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Spicy snacks and sublime sweets: Inside Trader Joe's customers' top picks

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LA Post: Spicy snacks and sublime sweets: Inside Trader Joe's customers' top picks
February 20, 2024
Serena McCloud - LA Post

Trader Joe’s fans have decided on the most obsessively devoured foods. The envelopes have been sealed, votes cast, and cravings accounted for. Now, step this way across aisles packed fuller than your reusable tote bags to discover the savory, sweet treats and convenient fan favorites deemed irresistible in Trader Joe’s 15th Annual Customer Choice Awards. From the snack you can’t stop reaching for to the frozen meal you eagerly anticipated all day, find out which beloved products shoppers voted to the top of charts and stomachs this past year.

As Trader Joe’s continues expanding its reach across America, over half a million customers can access these winning items. Whether online or in newly opened brick-and-mortar stores, fans can stock up on crowd-approved favorites from Apple Cider to Butter Chicken. Read on for the full scoop on what TJ's patrons crowned this year’s best. 

Trader Joe’s customers voted for the Chili & Lime Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips as number one in the hotly contested snack category. These chips make tastebuds jump with their spirited blend of citrus, salt, and heat compressed into hearty corn crisps. Their vibrant seasoning leaves behind telltale red and orange dust on fingers, too—a sign of a flavorful snack.  

Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers was coming in second place—another Mexican street food-inspired snack dusted in saucy spices. Their thin, crispy texture contrasted with the Chili & Lime Chips’ heartier crunch, showing how Trader Joe’s patrons value adventurous flavors across different preparations.

Third, Vegetable Fried Rice produced an upset as the lone freezer meal to crack the Top 3 snacks. Its mingling of onions, carrots, red pepper, and green beans over fluffy rice makes for the ultimate savory, on-the-go bite. Consider it an easy way to get in an extra serving of veggies wherever the day takes you.

Trader Joe’s customers found a tasty solution in Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice when it comes to powering through busy afternoons. This microwaveable meal brings fragrant curry sauce and tender morsels of chicken over fluffy basmati rice—ready in mere minutes. 

Trader Joe’s patrons certainly demand both convenience and an ethical conscience regarding quick meals. Stock up on these microwaveable dishes to stay nourished no matter how hectic your schedule gets.  

Trader Joe’s customers praised the Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip as the ultimate crowd-pleaser for easy entertaining. It combines the rich flavors of spinach, tender artichokes, and gooey cheese into a potluck must-have. Depending on the occasion, fans advised pairing it with tortilla chips or vibrant Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers. 

In second place, Mac & Cheese Bites proved you can never go wrong with comforting cheese and pasta. These crispy golden nuggets offer a nostalgic punch of cheddar enveloped in panko breadcrumbs. 

Trader Joe’s patrons know that no party food spreads joy quite like freshly melted cheese. From dips to bite-sized apps, stock up on these beloved appetizers to instantly become the host with the most.  

Trader Joe’s customers voted Hash Browns as their morning hero in the race for top breakfast honors. These crispy potato cakes offer the fastest route to a hot, wholesome meal for groggy mornings. Simply heat and eat them straight from the freezer to fuel up in a flash. 

Trader Joe’s Chicken Apple Breakfast Sausages snatched second place for added protein. These links pack 10 grams of protein alongside sweet hints of Fuji apples. Their perfectly portable size makes them ideal for grabbing on the go.  

Those craving something sweeter can look to customer faves like Chocolate Croissants and Almond Croissants to satisfy morning sugar cravings. Trader Joe’s offers #breakfastgoals aplenty from balanced meals to tempting treats.  

Regarding the best chillable drinks offered, Trader Joe’s patrons delivered a split decision between comforting and cooling beverages. Seasonal Apple Cider ultimately took top marks for its nostalgic cinnamon sticks and clove aroma. Sip slowly to let hints of honey and baking spices melt over your tongue.  

This race shows TJ’s shoppers enjoy both warming and cooling drinks to suit the seasons or occasion. Always have Apple Cider on hand come fall, while Sparkling Lemonade promises refreshment for summer BBQs and picnics. Either beverage keeps tastebuds tingling year-round.  

Ask any true tastemaker, and they’ll assure you a thoughtfully curated cheese board is non-negotiable for easy entertaining. Luckily, Trader Joe’s patrons picked two stellar fromages guaranteed to start conversations. 

The Fig & Olive Creamy Goat Cheese clinched first for its smooth texture and balanced fruitiness. Spread it over crackers or enjoy it with fresh berries to let its natural sweetness sing. Clearly, TJ’s cheese aficionados take their fromage seriously. 

Then, for a touch of decadence, the Blueberry & Vanilla Chèvre also earned rave reviews. Each log cradles a vibrant blueberry jam swirl within mellow chèvre, offering sweet and tangy flavors in one elegant bite. 

As the icing on any good meal, Trader Joe’s desserts promise little bites of happiness without the buyer’s remorse. As their favorite sweet treat, customers chose Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches, which deliver a party for your tastebuds. Creamy mint ice cream joins forces with rich chocolate wafer cookies; then, the whole ensemble gets dipped in a chocolatey shell. Now, that’s sublime by any measure.  

Not to be outdone, Hold the Cone! Mini Chocolate Cones and Hold the Cone! Mini Chocolate Chip Cones tied for second as crowd-pleasing chocoholic favorites. Each comes swathed in a rolled chocolate-lined waffle cone before getting stuffed with its namesake ice cream flavor. #NoConesLeftBehind is the name of the game here. 

However you prefer to indulge your sweet tooth, Trader Joe’s desserts make it easier than ever to have your just desserts and eat them too.  

As Trader Joe’s strides towards its goal of having a store within five miles of every American, even more shoppers can get their hands on these beloved products. Though regional tastes may vary between its 550 locations, this Customer Choice Awards contest reflects standouts with widespread appeal.  

In every category, from snacks to cheese to frozen foods, Trader Joe’s diehard fans voted for one-of-a-kind flavors, top-notch quality, and convenience to fit fast-paced lives. And as new stores continue cropping up coast to coast, expect these winning picks and more specialty products to satisfy fans from LA to New York and beyond. 

So next time you shop at the growing Trader Joe’s empire, let the customer vote guide you to the proven favorites. Simply order online or visit your neighborhood TJ’s to grab crowd-approved treats and meals galore. Just be warned—viral products like Chili & Lime Chips or Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches sell out fast. Thanks to word-of-mouth buzz and seasonal availability. Check stores early and often to spice up snack time and indulge without missing out!

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