10 Things Kitchn Readers Never Buy from Trader Joe’s

updated Jun 8, 2019
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(Image credit: Diana Liang)

A while ago, our Associate Food Editor Kelli Foster wrote a story on the five things she never buys at Trader Joe’s. That led to lots and lots of comments from you guys, so we decided to round up your two cents.

And with that, here are the things our readers say they never buy at Trader Joe’s.

1. Sushi and premade sandwiches

“I’ve given their sushi multiple chances, and it’s just … bad. Super sticky rice that’s really sweet. Also, their wraps and sandwiches tend to be really bland.”

2. Salad dressings

“They can be so ridiculously sweet — almost like syrup.”

3. Cold cuts

“The selection is pretty lackluster and I prefer getting cold cuts freshly sliced at a deli.”

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

4. Fresh produce

“I recently started buying fresh produce at TJ’s and in several cases during this short time, I have ended up throwing the produce out because it spoiled or started tasting funky long before it should have. I’m back to buying organic where it make sense at my farmers markets or local grocery. I throw away much less that way.”

“I stopped buying the avocados at TJ’s because they are always mealy, no matter how soon I use them, and I end up throwing them away!”

Note: Your feedback here was a mixed bag. About half of you wrote in to agree that the fresh produce spoils too fast while the other half wrote in defense of the produce at Trader Joe’s.

5. Bread

“I have trouble with their breads … I feel they get moldy much sooner than bread from other stores.”

6. Fresh meat

“I’ve had too may sub-par experiences and don’t trust it anymore.”

7. Corn tortillas

“Their corn tortillas are terrible. Really, really awful. Bad texture and they smell like ammonia to me.”

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

8. Frozen pie crusts

“I recently bought Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts and they were kind of a disaster. They broke into a million pieces along the fold lines and as soon as I tried to create edges. And I followed the directions on the box, but trying to blind bake the first one for a quiche resulted in the sides melting down into the bottom of the pie plate immediately when I put it in the oven.”

Note: Oddly, this also made a different list of readers’ favorite products. Which list does it belong on? You tell us in the comments below!

9. Frozen veggies

“I stopped buying some frozen veggies and stir-fry mixes because it’s either just the stems or leftover pieces from veggies used for some other purpose.”

10. Marinated meats

“I agree that the pre-seasoned meats are wayyyy too salty and just not that good.”

More on Trader Joe’s

Do you agree with the items on this list? Got anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!