Let me just start by apologizing to all devout-Trader Joe's shoppers. I know, I've been there.
In fact, I started shopping there more than 20 years. Very friendly employees, fun & colorful packaging, easy to handle and perfect for bachelor/ettes & college students, loooow prices, and kitchy titles on self-branded items.
But my boyfriend & I no longer patron them. This is why: Processed foods from far away places (talk about 1500 miles from farm to table; transporting foods is a huge source of global warming); loads & loads of packaging; heavy use of palm oil in every one of their desserts and other products (unless it specifies "sustainable certified", palm oil is the #1 reason for deforestation, esp in Indonesia where orangutans are going extinct); fake "dolphin safe" tuna from Indonesia (false labeling, only one dolphin safe tuna is guaranteed: http://www.earthisland.org/dolphinSafeTuna/consumer/); and harmful toxic products in nearly all of their beauty goods.
I've sent a letter about the palm oil, talked to more than 3 store managers at 3 of their W LA stores about packaging and toxic beauty product materials...but more customers need to speak up.
Trader Joes never claimed to be an eco-friendly store, but I think most of its shoppers would be shocked to find out just how Un-sustainable they are. I do wonder if they could use some guidance at their corporate office, e.g., a sustainability coordinator?
So until some effort's been made on their part to step green, we'll continue to use their hardy tote bags (made from non-organic cotton), but that's where our buck stops at TJ's.
As the headline states, yes, there's a reason why my friends call me a Trader Ho. It's because, well, I am. I'm a ho for Trader Joe's, and I'm not afraid to admit it (I'm also a Cost-Ho, but you can read about that in another review!). First of all, I love how organized their store is and how they mostly only sell their own line of food products. This takes the hassle out of having to compare different brands and prices. Their foods are fresh, mostly … more
Seriously though, it's like my little oasis. A truly happy place. My kid gets a balloon... I get amazing selection of what is basically a curated grocery experience, crazily low prices (without any coupons or weird club cards) and a wide array of healthy options -- from organic, to vegan, to just plain yummy. Feels like that small neighborhood market my mom took us to as kids, when we lived in this little hippie enclave in the midwest. It really comes … more
Trader Joes had great, affordable quality products. There is no question about it. They also have a seemingly great, straightforward return policy: if you don't like it, we will take it back, no questions asked. I recently bought some chewyble "great tasting" omega 3 supplements, Sea Gummies, to increased my vitamin intake. Please, do not buy them unless you enjoy the taste of sugar coated fishes. They were pretty bad. I decided that I could not eat them. I … more
I was first introduced to Trader Joe's when I was attending college in California, but it probably wasn't until I moved to New York that I realized how much I loved that little grocery store. When they opened their first store in Manhattan off of Union Square, it was clear they had severely underestimated how much value people placed on their brand and their products. With many Californians living in New York City the store is always bustling, and there are typically two long check out lines … more
I'm a big fan of Trader Joe's grocery stores, although I can''t shop there exclusively because they don't have the, er, bad, unhealthy junk food I like. For example, Pepsi. Hey, a girl occasionally needs some Cool Ranch Doritos and Oreos in her life. Mostly when I go I buy prepared and frozen dishes, because they are fantastic here. Trader Joe's doesn't stock much, if anything, that's not high quality food. (And by this I mean no high fructose corn syrup … more
I absolutely LOVE Trader Joe's. Being a chef and finding such great food and wine in one spot is always good. I have not been near one in quite some time and miss it terribly. I lived at the Grand Canyon and would drive to Phoenix once a month just to shop there. The healthy-organic items were just a slight bonus to me, but were the main attraction for most. The all natural-ness of the TJ brand was really nice for … more
I don't have a Trader Joe's near me, and that is the only reason I don't give them 5 stars. It would be nice if they had an online store too. Otherwise, I love their products and philosophy. Great tasting, wholesome food at affordable prices. Their Red Pepper (and Eggplant) spread (formerly Pinjur) is to die for. Trader Joe's gathers tasty treats from across the globe and puts them under one roof. Their stores and marketing have an old-timey … more
Blogger & sustainability coordinator at Working for Green (.com). Want to know: The latest and most effective ways to keep our earth alive. Happy to: Spread the … more
About this topic
Trader Joe's is a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores headquartered in Monrovia, California. As of December 2008, Trader Joe's has a total of 315 stores. Its stores are located most densely in Southern California, but the grocery company has locations in 24 other states and Washington, D.C. Trader Joe's was founded by Joe Coulombe and is currently owned by a family trust set up by German billionaire Theo Albrecht, one of the two brothers behind the German supermarket chain Aldi. Trader Joe's stores usually have a South Seas (often seen as Hawaiian) theme. CLICK FOR LOCATIONS