3 Ways to Get Trader Joe’s Groceries Delivered
When I think about what I’d wish upon a star for, the wishes are basically all food-related: a live-in chef, someone who does the dishes, and for Trader Joe’s to do delivery. I know I can’t be alone in that last wish. If you, too, have also wished you didn’t have to get off your couch to restock your Jerk-Seasoned Plantain Chips, you’re not alone. It really does feel silly that, in a world where you can basically get dog food, pizza, and childcare to your door in about an hour, Trader Joe’s still is not on that list of possibilities.
There are actually a lot of reasons for that. I used to work for Trader Joe’s, so I know first-hand just how many hurdles Trader Joe’s would have to jump over in order to have a full-functioning delivery service — or even be offered widely on Instacart, DoorDash, or GoPuff. That being said, there are a few sneaky ways to get that container of dark chocolate peanut butter cups without ever stepping foot inside a Trader Joe’s.
Does Trader Joe’s Deliver?
In short, nope, and it’s likely not a reality in the near future, either. Why, you ask? Well, unlike other grocers (who often only get a few shipments a week), Trader Joe’s stores get multiple deliveries a day, meaning its inventory can range wildly from one hour to the next. The stores are also, as you might have noticed, quite small; they only stock what they need until the next truck arrives (which also saves space in the back stock). On top of that, each truck is often loaded from the warehouse by hand and then double-checked by hand by the crew upon delivery to the store. So even though employees can often predict when an item would be delivered, as a policy, managers advised us employees that it’s best to never confirm an item was in-store unless it was physically in our hands.
Aside from the logistics, delivery also takes all of the spirit out of a run to the grocer. Trader Joe’s are, by design, always trying to be a neighborhood store. To get delivery means you lose the face-to-face interactions that lead you to that new gelato flavor, and the added charges would undercut the savings that Trader Joe’s is known for. Also, how are you supposed to flirt with your cashier through a delivery app?
Sure, I have seen the rare delivery service offer Trader Joe’s items, mostly by third-party systems. They are far from perfect, as the seasonality of Trader Joe’s products (and low amount of SKUs) can change overnight, leading to little room for replacements. But if you’re really motivated, there are a few options for you.
How to Get Trader Joe’s Delivered
Much like you can hire a TaskRabbit to come by and help hang framed photos or fix a leaky faucet, you can, by all means, give them your shopping list to make your Trader Joe’s run. While they won’t have the full inventory at their fingertips, this is a solid option for those of us who are more flexible with replacement items.
Much like TaskRabbit, Dumpling is another app that offers personal shopping as its main offering. I’ve actually seen this app in action in-store, when I helped a Dumpling shopper try to find items for a customer. The interface really is the closest to being able to have an Instacart experience for Trader Joe’s, but the items the app says are on offer are very much not up-to-date, and don’t account for seasonality. Personally, this would be the option I’d go for when you just need a no-frills shop to restock the basics (not, say, for all your fall favorites or holiday meal prep).
One of the most expensive options (but an option, nonetheless!), Amazon does offer tons of Trader Joe’s items. Resellers are notorious for clearing out shelves of popular items, like Brazil Nut Body Butter, cookie butter, and pumpkin-spiced everything to sell online to those of us not near a Trader Joe’s. If you’re open to the markup (as of the writing of this article, a two-pack of Cookie Butter goes for $21.00, where a single jar from Trader Joe’s goes for only $3.99), this is one, often consistent, way to get Trader Joe’s when you really want it.
Have you had Trader Joe’s delivered before? Tell us about it in the comments below.