14 Trader Joe's Items So Popular That People Resell Them On Amazon
As much as I love Trader Joe’s, it does have one major downside: You can only shop there in person. However, this lack of an online storefront has led to a sort of secondary market — one in which people resell the most popular Trader Joe’s items on Amazon. They’re third-party sellers, of course — again, TJ’s doesn’t have an online store of its own — and the ethics of the market are a bit wibbly; if you don’t otherwise have access to a Trader Joe’s location, though, it’s one way you can get a hold of some of the grocery retailer’s biggest hits.
I can’t really say that I recommend buying Trader Joe’s items from Amazon resellers, though due to a few caveats. First off, you can never really tell how fresh the item you’ll be getting is; there’s always the danger that the reseller could have purchased it months — or even years — prior to your purchase of their stock. And second, the company doesn’t really like the whole reseller thing — but for some very good reasons.
As Trader Joe’s VP for marketing and merchandising, Mitch Heeger, explained on the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast back in June, it creates scarcity; when Cookie Butter’s popularity was at its height, for example, Heeger said, “Stores would order 10 cases and someone would come in and say, ‘I’d like 10 cases’ and they’d just wheel it out for 'em.” The result was basically that just a few customers would come in and buy up the entire stock, leaving the vast majority of customers unable to access it themselves — which TJ’s president of stores, Jon Basalone, pointed out in the same podcast episode isn’t exactly fair. What’s more, elaborated Heeger, resellers often utilize huge price markups, which eliminates one of the things that’s great about Trader Joe’s: its affordability.
At the same time, though, Insider Trader Joe’s co-host Matt Sloan, who is also Trader Joe’s VP of product marketing, acknowledged that the situation can be “tricky.” Said Sloan in the podcast episode, “We understand that people might live in Juneau, Alaska, and want that Cookie Butter, but we don’t have a store there.” Resellers do allow folks who don’t have access to brick-and-mortar Trader Joe’s stores to acquire those products, so the issue is something of a proverbial double-edged sword.
If you absolutely must shop third-party resellers online, here are 14 Trader Joe’s items you’re likely to come across on Amazon:
1. Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Blend
Trader Joe’s debuted its now-famous Everything but the Bagel seasoning blend in 2017, and it not only rocketed to virality at an incredible speed, but has also maintained that popularity in the two years since. And, I mean, it’s not hard to see why; not unlike the bagel from which it gets its name, the seasoning, which consists of a mix of sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds, is good with everything.
2. Speculoos Cookie Butter
The biggest maker and purveyor of speculoos cookies might be Biscoff, but Trader Joe’s version and its many variations has given the European bakery a run for its money — and TJ’s Speculoos Cookie Butter Spread in particular has stolen many a heart. I’d also argue that one can draw a direct line from Trader Joe’s speculoos spread to some of the other, even more creative dessert spread the company has introduced in recent memory. (Cinnamon Bun Spread, I’m looking at you.)
3. Roasted Plantain Chips
Hast thou considered the plantain? Seriously — they’re the perfect food. When they’re super ripe, they’re incredibly sweet. When they’re not quite that ripe, they’re wonderfully savory — and when you slice them, roast them, and cover them with salt, they make for a gloriously crispy snack. Trader Joe’s version arrived in 2016 and I, for one, haven’t looked back since.
4. Green Dragon Hot Sauce
This jalapeno- and cilantro-forward hot sauce launched in 2016 to great acclaim — and it’s no wonder why: With a brightness granted to it through the use of tomatillos and a tanginess from lime and garlic, it’s spicy without being flavorless, as well as a nice break from regular red sriracha. Try it on everything from eggs to enchiladas; you won’t regret it.
5. Peanut Butter Protein Granola
The protein boost in this decadent-tasting breakfast treat comes from a surprising source: peas (yes, peas — not peanuts). Rolled oat clusters and actual peanuts and peanut butter abound in TJ’s Peanut Butter Protein Granola, as well, though, so rest assured that there’s still plenty of actual nutty goodness here, too.
6. Sipping Chocolate
A longtime Trader Joe’s favorite, this hot cocoa mix yields a rich and luxurious cup of chocolate-y goodness — but with its European inspiration, it’s also not as sickly sweet as some American cocoa mixes can be. Heat up some milk, add a few spoonfuls of TJ’s Sipping Chocolate mix, and pretend you’re at an elegant and sophisticated Italian café for the most spectacular midday break imaginable.
7. Mushroom & Company Umami Seasoning Blend
Although it never achieved quite the level of popularity the Everything but the Bagel seasoning did, TJ’s Umami seasoning blend did go briefly viral after it debuted in early 2019. Porcini and white button mushrooms join with salt, onion, mustard seed, red and black peppers, and thyme for a seasoning that — like its bagel-inspired counterpart — goes well on just about everything.
8. Triple Ginger Snaps
Ginger snaps might be an acquired taste, but for those who love them, TJ’s version of the sweet and spicy treat is a must. Made with ground ginger, crystalized ginger, and ginger pureé, they’ve got exactly the kick you’re looking for. Whether you eat 'em straight or use them to, say, make the crust of this Double Chocolate Triple Ginger Tart recipe supplied by Trader Joe’s itself, they’re sure to please.
9. Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Pro tip: For the perfect easy, fall or winter meal, heat up some of this creamy soup, make yourself a grilled cheese, and go to town. Don’t forget to dunk the sandwich in the soup for maximum deliciousness!
10. Cinnamon Bun Spread
Trader Joe’s has been experimenting with a wide array of baked good-inspired dessert spreads in recent years, including some unconventional choices like Carrot Cake Spread. The idea of Cinnamon Bun Spread makes so much sense that it’s a wonder TJ’s didn’t roll it out sooner. It only recently hit shelves, though — and of course it was an instant hit. Who could possibly resist a sweetly cinnamon-spiced treat like this?
11. Sriracha Ranch Dressing
12. Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mixes
When Trader Joe’s put out their own pumpkin pancake and waffle mix, they did us a solid and actually made two: one with gluten and one without. Whereas the original version of the mix used wheat flour, the gluten-free variety swapped out the wheat flour for a combination of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. Both still feature the pumpkin pie-like flavor that makes a pile of the autumnal breakfast favorite the greatest thing on the planet.
13. Coconut Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
Cold brew is great, but making it can be… let’s call it a bit of a production. If you don’t have the right set-up for it at home, though, the good news is that a number of companies and brands make a bottled concentrate you can use to mix up your own cup of cold brew whenever you want — including Trader Joe’s. The coconut variety has a tropical kick to it, to, for those who like a little something extra with their iced coffee.
14. Chile Lime Seasoning Blend
Not going to lie: I really want to know what the development process is like for Trader Joe’s seasoning blends. They consistently hit it out of the park with them time and time again — including with this Chile Lime option, which combines sea salt, chile pepper, red bell pepper, and lime juice to create a mix that TJ’s describes “spicy but not too hot, and tangy but not too pucker.” Just think of the tacos you'd be able to make with this stuff!
To find your nearest Trader Joe's, head to the TJ's store locator here. Or, head to Amazon and search your favorite items to see if any resellers have them available there. Good luck!
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