11 Things Trader Joe’s Won’t Sell Anymore
The introduction of new products and the phasing out of existing ones is just part of the business at Trader Joe's, but it can be quite disappointing when the process comes for a product we love.
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Say it ain’t so, Trader Joe!
Even a global pandemic can’t completely diminish the welcoming atmosphere and spirit of Trader Joe’s. The cheerful employees, descriptive signs, and Hawaiian-inspired decor are as much of a reason to keep shoppers coming back as the irresistible food products. By the way, here’s what it’s like to be a Trader Joe’s employee right now.
But those products come and go. The discontinuation of products “has a lot to do with driving sales and trying to keep things fresh,” said a Trader Joe’s employee in a Reddit AMA. There’s such a huge number of products that some might disappear without our knowledge. But there are others whose discontinuation is a huge letdown for many. When it comes to these Trader Joe’s products that you can no longer find, we think it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Tofu Edamame Nuggets
Vegetarian and vegan shoppers were up in arms in 2016 when Tofu Edamame Nuggets vanished from Trader Joe’s shelves. Filled with bits of edamame, carrots, and tofu, these veggie nuggets were beloved by many—but not enough to keep them on shelves. Customers even launched a Change.org petition to keep them around, but the petition was closed with only 51 signatures. Do you know who the Joe behind Trader Joe’s was?
Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups
That’s a lot of delicious things packed into one product name. These bite-size candies took food sites by storm when Trader Joe’s debuted them in 2014, but alas, you can’t find them anymore. You can, however, find equally scrumptious dark chocolate bars filled with Speculoos cookie spread, dark chocolate almond butter cups, and their downright legendary peanut butter cups.
Instant Miso Soup
Instant Miso Soup seems like a shoo-in for a popular Trader Joe’s product. It couldn’t have been easier to make; you added the powdered miso and dried tofu packets to boiling water. Its strong umami taste was a huge draw, according to Mashed. But despite its ease, the product did have some detractors. Some customers said the mushroom pieces were too large, the seaweed (which was powdered, not in pieces) too small. It was discontinued in 2017, and a Facebook group calling for its return sprung up. It has yet to successfully spur the product’s return.
Honey Butter Chips
There are vastly weirder flavors of potato chips, and many people were disappointed when the sweet-and-salty combo flavor “Honey Butter” was discontinued. One customer called it “a combination of kettle corn and sour cream and onion chips,” even saying that the name of the product made it sound less appetizing than it really was. Whatever the reason, the Honey Butter Chips vanished in 2018.
Feta Cheese Spread
Even a safe, low-risk product like feta cheese spread is not safe from the Trader Joe’s wheels of time. The Internet erupted in frustration and disbelief in September 2017 when this beloved spread became unavailable, one Facebooker even saying that “I about had a meltdown in the middle of the store.” So she tried the next best thing: making a copycat recipe. Hopefully, the store will never discontinue this product customers can’t stop buying.
This roasted poblano pepper microwave dish was a hit among fans of Mexican cuisine at Trader Joe’s. Easy and tasty, it was a staple for many until the store stopped selling it. As of December 2019, it’s no longer available, leading some customers to complain that other brands just aren’t the same.
Salmon and Vegetable Croquettes
These versatile, tasty salmon patties were great for frying up for a quick meal. Deceptively simple-looking, they were packed with edamame, kale, and broccoli and flavored with a yummy soy sauce, garlic, and ginger seasoning. Unfortunately, if your mouth is watering right now, you can’t find these frozen croquettes in the store anymore. As of early 2018, they were discontinued. Find out how Trader Joe’s sneakily gets you to buy more frozen food.
These crystallized ginger cookies, with an Australian flair, were certainly not the healthiest product; Fooducate, in fact, gave them a grade of D+ because of their considerable amount of added sugar. Other shoppers passed on them because of their price (almost $4 per bag) and opted to make homemade ginger snaps. But they still had their fans, and those fans took to the Internet to complain once they were gone. In 2017, one bemoaned the loss of “those wonderful, soft ginger [cookies].” We certainly love Trader Joe’s prices—here’s how they’re able to be so cheap.
Jumbo Black Raisins
Touted as raisins that even non–raisin enthusiasts could get behind, these raisins lived up to their “jumbo” name, toeing the line between raisins and prunes. While you can still find a Jumbo Raisin Medley, the monochromatic bags are not available anymore, and that’s been the case since at least August 2017. “There’s only a medley available now and they pale compared to the original,” complained a commenter on Chowhound.
Cookie Butter Cheesecake Bites
Whether you wonder why anyone would possibly discontinue such decadence or conclude that these were a little too sweet, you can no longer tempt your taste buds and curiosity with cookie butter cheesecake bites. “I miss the cookie butter cheesecake bites,” lamented one Trader Joe’s enthusiast in a 2020 Reddit thread (the product had been discontinued the previous year). Copycat recipes do abound online, if you want to try to recreate the magic. As great as Trader Joe’s is, there are some things you might not want to buy there.
In a true blast from the past, let’s take a moment to remember a Trader Joe’s product that hasn’t been seen since 2009. Not only were Trader Joe’s banana waffles banana-flavored waffles (yum), they were also gluten-free. This prompted a frequenter of the Gluten-Free Portland resource to express dismay when the product turned up unavailable.
Does this list have you worried now that no Trader Joe’s product is safe? Luckily, an account on Picuki, @traderjoestobediscontinued, tries to keep ahead of TJ’s products that are on their way out, so that customers can stock up if their favorite product’s days are numbered. Next, check out the secrets Trader Joe’s employees want you to know.