, garlic, green onions, and soy sauce.
Favorite Appetizer: Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
This appetizer is a first-time winner in this category, likely because it is easy to make, being a frozen product, and because of how popular it can be at parties.
Favorite Bakery Item: Danish Kringle
This dessert is a second-time winner in this category, likely due to it being a delicious pastry.
Favorite Beverage: Sparkling Mineral Waters
This is a generalized winner because of the assorted flavors of mineral water being tasty in their own respects. This drink is very vintage, but back in style.
Favorite Candy: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
This treat is a two-time winner (2017 and 2018) with a flavorful combination of salty, sweet, and bitter.
Favorite Cheese: Unexpected Cheddar
This cheesy treat does not cost much but tastes like it is top-dollar. It can be eaten on its own or used for grilled cheese.
Favorite Condiment: Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend
This product tastes similar to an everything bagel and can be used for all types of foods such as meat, fish, and yogurt.
Favorite Dessert: Hold The Cone! Mini Vanilla Ice Cream Cones
This dessert is tasty and a good choice for customers looking for a sweet treat in moderation. The portions are just right!
Favorite Produce: Teeny Tiny Avocados
This fruit took the cake in this category due to the rise in popularity of avocado toast as a brunch food.
Favorite Snack: Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
This snack has won in this category for three consecutive years, likely because of how well peanut butter and pretzels go together.
Favorite Vegan/Vegetarian Item: Soy Chorizo
This type of meat alternative fits well in a taco and can also be a tasty appetizer for breakfast.
Favorite Meal On-The-Go: Black Bean and Jack Cheese Burrito
This winner is vegetarian-oriented and prized for its taste and convenience.
Favorite Meat: Carne Asada Autentica
This meat is marinated ahead of time and goes great with a barbecue meal.
Favorite Seasonal Item: Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s
This candy is almost identical to a peppermint Oreo and is a winter favorite because of the classic combination of cookie and mint.
These foods are each yummy in their own ways and show the great variety in what Trader Joe’s has to offer. As demonstrated by the results of the annual survey, the products are distinct yet share a common theme in appealing to customers who have different tastes. As long as Trader Joe’s keeps up the good work, they will be in business for a long time.
Michael Westwood is a 25 year old college graduate from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Independent of being a contributor to Step Up, he is looking to pursue a career in professional writing of some type. His hobbies include watching professional wrestling (e.g. WWE and other promotions) and watching select TV sitcoms from today's television (e.g. Big Bang Theory, The Goldbergs) and classic programs as well (e.g. Seinfeld, Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond). He also has an ongoing online forum designed to inform people about the autism spectrum called "Ask Mike," which is part of an autism awareness group called All 4 Autism, which is based in Florence, South Carolina.