The Trader Joe’s Sample Station Is Back — Here’s What You Need to Know

published Oct 6, 2022
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For two years now, we’ve wondered about the fate of the Trader Joe’s sample station. Would we ever sample a samosa again? We even chatted with the grocer’s PR director to find out when we could expect those tiny cups to make their much-anticipated comeback. Well, our wondering and our waiting is finally over. As of this past weekend, samples are back in select Trader Joe’s locations.

Reports first popped up early last month, after @traderjoeslist shared a video of a board at a TJ’s in Coral Springs, Florida, teasing the October 1 return of samples. According to the post, samples would return “on a store-by-store basis.” At the time, the news had yet to be confirmed. 

According to CNN Business, this past weekend (aka October 1), shoppers posted videos and photos on various social media platforms of sample-sized TJ’s cups filled with Halloween-themed Joe Joe’s cookies, among other items (like the seasonal pumpkin streusel muffins). The outlet also confirmed with employees at locations in New York and California that single-serve samples are back, but that hot coffee is still on hold. (TJ’s did not respond to requests for comment.)

The grocer did, however, confirm the news on the latest episode of Inside the Trader Joe’s podcast, which dropped earlier this week. Hosts Tara Miller and Matt Sloan (and several dozen TJ’s employees) announced that sampling — or “demo” as they refer to it — is back. And, adds Tara, it’s “back with a new approach.” Emphasis on new.

“We want to focus a little more on new products,” explains Matt. “Things not necessarily on your shopping list but things we’re excited to share.” Pasta! Patties! Snacks! And more! It’s all up for grabs … in tiny cups, of course.

The hosts even leaked some sweet details about a totally top-secret frozen pastry. Here’s hoping we’ll be able to try a bite-sized sample of the limited-edition croissants once they hit stores.

Are samples back at your local Trader Joe’s? Tell us about it in the comments below.