If you could only fit nine items in your reusable tote at Trader Joe’s, what would make the cut? More than 18,000 passionate fans weighed in this month for the store’s 14th annual Customer Choice Awards. There were winners in nine categories, but some were new to the competition.
Trader Joe’s retired five products that have won repeatedly in past awards, instead giving them a spot in the Product Hall of Fame. There you’ll find Mandarin Orange Chicken, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets, Unexpected Cheddar, and Soy Chorizo. Here’s the new list of favorite products.
Overall Winner: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
A snack takes the throne for this year's Customer Choice Awards! These spicy, crunchy snacks are colorful twists of stone-ground fried corn masa that have been flavored with tangy hot chili and lime seasoning. They’re gluten-free and hardy enough for dipping. The bright color comes naturally from vegetable juice and paprika and turmeric extracts.
Beverage: Sparkling Honeycrisp Apple Juice Beverage
Simple and seasonal, this apple juice contains only three ingredients: juice from Honeycrisp apples, water, and an infusion of bubbles to make the sweet drink fizzy and sparkly.
Cheese: Cheddar with Caramelized Onions
This robust cheddar is made on an English estate from local dairy herds within a 30-mile radius. It’s inspired by a classic ploughman’s lunch which is centered around cheese, bread, and some tangy relish. The creamy cheddar has caramelized onion marmalade blended throughout.
Entrée: Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice
The entree features chicken chunks in a smooth tomato-and-onion curry with ginger, garlic, cream, and butter. It’s piled on top of a bed of Basmati rice.
Best Health and Beauty Aids (HABA)/Household: Scented Candles
Available in seasonal scents such as peony blossom, cedar balsam, and vanilla pumpkin, these paraben-free candles are hand poured, crafted from a blend of soy and wax with a cotton wick.
Fans say they walk the line between over- and underripe. Organic bananas are 25 cents each, while the ordinary fruits are only 19 cents.
Snack: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
The best overall winner also earned top honors as the best snack. No surprises here.
Sweet/Dessert: Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones
Small but mighty, these tiny cones are lined inside with chocolate, stuffed with creamy ice cream, and then dipped in a chocolate or sugary coating, depending on the flavor..
Vegan/Vegetarian: Kale & Cashew Pesto
A dip, a sauce, a sandwich spread—this versatile pesto is a mix of kale, cashew butter, and basil. Olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings finish it off.