What's Good at Trader Joe's?
All things considered, Trader Joe’s has an impressive track record when it comes to the products it sells. But for every huge success like Speculoos Cookie Butter, there’s bound to be a clunker. Here are 11 Trader Joe’s products that most likely should have never made their way onto store shelves.
“The product selection at Trader Joe's can be absolutely fascinating," Russ Shelly, a contributor to the definitive Trader Joe’s taste test blog What’s Good at Trader Joe’s, told us. "It's rare that they play things straight up. There's almost always a little twist tucked in, or a small curveball thrown, and most of the time, it's at price point worth the gamble. Usually, their selections are a hit, but if all else fails, TJ's no-questions return policy is one of the best around.”
Every product that Trader Joe’s sells passes an extensive review process, which is why the vast majority of the items they sell are genuinely tasty. And we admit that taste is subjective, so you might personally be a fan of one or more of the following items. But in order to assemble this list, we recruited Russ and the rest of his What’s Good at Trader Joe’s team to offer up their absolute least favorite Trader Joe’s items of all time (and they’ve tasted hundreds of them); they also asked their Facebook fans to weigh in, and we included several of those reader-submitted suggestions as well.
Read on to learn which 11 items we feel really shouldn’t have made it through the strenuous Trader Joe’s review process. Some are so downright bizarre that we have no idea why anyone thought they would be a good idea in the first place; some look like they’d be tasty but proved to be major letdowns in the flavor department.
BBQ Rub and Seasoning with Coffee and Garlic
Chicken Breast in Poblano Sauce
This one sounds like it should be just fine, and poblano sauce tends to be flavorful because it’s based around a flavorful chile. But in this case, the chicken is fatty, the sauce is bland, and the overall texture is weird and mushy.