TJ's best products in 9 categories, according to its biggest fans.
There’s so much to love about Trader Joe’s...the dupes of trendy foods, the ample selection of frozen dinner solutions, and the limited edition seasonal products that seem to fly off shelves. Everyone has their own favorite TJ’s products—mine are the Papadums Lentil and Chickpea Chips and, last year’s cheese winner, Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions.
To better understand their customers’ top picks, the folks at Trader Joe’s have been holding Customer Choice Awards for the last 15 years, with some of the most winning items ascending to the Hall of Fame.
Trader Joe's just revealed this year’s results and they contain a mix of obvious favorites (those addicting Chili Lime Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips) and a few surprising upsets (looking at you, apple cider). Here are the winners
Overall Winner: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
For the second year in a row, Trader Joe’s uber-popular Takis dupes have taken the honors in the top category as well as the competitive snack category.
Folks love the rolled corn chips for their satisfying crispiness and lack of artificial dyes. According to Trader Joe’s website, the color comes from a combination of vegetable juice and paprika and turmeric extracts. Loaded with zesty flavor, these are delightful on their own, but dipping them in queso makes it a veritable fiesta!
Favorite Trader Joe's Beverage: Apple Cider
Customers aren’t too picky about choosing a specific variety of apple cider. They like them all, from the limited edition Spiced Cider that shows up in the fall to the coveted Honeycrisp Apple Cider that seems to sell out in nanoseconds.
My favorite is their Sparkling Apple Cider, which is made from fresh apples (not concentrate) and has a pleasant, lightly sweet taste with plenty of tiny bubbles—a great choice for something fancy to share with the kiddos.
Best Trader Joe's Cheese: Goat Cheese
Much like the cider, TJ’s fans don’t have a specific goat cheese preference. They’ve got a place in their hearts for all of them, whether crumbled or in log form. For me, it’s all about the Chevre with Honey and the Blueberry Vanilla Chevre. Both balance sweetness and tanginess, making a great addition to any cheese plate.
Favorite Trader Joe’s Appetizer: Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Unless you’re a seasoned TJ’s pro, it could be easy to overlook the small, unassuming box of Spinach and Artichoke Dip in the freezer section, but you’d be wise to circle back and find it because it’s one of the grocery store’s most highly sought-after appetizers. In its wee box, this dip packs a creamy, cheesy cube of the classic Game Day dip.
I like to thaw it a bit in the microwave and then throw it in a crock with some extra cheese on top and finish it in a hot oven for a more homemade feel. If you’re planning to feed a crowd, grab a few of these because the portion size is just 8.8 ounces.
Favorite Trader Joe's Dessert: Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
Two perfectly chewy chocolate chip cookies bookend a filling of soft vanilla ice cream rolled in mini chocolate chips in this customer-favorite frozen TJ’s dessert. What’s not to love? Each box comes with four ice cream sandwiches. This means my family of four needs to buy at minimum two boxes at a time because these are one of our favorite after-dinner treats.
Best Trader Joe's Entrée: Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice
Customers just can’t quit TJ’s frozen Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice, and it’s no wonder. The dish, which features juicy chicken in a fragrant and mild tomato-based curry sauce served alongside fluffy basmati rice, goes from freezer to table in under 10 minutes, making it an ideal choice for quick lunches and easy dinners. Pair it with some store-bought naan and fresh cilantro. Looking for a little extra spice? Just add a few shakes of chili flake to liven up this delicately spiced meal.
Most Loved Trader Joe's Produce: Bananas
A single banana will run you a mere 19 cents (29 cents for the organic kind), an unbeatable bargain that comes in handy for my banana-obsessed family. I buy bunches at a time and use them for snacks, banana bread, and the occasional banana split.
Best Trader Joe’s Breakfast and Brunch Item: Hashbrowns
At $2.79 for a pack of ten, these hashbrowns are a total steal. The lightly crisped potatoes are ready in about 10 minutes on the stove or, if you have a bit more time, around 20 minutes in the oven. But the real move is to give them 12 minutes in the air fryer, which yields the crispiest possible results. These hashbrowns have a devout following, so it can be tricky to score a box; for that reason, I suggest stocking up whenever you can.
Favorite Non-Food Product: Brazil Nut Body Butter
With its Barbie-pink lid and creamy, whipped texture, TJ's Brazil Nut Body Butter has amassed quite a following. The lotion, which combines shea butter, açai extract, and, of course, Brazil nut seed oil, has a lightly tropical fragrance with hints of caramel and vanilla. Look for this seasonal product to hit shelves in early summer.
Read the original article on Simply Recipes.