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January 18, 2019

The customers have spoken: These are the best items available at Trader Joe's

The 10th annual Trader Joe's Customer Choice Awards have dubbed the must-have items

Grocery Stores
trader-joes-cauliflower-gnocchi-flickr Mike Mozart/Flickr

The lengthy line of cars clogging the right lane of 22nd Street, just off of Market, and the checkout line that wraps around the entire store — basically all day long on weekends — shows the dedication people have for Trader Joes.

The nationwide chain is known for selling cult-followed unconventional items that are unique to their stores — as in, you can basically only get those items in their true form from Trader Joes. The most loved of these products were announced on Wednesday in Trader Joe’s 10th annual Customer Choice Awards.

Customers voted for a myriad of Trader Joe’s specialties covering just about every possible category, including: favorite overall, appetizer, bakery, beverage, candy, cheese, condiment, dessert, entree, home (plus, bath and beauty), meal on-the-go, meat, produce, snack, vegan/vegetarian and seasonal.

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And since it can be quite difficult to pick a favorite when it comes to Trader Joe’s selection, the Customer Choice Awards also include a list of the four runners up for each category. You can check out the full list of winners here, but we’ve got your back with the standouts below. 

For favorite overall item, it’s a mixed bag of products. The winner was the frozen mandarin orange chicken — which also won favorite entree — followed up by cauliflower gnocchi, everything but the bagel seasoning, dark chocolate peanut butter cups and unexpected cheddar. Interestingly, all of the runner’s up on this list except the cauliflower gnocchi won some other section on the list.

While the cauliflower gnocchi is certainly beloved, it’s lack of votes could be due to the fact that they are nearly impossible to score. Trader Joe’s locations nationwide get a limited amount delivered each week and they go quick. (Pro Tip: you can call to find out what day the delivery comes in and they will reserve you a bag).

Teeny-tiny avocados won big in the produce section, followed by bananas, avocados again, shaved Brussels sprouts, and honey crisp apples. What customers call a “BBQ champ” — carne aside autentica — won people’s hearts in the meat section. The top pick for condiments was, unapologetically the everything but the bagel seasoning blend, closely followed by a very unique-sounding condiment: Blue cheese mustard.

And to prove Trader Joe’s never-ending effort to give customers new and, oftentimes, healthy-ish items to stock their homes with, the chain has already released eight new items in 2019. Perhaps one of them will make it on next year’s Customer Choice Awards list.