Trader Joe's disappoints

I’ve been shopping at Trader Joe’s for over 20 years. They’ve always had products that were kept for a while and then discontinued. Back in the mid-'80s they had escargots in the shell. Just heat and eat. Big bag for five dollars. Man, I loved those! And they had this lamb sausage with lots of cayenne pepper and garlic in it. (Marquez?) Just the thing for a quick meal after a night of drinking. Frozen duck; discontinued because people complained they weren’t killed right. Things come, and things go. C’est la vie.

But recently it seems I can’t get anything I go in for! First was caviar. I used to be able to get it whenever I want. Now they say it’s ‘seasonal’. Well, it’s not like I have to have some every month. I can wait. Then the Escargots en Brioche disappeared. ‘Seasonal’, I’m told. The last few times I’ve been in I haven’t been able to get their pre-seasoned frozen leg of lamb. I got a recipe when I was down in L.A. for a casserole thing made of their frozen artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, Quatro Fromaggio, and Panko Bread Crumbs. Today I was told they no longer carry the Panko Bread Crumbs – or any bread crumbs. One thing I’ve been buying for two decades is the Cocoa Almonds. Discontinued. Replaced by Black Cocoa Almonds. These are the same thing, only made with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, and with ‘black cocoa’ powder instead of regular cocoa powder. I know dark chocolate is the fad nowadays, and I prefer it to milk chocolate. But it’s like they don’t have any milk chocolate now! How about some variety? Finally, I decided I’d have a TJ’s Turkey Pot Pie for my Thanksgiving dinner. They have good pot pies. ‘Can’t get them.’ I bought chicken instead.

Yes, I know things change. But it seems that in the last year things that have been sold ‘forever’ have just disappeared.

Maybe the current economic crisis is necessitating cutbacks? Trader Joe’s is pretty much a low-end-of-the-high-end supermarket. The prices are pretty reasonable but the selection is very much in the high-end vein. I can see how the way things are going economically could be affecting that.

Why is their peanut butter so damn awesome when it’s just peanuts and salt? I can grind that in the food processor but it’s not nearly as good as TJ’s. Me confused :frowning:

I’m having the same experience with their black lentils. They got me hooked, but for months now they say they don’t have them because they’re “seasonal.”

Frozen Jasmine rice. It used to come in a box of 3 bags that only took 2 minutes in the microwave. It was great for “need something fast” nights. I bought a rice cooker when they discontinued it.

I haven’t seen their frozen peaches around in months. The peaches are the perfect low cal snack. My local store has frozen peaches but the quality sucks.

Some of the rest of the items are a bit hit and miss. I was disappointed in a few items including the garlic nan, the gorgonzola gnocchi and some of their frozen pizzas.

Right now they’re batting about 90% excellent and 10% meh.

I still get this- both kinds, even- the organic jasmine and the Thai. Our disappointment? No more Belgian chocolate seashells with the chocolate hazelnut cream filling. :frowning: First the changed brands (or packaging, at any rate), but now they’re just gone. The other thing I really miss is the frozen citrus-marinated lamb chops- perfection after grilling only 2 minutes per side.

I’m gonna call their regional office and bitch about it- couldn’t hurt.

Bitch about the Cocoa Almonds too. :wink:

I’ll bitch about everything mentioned with a location- some stuff is very regional…


Got yer back, Johnny- Trader Joe’s is our refuge from this crazy world, and I won’t have my favorite stuff messed with!

Yeah the gorgonzola gnocchi was awful.

I love Stash’s Moroccan Mint tea, which TJ’s used to carry. Now it’s become “seasonal,” so I stock up if and when I find some. Otherwise I’ll just order it from the Stash website.

I miss TJ’s Yin Yang peanuts - wasabi peanuts mixed with tamari-flavored peanuts. Also the coffee-flavor and strawberry-flavor soymilk. I just hope they haven’t dropped their ladyfingers or their mini toast squares - the kids in my family will happily finish a package if there is enough cream cheese to put on them.

I’m still upset at the loss of my Mocha Triple Espressos. They kept telling me they were just out, liars! 5.99 6-packs of Newton’s Folly cider almost make up for it. Except then they quit carrying the Woodchuck Dry.

All I can advise is to ALWAYS bug them about things going missing, their back rooms are stuffed and things don’t always get put out.

Escargot? Caviar?


Anyway, if anyone wants a cite, I’ll look it up, but at TJ’s, the bottom 10% per month goes away. No matter how good, how wonderful…it goes away. It’s how they bring in wonderful new stuff.

Weird, I really dig the gorgonzola gnocchi- especially if you saute some of their chicken sausage to throw into it. We get the other gnocchi (Sorrentina I think) more often, but only because it is slightly less calories.

Discontinued Items I Loved

Jalapeño Blue Cornbread Mix
Meyer Lemon Cake Mix
High Fibre Vanilla Almond Cereal (This was the best cereal I have ever eaten. No, really, the best ever.)
Low Fat Strawberry Kefir

Disappointing Items

Green Curry Simmer Sauce (very bland)
Peanut Butter Pretzels (I know lots of people love these, but to me they were dry, pasty and flavourless.)

Items I Adore

Mini Peanut Butter Cups
100% Recycled Facial Tissue Pocket Packs

Overall, I enjoy Trader Joes. We don’t really have anything like it in Calgary, so I always stock up when we’re in the States. There are things I can get there that I can’t get anywhere else, at least not for a reasonable price. However, I find it incredibly frustrating to fall in love with a product only to have it discontinued. I’m glad to see others have noticed the problem, so at least I’m not alone, I guess.

It’s a good base though. Try chopping up some serrano chiles in it.

Their plain gnocchi has been out of stock for a while at the one nearest me. :frowning: It’s so much cheaper than at other stores.

Yes, ladyfingers are still around in my neck of the woods.

Has anyone seen the frozen cream filled strawberries lately? I lurved those.

I think everybody who lives near a TJ’s, or in a state where a TJ’s could conceivably exist, should count their blessings. :frowning: I didn’t know how good I had it (even when they stopped carrying things I loved) until it was all gone. Fucking Utah.

This is the first time I’ve stopped at TJ’s and didn’t buy anything (well, okay, I bought a chocolate bar…but that wasn’t for dinner). I wanted their Beef Stir Fry…gone. Beef Stew? None…clerk suggested I try the shepherd’s pie instead, which I would have, except they didn’t have any. Vegetable lasagne…out of stock, too. They did have my favorite Peanut Satay noodle box, but now that I’m hooked on it, I’m sure it will disappear…I’m still upset about the Honey-Mustard potato Chips…sigh.