Endless Love: Trader Joe’s Shoppers Pick Favorite Products

Annual Customer Choice Awards spotlight winners in nine categories
Trader Joe's
Photograph courtesy of Trader Joe's

When it comes to Trader Joe’s and its fiercely loyal shoppers, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The Monrovia, Calif.-based retailer recently revealed its 13th Annual Trader Joe’s Customer Choice Awards during episode 46 of its podcast. With marketing team members and podcast co-hosts Tara Miller and Matt Sloan offering their usual enthusiastic banter and insider-y repartee on all things Trader Joe’s, winners were announced in nine categories.

But before naming the winners, the duo explained how ballots are cast for Trader Joe’s Customer Choice Awards. In the beginning of January, a call for votes is sent via email to consumers who have signed up to receive emails from Trader Joe’s on its website. It posts the call to action on Instagram as well. Customer Choice Awards notifications are also featured on Trader Joe’s website, and all users are invited to log in to the link and vote for their favorite Trader Joe’s products.

The 2021 Customer Choice Award winners are:

Favorite Beverage: Non-Dairy Oat Beverage

“Oat beverages, dairy alternatives—very much a thing these days,” said Sloan in the podcast. “Very popular, relatively prevalent. People voted for this thing for their Overall All-Time Favorite Beverage, not just the non-dairy version. That to me is astounding.”

Favorite Cheese: Unexpected Cheddar

A past multi-time winner, Unexpected Cheddar nabbed the top spot in the favorite cheese category again this year. Meanwhile, Trader Joe’s English Cheddar With Caramelized Onions secured second place and its Baked Lemon Ricotta took third.

Favorite Entree: Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken

With Mandarin Orange Chicken, Trader Joe’s has the makings of a forever-classic in its freezer case. While Sloan and Miller touted their favorites, including Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice, Mandarin Orange Chicken was once again No. 1 in the entree category.

Mandarin Orange Chicken has made Trader Joe’s Customer Choice list as either the Favorite Frozen Product or the Favorite Entree every year since the awards’ inception.

“I feel like maybe we should just give Mandarin Orange Chicken a Lifetime Achievement Award and then open up space for something else,” offered Sloan.

Favorite Sweets and Desserts: Hold The Cone Mini Ice Cream Cones

Available in a variety of flavors, including Chocolate, Vanilla and Chocolate Chip, each box of Mini Cones contains eight mini ice cream cones filled with ice cream and topped with a chocolate coating.

Favorite Produce: Teeny Tiny Avocados

Trader Joe’s Teeny Tiny Avocados took top honors in the Customer Choice Awards again this year. And while Persian cucumbers and Les Petites Carrots of Many Colors also received attention, the convenience of Teeny Tiny Avocados won over shoppers yet again.

Favorite Snack: Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

And again this year, Trader Joe’s shoppers chose Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels as their top snacking pick.

Favorite Home, Bath and Beauty Product: Trader Joe’s Scented Candle Tins

With bouquets including Cedar Balsam, Cranberry Pine and Fresh Currant, these scented candles have proven a huge hit with Trader Joe’s shoppers.

Favorite Vegan or Vegetarian Product: Soy Chorizo

Another repeat winner, Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo has earned a reputation for its flexibility and deliciousness, the marketing team said.

Favorite Overall Trader Joe’s Product: Mandarin Orange Chicken

The love affair continues. Customers named Mandarin Orange Chicken, a frequent past favorite, as their favorite product at Trader Joe’s again this year.

Other notable overall favorite products included Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, a new entry in the category, coming in at No. 5. At No. 4, Everything But The Bagel Seasoning—the overall winner two years ago—came in at No. 4; third place went to Unexpected Cheddar; and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups took the No. 2 spot on the list.



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