What to Buy at Trader Joe’s: 3 Employee-Favorite Finds

published Apr 29, 2018
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(Image credit: Cassiohabib)

Trader Joe’s is a magical, cutesy wonderland full of great products that are really good at making people say, “I’ve never had that before, but now that I see it, I absolutely must try it.” Last time I was there, I went in for Brussels sprouts and left with camel milk soap, lavender dryer sachets, and four different kinds of dried fruit.

People really, really love Trader Joe’s products, and nobody knows Trader Joe’s products as well as the people who work there.

(Image credit: Sundry Photography)

In a recent Fearless Flyer, Trader Joe’s asked their own employees to pick their favorite products. Well, they were a little more direct: “Which product, if discontinued, would leave a product-shaped hole in your heart?”

The employees liked all the customer favorites, like the 2017 Customer Choice product of the year, Mandarin orange chicken. But the featured winners in the employees’ picks are more under-the-radar, like the perfect chip for dipping, and the “very best coffee ice cream in the world.” The choices might seem random, but Trader Joe’s crew members are some of the nicest retail workers in the world, and if they like the coffee ice cream this much, then I’m definitely going to try it.

These are the Trader Joe’s employees’ three favorite products.

(Image credit: Trader Joe’s)

Trader Joe’s says some of its employees have a scoop of this Coffee Bean Blast Ice Cream each morning instead of a cup of coffee, which is further evidence that Trader Joe’s employees are geniuses. (Seriously, why hadn’t I thought of that? I could have been having ice cream for breakfast this whole time.)

Trader Joe’s also says this is “the very best coffee ice cream available anywhere on planet Earth.” It’s thicker, richer, and creamier than most other ice cream, and it’s made with brewed Colombian coffee and bits of very finely ground French Roast Colombian coffee. Definitely sounds like breakfast to me.

(Image credit: Trader Joe’s)

These organic chips are made with just three ingredients: organic corn, organic sunflower oil, and salt. They’re light and crispy and shaped like tiny spoons, which make them optimal for dipping. Just looking at those little scoops, I am retroactively mad about every flat chip that ever embarrassed me by crumbling into salsa at a party.

You could use them for guacamole, salsa, or Trader Joe’s spinach and kale dip, but also things like chicken and tuna salad.

(Image credit: Trader Joe’s)

Soy Chorizo, $2.29

The coffee ice cream might be a surprise, but it would have been more shocking if Trader Joe’s soy chorizo were not one of the employees’ favorite products. It’s made by a company that specializes in chorizo, and even though it’s made of soy, it has all the flavor and spice a person would expect from traditional chorizo, and it’s extraordinarily versatile. Crumble it up in burritos, rice, chili, pasta, omelettes, and tacos, or throw it on top of a pizza — really, you can do anything with this you would do with regular chorizo, and it’s super popular with vegetarians and omnivores alike.

It was the top-ranking protein product among Trader Joe’s customers last year, and we think it’s one of the 10 best vegetarian things to buy at Trader Joe’s.

Have you tried any of these products?

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: The 3 Best Products at Trader Joe’s, According to Their Own Employees