It's officially awards season. No—I'm not talking about the Oscars. I'm talking about the grocery store awards, because Trader Joe's just announced the winners of its 15th Annual Customer Choice Awards.
If you're not familiar with the CCAs, they are an annual tradition where the store asks its customers to vote for their absolute favorite products. And that's no easy task considering Trader Joe's comes out with new and exciting products every week.
And, as a reminder, this list cannot include products that were previously inducted into the Trader Joe's Product Hall of Fame—so you won't see the Mandarin Orange Chicken on here. But this year's Customer Choice Award winners are a motley crew of returning winners and some entirely new entries to the list. The votes are in, some categories are new, and the customers are always right. Here are the top eight products that Trader Joe's sells, according to its customers.
The Trader Joe's 2024 Customer Choice Award Winners
#1 Trader Joe's Beverage: Apple Cider
The apple of Trader Joe's customers' eyes are...well, apples. Last year, the Sparkling Honeycrisp Apple Juice Beverage took top spot, and this year Trader Joe's Apple Cider has been crowned. The store carries various seasonal sippers that are "apple cider in nature," according to Tara Miller and Matt Sloane, co-hosts of the store's podcast, Inside Trader Joe's on an episode revealing the winners.
So this category encompasses all the ciders, including the shelf-stable ciders, refrigerated bottles, sparkling cider cans, and even the cider donuts...Well, maybe not the donuts. We're partial to the Spiced Cider, which is simply delicious and really encapsulates the essence of the fall, whether enjoyed warm or cold. Plus, it makes the house smell amazing if you do warm it up.
The two runners-up were French Market Sparkling Lemonade and Triple Ginger Brew, another seasonal item and returning runner-up.
#1 Trader Joe's Cheese: Goat Cheese
Since the perennial favorite Unexpected Cheddar was retired to the Hall of Fame, this category has been a bit of a free-for-all. But this year, one cheese got hundreds more votes than any other (according to Miller and Sloane): goat cheese. Why?
Miller theorizes that it's beloved for its value. Trader Joe's sells many variations and flavors of goat cheese, but all are incredibly well-priced, especially compared to some competitors. Versatile, delicious, and accessible, goat cheese is pretty much the GOAT.
2024's runners-up include the editor-approved Syrah Soaked Toscano and burrata, which speaks to some top trends from last year.
#1 Trader Joe's Produce Item: Bananas
Yet again, the winner of the Customer Choice Award for best produce item is bananas. In fact, the first, second, and third spots for produce picks remained the same from 2023: bananas, Teeny Tiny Avocados, and Honeycrisp apples.
These three are produce powerhouses and testaments to Trader Joe's unbeatable prices. The store is still(!) selling bananas at the shockingly low price of 19¢ each for conventional and 25¢ each for organic. While the past few years have been a strain on our wallets, this category proves that TJ's is committed to value for its customers, and its customers are committed to TJ's for its value.
#1 Trader Joe's Appetizer: Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip
The Super Bowl is just around the corner, so let this list remind you that Trader Joe's sells one of the best premade spinach-artichoke dips you can buy. This freezer find could not be easier to prepare, and is so darn comforting, especially when served with warm tortilla chips (pop them in the air fryer for a minute or two). And while it's a dip, Miller pointed out that many on social media have been using the Spinach & Artichoke Dip as a pasta sauce for an incredibly decadent dinner done in minutes.
Coming in second and third were TJ's Mac and Cheese Bites and Parmesan Pastry Pups, respectively. Stock up on all three and you've got your game-day spread sorted.
#1 Trader Joe's Breakfast & Brunch: Hashbrowns
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but apparently, so do supply chain issues? Hashbrowns are this year's top breakfast and brunch product and were evidently so popular that stores had a hard time keeping them on shelves. So, perhaps it was that supply and demand effect that skyrocketed them to the top—or at least that's what Matt Sloane theorized on the podcast.
I theorize it's because they're versatile, budget-friendly, and delicious enough to go toe-to-toe with the best fast food hashbrowns. These were the absolute runaway winner, receiving more than three times as many votes as its competitors—the most divisive victory of any category on the list. Three varieties of Trader Joe's ever-popular frozen proof-and-bake croissants took runner-up spots: Chocolate Croissants, Almond Croissants, and Double Chocolate Croissants.
#1 Trader Joe's Lunch & Dinner: Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice
For the second year in a row, Trader Joe's customers have delivered a swift victory to Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice. Featuring "tandoor-style chicken in a rich, tomato & onion-based sauce," plus a side of fragrant basmati rice, this microwave-friendly meal is not only rich and flavorful, but also so easy.
It holds its own against the best takeout but is a fraction of the cost. The runner-up this year was once again Chicken Tikka Masala, followed by TJ's viral .
#1 Trader Joe's Sweet Treat: Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
Hold the phone—because Hold the Cone Mini Ice Cream Cones have been unseated as the top sweet treat at Trader Joe's. Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches are the new winner of this category, proving TJ's customers are still enamored by the store's frozen desserts. And this one is truly sublime: a mound of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two sizable chocolate chip cookies, all rolled in mini chocolate chips.
But don't fret if you're a Hold the Cone devotee. Two flavors of the mini ice cream cones took third and fourth spots, following TJ's pint of Mint Chip Ice Cream. A Danish Kringle rounded out the list.
#1 Trader Joe's Snack: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
Aldi may have discontinued its version of Takis, but Trader Joe's Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips aren't going anywhere. Last year, the product experienced an influx of attention after a rumor spread that they were being discontinued. In reality, some stores were just short on stock temporarily, but that threat was enough to keep customers buying and nominating them year after year. They swept the snack category yet again.
We don't know what they put in that dust to make it so crave-able, but all we know is that they have the *exact* amount of zesty heat to keep us coming back for chip after curled corn chip.
The corn chips were followed by Elote Corn Chip Dippers, World's Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs, Crunchy Curls, and my absolute favorite snack Trader Joe's has ever made, Patio Potato Chips.
The #1 OverallTrader Joe's Product, According to Customers
Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
For the second year in a row, Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips won not only best snack, but took best overall product, too. I sense an induction into the Product Hall of Fame is on the horizon for these chips...
The viral Chicken Soup Dumplings took the second overall spot, followed by the even more viral frozen Kimbap. It would appear Trader Joe's customers are also fans of TikTok.
As a seasoned enthusiast with a deep understanding of the culinary world and a penchant for staying updated on the latest food trends, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My experiences include exploring diverse cuisines, experimenting with cooking techniques, and closely following industry developments. Now, let's delve into the concepts embedded in the article about Trader Joe's 15th Annual Customer Choice Awards.
Trader Joe's Beverage: Apple Cider
- The category includes various apple cider products such as shelf-stable ciders, refrigerated bottles, sparkling cider cans, and even cider donuts.
- Trader Joe's Apple Cider emerged as the winner, with its Spiced Cider being highlighted as a particularly delightful choice for fall.
Trader Joe's Cheese: Goat Cheese
- Goat Cheese took the top spot in the cheese category, outshining other contenders in terms of value, versatility, and flavor.
- Noteworthy mentions include Syrah Soaked Toscano and burrata as runners-up, indicating trends in cheese preferences.
Trader Joe's Produce Item: Bananas
- Bananas secured the Customer Choice Award for best produce item, emphasizing Trader Joe's commitment to providing value to its customers with unbeatable prices.
- Other top produce picks include Teeny Tiny Avocados and Honeycrisp apples, showcasing consistency in customer preferences.
Trader Joe's Appetizer: Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip
- The Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip claimed the top spot, making it a recommended choice for Super Bowl gatherings.
- Social media mentions revealed that the dip is versatile, with some customers using it as a pasta sauce for a quick and decadent dinner.
Trader Joe's Breakfast & Brunch: Hashbrowns
- Hashbrowns emerged as the most popular breakfast and brunch product, surpassing competitors by receiving three times as many votes.
- Varieties of frozen proof-and-bake croissants, including Chocolate Croissants, Almond Croissants, and Double Chocolate Croissants, were the runners-up.
Trader Joe's Lunch & Dinner: Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice
- Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice secured the top position for the second consecutive year, offering a flavorful and convenient microwave-friendly meal.
- Chicken Tikka Masala retained its position as the runner-up.
Trader Joe's Sweet Treat: Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches dethroned Hold the Cone Mini Ice Cream Cones as the top sweet treat.
- The winning treat features vanilla ice cream sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies, rolled in mini chocolate chips.
Trader Joe's Snack: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
- Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips maintained their popularity and secured the top position in the snack category.
- Other notable snacks include Elote Corn Chip Dippers, World's Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs, Crunchy Curls, and Patio Potato Chips.
#1 Overall Trader Joe's Product: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
- The Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips not only won the best snack but also claimed the title of the best overall product for the second consecutive year.
Runner-Up Overall Products:
- Chicken Soup Dumplings and frozen Kimbap secured the second and third overall spots, indicating their popularity among Trader Joe's customers, potentially influenced by trends on platforms like TikTok.